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Written Answer by Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question on CPF Contributions for Interns

NOTICE PAPER NO. 1717 OF 2019 FOR THE SITTING ON 9 JULY 2019
QUESTION NO. 2903 FOR ORAL ANSWER

MP: Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong

To ask the Minister for Manpower why are employers hiring interns from private universities required to pay CPF contributions while CPF contributions are not required for interns from the public universities.

Answer 

  1. In general, CPF contributions are mandatory for all local employees, including interns, to enable Singaporeans to start early in building their retirement savings. However, employers may not welcome interns if the same CPF obligations for local employees also apply to them. 
  2. In consultation with the Ministry of Education, we exempt employers from making CPF contributions for interns if they are students (i) enrolled in an institution or programme subsidised by the MOE and (ii) employed for training approved by their educational institution. This approach serves to prioritise internship opportunities for students whose courses of study are most aligned with national objectives. The information for such programmes, for both public and private institutions, may be found on the MOE website.
  3. On their own accord, employers may still make CPF contributions to these interns.