Josephine Teo explains CPF exemption for employers of public university interns

While CPF contributions are mandatory for all local employees, Teo noted that “employers may not welcome interns if the same CPF obligations for local employees also apply to them”. (PHOTO: Screengrab from Gov.sg YouTube channel)

SINGAPORE — The practice of not requiring employers of interns from public universities to pay Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions helps to encourage employers to take them on.

This approach “serves to prioritise internship opportunities for students whose courses of study are most aligned with national objectives,” said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo in a written reply to a parliamentary question on Tuesday (9 July).

Workers’ Party Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Daniel Goh had asked why employers hiring interns from private universities are required to pay CPF contributions when such payments are not required for interns hired from public universities.

While CPF contributions are mandatory for all local employees, Teo noted that “employers may not welcome interns if the same CPF obligations for local employees also apply to them”.

She added that employers are exempted from making CPF contributions for interns who are students from an institution or programme subsidised by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and are employed for training approved by their educational institution. However, employers can still make CPF contributions to these interns of their own accord, said Teo.

Information on such programmes for public and private institutions can be found on the Ministry of Education website.

In response to Teo’s reply, Goh called for a level playing field on the CPF policy regarding interns in a post on his Facebook page.


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