SLF: $2.4b reserves?


Given the SLF’s mission and objectives – why is there a continuing need to have huge surpluses and reserves?

I refer to the article “Why Temasek bond got strong retail response” (Sunday Times, Nov 4).

It states that “Singapore Labour Foundation (bond) 3.203% (maturing) Sept 25, 2023 ($70 million)”

The Singapore Labour Foundation (SLF) was formed on 12 December 1977 as a statutory board to promote the welfare of union members and their families, and to advance the development of trade unions in Singapore.[1] The SLF provides financial support for the various educational, social, cultural and recreational activities and programmes organised by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and its affiliated unions and co-operatives. The foundation also extends help to lower-income union members, and provides club and resort facilities to meet the recreational and social needs of its members”.

Given the objectives and mission of the SLF – why is there a need to issue bonds?

For example, it had a 1.3% 8jun2017, SGD (SG6V27982549) ($60 million).

According to SLF’s Annual Report 2015 (the latest that I can find by googling) – SLF had a Surplus before income tax and contribution to Consolidated Fund of $219 million, and SLF Group had Total funds and reserves of $2.4 billion for the year ended 31 December 2015.

Given its objectives and mission, why is there a need to have such huge surpluses and reserves?

Arguably, from an ‘objectives and mission’ perspective – every dollar of surplus and reserves may be a dollar less – available to help union members and their families.

By the way, how much has SLF contributed to the Consolidated Fund since its founding in 1977?

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.