This is a brief overview on all you need to know about self-help group contributions in Singapore.
What are Donation Funds?
All employees of Singapore are required to donate monthly token as their Central Provident-Fund (CPF). This amount is deducted from employee’s salary. What most people are unaware of is that a part of these deducted funds goes into an individual account referred to as Self-Help Group (S.H.G) funds.
The community you belong to determines where precisely the donated funds will go into. Some of the various funding accounts include the CDAC, SINDA, ECF, or MBMF funds. Initially, this fund was set up to cater for the financial needs of low-income households in certain places such as the Indian, Muslim, Chinese, and Eurasian communities.
You could have been making these contributions without taking note. Now you need to be more conscious of it by checking your pay slip, and you will be able to notice if deductions were made or not. Most of the time, the rate remain fixed for many years.
Types Of SHG Funds
CDAC, MBMF, ECF, and SINDA are all known as Self-Help Group funds (abbreviated as S.H.G). Depending upon their race, employees will be required to remit monthly contributions. Given that Singapore is a multi-racial country, these SHGs funds are aimed at helping the financially less privileged in the different communities.
The contributions are voluntary, unlike the CPF contributions which are mandatory. If an employee decides to contribute a specific amount or pull-out, all they need do is to get the required forms that are issued by their respective SHGs.
Chinese Development-Assistance Council (C.D.A.C) Fund
This is a Chinese community self-help group aimed at helping less privileged people of Chinese origin. This fund has been in effect since 1 September 1992 whereby Chinese citizens who have been naturalized in Singapore contribute a certain amount of their monthly wages to the C.D.A.C Fund according to their wage level.
For income earners within the range of S$2,000, they will contribute S$0.50 while those receiving more than S$7,500 will need to donate S$3.
Eurasian Community-Fund (ECF)
The ECF is a fund established by the European-Asian Association and popularly called Eurasian. It is a Singapore government-sponsored program to help people of Eurasian identity. A Eurasian is someone who is of both Asian and European descent.
All employees in Singapore who reside and work within the Eurasian community need to make contributions towards the ECF. The contributions you will be required to pay each month ranges from S$2 for those earning a less than a monthly fee of S$1,000 while those making more than S$10,000 will need to contribute S$20.
Mosque Building & Mendaki Fund (M.B.M.F)
The MBMF is a religiously related support fund which is aimed at building or upgrading mosques within Singapore. They also use this fund to sponsor Islamic religious programs and offer help to Muslim-families. Furthermore, these support funds are used to cater for the MEDAKI's educational and social programs to uplift Muslim and Malay families.
This fund also caters for the future education and religious needs of the Muslim community. All working class Singapore Citizens who are Muslims are required to remit contributions to the MBMF. For monthly wage earners of S$1,000 or less, they will contribute S$3 while those earning more than S$10,000 will contribute S$26.
Singapore-Indian Development-Association (SINDA) Fund
This program was founded in August 1991 to see to the needs of the Indian Community in Singapore. These funds will be used to assist impoverished Indian families and raise the academic level of Indian students.
All India Community employees are expected to make contributions every month to the SINDA fund, except for those who are on the Foreign Worker-Levy (FWL) scheme. The contributions expected ranges from S$1 for those monthly wage earners of S$1,000 or less while those earning S$15,000 or more are to pay S$30.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
- Am I required to pay back for all the years I have not been making contributions to self-help groups? - It's a personal decision since it's not a mandatory payment.
- As an employer, what should I do if I forgot to remit SHGs Funds for my employees who just resigned? - You need to calculate all the accrued SHG funds pay on the employee’s behalf.
- Is it mandatory for me to contribute to Self-Help Groups (SHGs)? - SHG is not mandatory; you can inform your employer not to deduct it from your monthly salary.
These and many more are the questions frequently asked by those who want to donate funds. Always remember, the topic of SHG is quite a detailed one so always ensure you proceed from a point of knowledge and information.