T he CPF Board (CPFB) plays an important role in the lives of Singaporeans. Through the CPF system, Singaporeans can strive to retire comfortably in their golden years. It also enables citizens to own a home and set aside sufficient funds for their healthcare needs.
The Board’s mission is certainly in line with Kuah Qing Yun’s own. She shares spiritedly, “I get a strong sense of purpose in working for an organisation that is able to effect a positive impact on Singaporeans.”
Similarly, Daphne Wee has always believed in saving for the future. “The CPFB’s mission of enabling Singaporeans to save for retirement resonates deeply with me,” says Daphne.
Qing Yun and Daphne, who were recipients of the CPFB Mid-Term Local Undergraduate Scholarship, highlight the emphasis CPFB places on nurturing diverse talents regardless of their course in university. Although they bring different skillsets and scopes of knowledge, both enjoyed a spectrum of different opportunities and exposure. Qing Yun and Daphne tell us more.
Wee Miaoyu Daphne
CPF Board Mid-Term Local Undergraduate Scholar
Senior Manager (Retirement Management Office)
Tell us about your scholarship and the opportunities you have been given.
Qing Yun: The mid-term scholarship gave me more time to understand myself and helped me gain clarity on my desired career path after taking a few modules in university. Furthermore, a mid-term scholarship did not restrict me in my choice of modules, unlike some full-term scholarships.
With my scholarship, I did an internship with the Corporate Strategy and Risk Department, where I was tasked to write a research paper on the topic of performance indicators for the Board. With my supervisor’s guidance, I learnt how to conduct proper research and sieve important information from the vast literature available. The skills I gained during my internship helped me in my current role where I need to conduct policy reviews. The importance of having a complete picture and extensive knowledge of a topic in order to have a balanced view prior to and during the course of any review is now ingrained in me.
Daphne: Similarly for me, I had a better idea of the career path I wanted to take before applying for a mid-term scholarship. As a scholar, I’ve had the opportunity to be rotated to different departments and agencies to gain exposure to other areas of work. Having started in the Policy Department, I was seconded to the Ministry of Manpower, before joining the Lifelong Income Department and now settling in the Retirement Management Office. I’ve gained valuable experiences from each posting, having worked on CPF policies, and thereafter helping to implement them and currently working to communicate these policies effectively. It has been rewarding to see how the policies and schemes I’ve had a hand in moulding are helping people, especially when we receive heartfelt compliments from members who truly appreciate what we’ve done for them.
Daphne: In my 2nd year with CPFB, I had the opportunity to co-author a paper for an international conference on managing longevity risk, which aims to increase awareness on CPF LIFE, our national annuity scheme. Upon my arrival at the overseas conference, I was told that my co-author, who was supposed to present the paper, could not attend the event and I had to give the presentation instead! The thought of addressing academics and industry experts from around the world was daunting, but fortunately, the presentation ran smoothly and became a highlight of my career!
Kuah Qing Yun
CPF Board Mid-Term Local Undergraduate Scholar
Assistant Manager (Policy)
Share with us about your roles and responsibilities at your current jobs.
Qing Yun: Most scholars begin their work in CPF Board in the Policy Department. As an Assistant Manager in the Policy Department, my main role involves conducting studies and recommending policy changes to the management to improve and enhance the CPF’s social security scheme. In conducting CPF policy reviews, I also have the opportunity to liaise closely with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and various CPFB departments. My exposure to the scheme and liaisons with other departments have given me a broad perspective of the Board’s core functions.
Daphne: I am the Senior Manager at the Retirement Management Office, which was set up to coordinate communications on retirement-related matters as well as integrate retirement-related processes across relevant departments. Part of my job entails attending various CPF-related talks to explain to our members how the schemes work and provide information regarding retirement planning.
What memorable experiences have you had in your career at the CPF Board?
Qing Yun: One of my more memorable experiences in the Board was when I had to organise team-building activities for my department. I worked with a fellow newbie, and it was my first large-scale ‘project’ in the Board. We had to be resourceful and pro-active in approaching our colleagues from various departments for advice. It was a valuable experience with many learning points that could be applied to my work. Besides learning to manage my time effectively, I also learnt how to communicate and actively coordinate with various parties to create a fruitful team-building experience for all. It was especially rewarding to see my colleagues enjoying themselves during these activities!
What are some little-known facts about the CPF Board?
Qing Yun: One of the first things I noticed about the Board is its warm and friendly culture. My colleagues have been very helpful in showing me the ropes. Even colleagues from other departments would willingly share information. It feels like we are one big family! We definitely have a close-knit and supportive culture in the Board. We value teamwork and help one another readily when work piles up. The Board also offers several activities that allow us to bond, one of which is a weekly run at East Coast Park. Occasionally, we would end the run with a game of Ultimate Frisbee!
Daphne: CPFB is actually a dynamic and fun workplace! Some of my friends have the impression that CPFB is all work and no play. Many of my colleagues are in my age group, and we get to interact through regular team-building activities as well as inter-group games and social events organised by the Board’s Sports and Recreation Club. Moreover, everyone in the CPFB is warm and approachable. It is easy to form close friendships here. In fact, I met my husband at CPFB! With our strong and close-knit culture, it is no wonder that CPFB has many long-serving staff who have worked in the Board for over 20 years – some more than 40!