SIEU: The “Insurance” That Workers in Insurance Sector Can Depend On


If you were to work as an employee in the insurance sector, there is one “insurance” you’ve access to that isn’t offered by any insurance company.

In fact, this “insurance” doesn’t only “insure” you against negative events happening in your company. In good times, it also provides “investment” options which could grow your career and salary while you work in the insurance industry.

This “insurance” covers almost everything that affects you at work, such as:

Examples of Employment Terms and Conditions Unions Collectively Bargain For (Graphic: Dollars and Sense)

Joining the Singapore Insurance Employees’ Union (SIEU) as a union member gives you a larger voice (with 9000+ other union members) to collectively bargain employment terms and conditions in your favour.

Heartfelt letter by an SIEU member who was helped by the union (Source: SIEU)

Conversely, the absence of union membership means you could be alone when difficulties arise.

SIEU doesn’t only negotiate for better employment terms and conditions, but also works with employers to look after workers (especially mature workers) vulnerable to disruption and displacement as the world transforms due to Industry 4.0.

How do SIEU and Prudential management support the future careers of mature workers?

Siti Faridah is 57 years and faces retirement in 5 years’ time. Last year, her employer Prudential decided to scrap the retirement age.

This means Siti Faridah has a chance and choice to work beyond 62 years old if she chooses to, in line with what Labour Movement has been advocating for years.

Siti Faridah is a Prudential worker who attended the “Rethink 50: Preparing for change – Prudential” programme conducted by the Centre For Seniors (CFS) to prepare her for the future. SIEU worked with Prudential management and CFS to develop the programme for vulnerable mature workers. (Screenshot: SIEU)

However, removing the retirement age doesn’t mean Siti Faridah’s job is always secure, as the insurance industry is evolving towards Industry 4.0 and her existing skills may be obsolete soon.

There are many workers, both young and mature, in a similar situation where they urgently need to upgrade their skills, and their jobs have to be redesigned so they can continue to have good jobs.

Strong union-management partnership prepares workers work beyond 62 from Kenn Luv on Vimeo.

As the “basics” of employment terms and conditions have already been continually negotiated over since 1955 by SIEU (TEN years even before Singapore gained independence in 1965!), the next phase in SIEU-management relations is to help workers get the training and job redesign to stay relevant.

Company Training Committees vs leaving training to chance

One option that SIEU has been exploring is setting up Company Training Committees (CTCs) in unionised companies.

SIEU recently signed an MOU with 23 companies to work together on training initiatives for their staff.

Besides helping workers understand how their jobs may evolve in the next three to five years, SIEU will also work with the insurers to build on their existing training plans.

SIEU General Secretary Luke Hee said,

“Industry and workplace transformation is happening fast and furious, and workers are often at the receiving end of this.

It is not easy for workers to adapt even when they are willing to take the first step. This collective commitment is therefore a strong statement from our enlightened employers that they are sincere in transforming and not transfusing our workforce, with SIEU as a partner on this journey.

Each company has its own unique plans and directions but SIEU remains committed to work with all companies and do our part to help workers in this industry evolve along with the changes, as we have been doing so over the last 64 years.”

SIEU, as part of the wider Labour Movement network, also has resources to pull in such as:
NTUC LearningHub (its social enterprise for lifelong learning)
Centre For Seniors (a VWO founded by several NTUC leaders)
Union Training Assistance Programme or UTAP (where union members get $250 in credits every year for approved courses)

Besides helping workers stay relevant via the Company Training Committees, SIEU also holds regular industry engagement sessions to discuss how to support workers and companies in their skills upgrading and lifelong learning journey.

When times are good, insure for the bad.

This is what SIEU does for its 9000+ members, together with tripartite partners.

To learn more about what SIEU does for members, visit

(Feature photo: SIEU Exco and NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng)

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