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    Apr 29, 2014

    CPF Board recovers record $420m in arrears

    THE Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board recovered a record $420 million in arrears from errant companies last year - and secured more convictions.

    It was a big jump from the $293 million it recovered in 2012, after the board stepped up checks on firms last year.

    Of the total sum, $16.6 million was recovered on behalf of more than 19,000 workers from 3,900 firms which did not pay - or underpaid - their workers' CPF.

    The lion's share, $406.6 million, was collected from some 43,000 firms which paid CPF to their 230,000 workers late, after a 14-day grace period.

    The board's director of enforcement, Ng Hock Keong, said that workers are now more aware of their rights.

    In September 2012, the CPF Board and Manpower Ministry started a year-long campaign to help low-wage workers know their CPF and employment rights.

    At the same time, it formed a team of 20 inspectors, including retired policemen, which uncovered dubious practices after they interviewed more than 12,000 workers at over 3,000 offices and worksites.

    Apart from recovering more money, the board also hauled more employers to court last year. There were 243 convictions against errant firms last year, up from 219 in 2012.

    Member of Parliament Zainudin Nordin, who chairs the Government Parliamentary Committee for Manpower, urged the CPF Board not to let up on its efforts.

    "Employers should not take their responsibility lightly and must treat workers with due respect, in terms of what is due to them," he added.