All-out publicity drive to help CPF members grasp latest changes

All-out publicity drive to help CPF members grasp latest changes

SINGAPORE - Changes to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) might still be on the drawing board, but the CPF Board is already working on how to get people excited about the upcoming modifications.

It is looking to hire a marketing and communications specialist firm to organise a publicity drive from as early as March, to explain the changes to CPF members.

Advertisements, brochures, videos will be produced for the drive, which will also go online.

"The CPF Board will be doing more to help our members understand more about CPF policies and schemes, and how these will affect them," said a spokesman for the campaign.

More than 1.9 million active CPF members are expected to be affected next month when a government-appointed review panel announces its first set of recommendations for the Minimum Sum and CPF withdrawals.

Later this year, the panel will give its proposals on how members can seek higher returns through private investment plans.

When asked about the publicity drive, the CPF Board declined to disclose details such as expected costs, saying it was too early to do so. But it has met prospective firms to discuss the project.

According to project requirements prepared by the CPF Board that The Straits Times saw, firms must "conceptualise and develop a communications plan" in an integrated way, using newspapers, television and radio, as well as social media channels such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

The CPF Board has divided members into four groups for the drive - working adults in their 20s, mid-career workers in their 30s to 40s, those reaching 55 who must set aside a minimum sum for retirement needs, and those reaching 65 who can start getting regular payouts from what they set aside at 55.

The specialist firm must educate members about the various CPF schemes, as well as encourage them to plan for retirement.

MP Zainudin Nordin, who chairs the Government Parliamentary Committee for Manpower, said the campaign is timely.

"I hope it can go back to basics and remind CPF members of what the scheme is about," he said.

Researcher and surveyor Steven Phua, 61, said that, apart from general publicity to raise awareness of CPF schemes, the CPF Board could also target members directly in its publicity drive.

"Just before I turned 55, the CPF Board wrote to me and explained how I could use my Minimum Sum and plan for retirement," he said. "Such personal touches are sometimes more effective than general publicity."

tohyc@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on January 19, 2015.
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