The Central Provident Fund Board (CPF Board) plays an important role that touches and impacts the life of every Singaporean. Through its comprehensive social security system and meticulous planning, the CPF Board enables over 3.8 million Singaporeans to fulfil their retirement plans, housing dreams and medical care needs.
This mission statement resonated deeply with both Jane Lim and Josiah Chia, who sought careers that would allow them to serve a higher purpose and make a direct positive impact on others. As recipients of the CPF Board Mid-Term Scholarship, they tell us more about their opportunity-filled scholarship journey and how the work they do gives them meaning.
What made you apply for the CPF Board scholarship?
Jane: Coming from a humble background, I was fortunate to be a recipient of society’s assistance and resources during my formative years. This motivated me to look for a career in the public service so that I can contribute back to society. I felt that the CPF Board would be a fitting point to embark on this journey, because it is a core institution of Singapore, and is one that is intricately intertwined with the lives of all Singaporeans.
Josiah: I felt that the CPF Board could enable me to have a meaningful career in public service. I was particularly drawn to the synonymy CPF Board had with every major milestone in the lives of Singaporeans – from buying a house, paying for healthcare, to preparing for retirement. Few agencies in the public service provide such a diverse range of learning and development opportunities. I was confident that becoming a part of CPF Board could provide me with a work experience that was challenging and multi-faceted.
Jane Lim Shu Lin
Senior Investment Manager,
CPF Board Mid-Term Local
Tell us more about your role at CPF Board.
Jane: I am currently with the Investment Schemes Department which runs the CPF Investment Scheme (CPFIS). Having graduated with a Bachelor in Business (Banking and Finance), my role as a regulator of CPFIS-included product providers allows me to stay in close touch with the financial world, while amassing hands-on experience in running the scheme. I like that my role gives me the opportunity to review the scheme regularly, to ensure that it remains an attractive option for our members.
Josiah: In my four years with CPF Board, I have worked in the Policy Department, and went on to the Ministry of Manpower, before returning to join CPF Board’s Healthcare Projects Office (HPO). At HPO, my role involves providing operational support to the Ministry of Health in their study and review of healthcare schemes. I have had the opportunity to work on policies that affect a wide array of issues such as retirement, housing, and self-employment.
How is CPF Board constantly reinventing itself to align with the evolving preferences in Singapore?
Jane: The CPF Board is cognisant that Singaporeans today have to be proactively engaged. Policies that are formulated topdown with little engagement may result in a loss of support and alienation. To this end, the Board has greatly intensified its outreach efforts over the past few years.
Some of these initiatives include the CPF Retirement Planning Roadshows held at various locations, and the big “R” Chat Campaign to create awareness and understanding of the CPF system. Other exciting transformation initiatives which the Board had put in place include a revamped myCPF mobile application to keep up with the increasingly “tech-savvy” young Singaporeans.
Josiah Chia Jun Kit
Senior Manager, Healthcare Projects Office
CPF Board Mid-Term Local
What is the working culture like at CPF Board?
Josiah: CPF Board is like a family with a nurturing and supportive culture. Officers are encouraged to be proactive and voice their opinions, rather than simply following instructions.
When mistakes are made, the focus is always to learn how to avoid repeating the error, rather than penalising those at fault. CPF Board, being a large organisation, is made up of people from all walks of life. We believe in fostering a healthy team spirit as a team can only perform effectively by respecting each member’s views and learning from one another.
What would you say to those considering a CPF Board scholarship?
Jane: Aspiring scholars should have an idea of what areas of work truly interest them. At this point, it is perfectly normal to not have full sight of what one may eventually specialise in but knowing where one’s broad interest lies makes the whole process less overwhelming. It will be helpful to research and speak to the relevant parties who can offer valuable insights.
Josiah: Adding on to what Jane has shared, being a CPF Board scholar has given me new insights on how government policies are designed and implemented, and helped me to develop both professionally and personally. Consider the CPF Board Scholarship if you are looking for a challenging and meaningful career in public service. My advice to prospective applicants would be to think about what you have to offer to the organisation, and how you want to make a difference in the lives of Singaporeans as part of the CPF Board.