Central Provident Fund Board
Feature | CPF

Funding the Public Good

We all know what the Central Provident Fund is, but do we know what CPF Board does? Heng Yiwen, Senior Manager, opened up a whole new perspective on our national social security system and the humans that make it work.

Heng Yiwen is currently a Senior Manager, Service and Learning Excellence department with CPF Board. She is responsible for driving the creation, revision and delivery of a meaningful customer journey by reviewing end-to-end customer interactions using an outside-in approach; consulting key stakeholders on best practices; and analysing data and insights. The 25-year-old has a Bachelor of Business (Actuarial Science), 2nd Upper Hons from NTU.

We tend to have an extremely simplistic impression   of the Central Provident Fund (CPF). Ask most Singaporeans, and they will tell you that it is money taken from your income in preparation for your retirement.

However, such a description is too brief. CPF is a comprehensive social security system that enables working locals to set aside funds for retirement, while addressing healthcare, home ownership, family protection and asset enhancement.

CPF Board is the perfect place for Heng Yiwen, a lady whose love for numbers led her to a Bachelor of Business in Actuarial Science from NTU. Her work as a Senior Manager, Service and Learning Excellence department is to ensure quality customer service using data science, with her actuarial knowledge leading the way.

Maths for the Public Good

Most of us would have struggled grasping the key concepts during math classes, especially when it came to complex topics like algebra and calculus, but that was not the case for Yiwen.

"It was love at first sight!" she exclaimed. "Math was the most intuitive to me compared to other subjects back in school, and this fuelled my passion for the subject and numbers in general."

"Thus, when I was asked to pick a specialisation in University, I naturally leaned to 'math-heavy' Actuarial Science. Furthermore, I had heard then that Actuarial Science was difficult to study, and I was always up for a challenge!"

While it was tough, Yiwen overcame the challenges, got her degree, and began looking for a place to apply her mathematical mind.

An email blast promoting opportunities in CPF Board, received during her final year of study, showed her the way.

"I applied to CPF Board as I wanted to work in the Public Service, and CPF Board is one of the few public agencies that could possibly have a use for my actuarial expertise, since CPF Board implements various national insurance schemes," she elaborated. "Hence, I decided to just go for it and accepted the offer."

Heng Yiwen

Heng Yiwen

Perfect Career Alignment at CPF Board

At CPF, Yiwen has found work with numbers that not only resonates with her passion, but helps the nation as well.

"My main responsibility currently is to make use of data to ensure quality customer service," she summarised. "Good customer service ensures that Singaporeans can obtain the relevant information or take the necessary actions that they need to plan for their retirement, healthcare and housing needs."

Unsurprisingly, number-crunching is integral to achieving this target. After all, identifying service gaps or areas for improvement relies on interpreting numerous customer satisfaction survey datasets. Such trends then undergo further examination to determine their root causes from which solutions are formulated. Finally, statistical models chart the effectiveness of these solutions and lay the groundwork for further analysis if needed.

Delayed Returns; Full Fulfilment

Yiwen is so enthusiastic about her work, it is hard to believe that CPF Board was her first exposure to data analytics.

"Finding meaningful and interesting insights or trends through data analytics or research, especially those that were not already known to or expected by us – it is not every day that we come across such insights and it feels like hitting a jackpot when this happens!" she smiled.

Integrally, Yiwen is not the only winner in this equation. CPF Board has also gained a talented trailblazer fully committed to its mission.

The 25-year-old has brought valuable enthusiasm, commitment and experience to the organisation, and is set to contribute still more.

She recalled a previous stint in CPF's policy department overseeing CPF LIFE, the national longevity insurance annuity scheme. As the project required her team to collaborate with the Board's appointed actuarial consultants, her actuarial knowledge allowed her serve as a bridge between the consultants and her colleagues who were unfamiliar with the subject.

"If you have the heart for public service and would like to work in a public agency close to the ground - we impact every single citizen in Singapore – CPF Board is the place." Heng Yiwen

Invest in your Future with CPF

As Yiwen's story shows, CPF does not only provide monetary support for your retirement, housing or educational needs – it offers a desirable career path as an employer as well.

In the Board, there are always opportunities for staff to explore new job scopes given their wide range of roles and schemes. Staff also enjoy a warm, friendly and helpful work culture, where everyone is encouraged to speak their mind and strive to improve together.

On that last note, Yiwen also introduced us to CPF Strategic Issues Teams that look at specific issues or explore new ideas. "These teams are open to all staff to join and they give us the opportunity to work on a project outside of our daily role and work with colleagues from different departments, and great chance to network and make friends."

There are many job opportunities, many friends to be made, and many ways to make a difference at CPF Board, concluded Yiwen.

"If you have the heart for public service and would like to work in a public agency close to the ground - we impact every single citizen in Singapore – CPF Board is the place."