As a trusted and respected social security organisation, the CPF Board is committed to enable Singaporeans to have a secure retirement, through lifelong income, healthcare financing and home financing.
This resonates deeply with Julian, who says that a career with the CPFB has provided him with the chance to help others and ultimately, touch the lives of fellow citizens. For Dawn, the responsibility of working with her colleagues in the best interests of over 3.65 million Singaporeans serves as motivation and fulfilment for her.
From crafting social policies to carefully administering them, both Julian and Dawn have had numerous opportunities to positively impact the society. Read on to find out more about their unique and meaningful experiences with the CPFB.
Why did you decide to join the CPFB?
Julian Ho Wai Yin: While reading Political Science in the National University of Singapore (NUS), I grew interested in social policies, not specifically retirement, but policies related to the social sector. I stumbled upon the CPFB Mid-Term Local Undergraduate Scholarship through BrightSparks and grew interested in the organisation. CPFB is not only involved in retirement schemes; it also has a hand in housing, healthcare, and schemes affecting low-wage workers. I knew that a career with the CPFB would allow me to be involved in devising and implementing policies that touch the everyday Singaporean in various stages of their lives.
Furthermore, the CPFB has the benefit of being a big organisation with numerous departments. I interned here during my final year of studies and was rotated across departments every couple of weeks. The rotations gave me an enterprise view of the organisation and a better understanding of what the CPFB does as a whole.
Dawn Michelle Lazaroo: My experience in the CPF Policy Challenge at NUS was what really sparked my interest in the organisation. Working in teams on policy responses to the case studies gave me a taste of what my future role would be like. While I did not have the opportunity to intern at CPFB, my earlier experience from the Internships@Gov programme gave me a good sense of how working in the public sector is like and affirmed that a career in the Public Service was something I wanted to pursue.
Julian Ho Wai Yin
CPFB Mid-Term Local Undergraduate Scholarship
Senior Manager (Retirement Schemes)
Tell us more about your current job scopes.
Julian: I am currently a Senior Manager in a team that administers the Silver Support Scheme. This is a new scheme that provides support to elderly folk who might not have saved enough for their retirement. I am in-charge of the processes, ensuring that systems are developed correctly and that the right people receive the right amount of payouts. This opportunity to shape and also execute policies that help others, especially the less fortunate, is fulfilling for me.
Dawn: As a Policy Manager at the CPFB, my role is to review social security policies. This is a role that entails a variety of responsibilities. At times, policy reviews can be initiated by different Ministries, or along the course of implementing specific schemes. When this happens, I gather inputs from colleagues who administer the schemes, conduct research and analyse the available data. I then assess if there is a need for certain schemes to be more flexible or how any changes could impact the public. As many CPF schemes are interdependent, I get to work closely with colleagues from other departments and even Ministries to improve the retirement adequacy of our members. I find this to be the most fulfilling aspect of my role!
Dawn Michelle Lazaroo
CPFB Mid-Term Local Undergraduate Scholar
What memorable experiences have you had in your career at the CPFB?
Julian: When I was at the Policy Department, I had to prepare for numerous meetings with other departments, senior management, and sometimes with other Ministries in relatively tight deadlines. I was fortunate that my team was very supportive and helped one another out whenever we could. We really bonded together after experiencing such challenging periods!
The meetings with different stakeholders also gave me the opportunity to hear different perspectives and implications of our policies which was insightful and challenged my analytical skills.
Dawn: I had an eye-opening experience during a brief attachment at one of the CPF Service Centres. Listening to our frontline staff patiently explaining CPF policies to our members served as a good reminder to me to always consider how our policies can be better communicated to our members. I also had the chance to attend to members’ queries at the CPF retirement planning roadshows. I realised that many members found the CPF system challenging to understand. Our roadshows were actually helpful in breaking complex information down into smaller portions and explaining key concepts and schemes in a simple and concise manner.
Share some advice with those who are exploring their scholarship options.
Julian: Aspiring CPF scholars would need to have an attitude of service and to believe in the cause and mission of the CPFB. In terms of work, they would need to be prepared to think out of the box in overcoming obstacles and to be a team player. Essentially, you should pick something that you are passionate about. Where there is passion, there is meaning, happiness, excitement, and anticipation. Your work will never be dull!
Dawn: Aspiring scholars should find an organisation and area of work that they are genuinely interested in. For me, retirement issues are quite close to my heart as my parents are approaching retirement. Also, be sure to utilise the resources available, such as scholarship fairs and the BrightSparks magazine, to find out more about the organisations you are interested in. Hearing directly from the people who work there is one of the best ways to learn more about the organisation’s working culture.