NTUC Membership: Why Pay $9 A Month?

I’ve been an NTUC member since 2013, the year I lost my job. Why do I continue paying $9 a month (or $117 a year) to retain my NTUC membership?

Why I signed up for NTUC membership

When I enrolled my son in My First Skool, being an NTUC member meant that I could get $8+ worth of Linkpoints, which offset a huge amount of the $9 a month membership fee. You can read the full story here.

How to earn money off NTUC membership in two steps?

I previously blogged about how to earn money off NTUC membership via just TWO steps here:

  • Sign up your kid with My First Skool
  • Shop at NTUC FairPrice and receive yearly dividends and rebates

ntuc membership

If you don’t receive the letter above on a yearly basis, scroll to the bottom of the article to learn how to sign up as a NTUC FairPrice member (this is a different membership from the $9 NTUC member) to get your 20 shares and yearly rebates+dividend.

If you don’t have a preschooler, or shop at NTUC FairPrice often, there is another way to one-shot-one-kill and earn back your yearly membership fees.

How to earn money off NTUC membership in one step?

Use the UTAP (Union Training Assistance Programme) which gives you $250 EVERY year to offset up to 50% unfunded course fee, for courses supported under UTAP.

If you have already used up your UTAP this year, you will get another $250 next year. By claiming the full $250 amount every year, you’re already getting back double what you paid.

*Unfunded course fee refers to the balance course fee payable after applicable government subsidy. This excludes GST, registration fees, misc. fees etc.

How to earn 4X money from NTUC membership in one step?

If you’re an NTUC member aged 40 and above, you can enjoy higher UTAP funding support up to $500 each year, capped at 50% of unfunded course fees, for courses attended between 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2022.

$500 รท $117 = 4X

How can NTUC membership help me save money?

Over the past few years, I’ve been keeping track of deals to use my NTUC card for. There are two main types of deals:

1. NTUC Membership privileges

These deals are tie-ups with various merchants only for NTUC members (follow NTUC Membership Facebook for the latest deals.)

NTUC members, even freelancers, also get priority and free advice from TADM@NTUC for salary or trade disputes.

Dollars and Sense

NTUC members can access free career courses, legal primers and other career-related resources (follow NTUC UPME Facebook for updates).

In contrast, non-members do not have priority and have to pay extra for these services.

2. NTUC social enterprise initiatives

Members can enjoy long term deals such as Foodfare‘s $2 cai png (Rice Garden at hawker centres), NTUC Value Meals (cheaper for members) and Breakfast sets.

There are also short term deals that come in the form of campaigns such as BecauseWeCare (2020 deals), Big Value Bag (2015) and Good Start Bundle. These campaigns target specific concerns at that point of time.

You can follow NTUC Enterprise Facebook for the latest initiatives.

ntuc membership

Does NTUC membership come with freebies?

There are several freebies you can tap on:

How does NTUC membership help me in my workplace?

There are mainly two types of members: ordinary and general branch.

ntuc membership

1. Ordinary branch members

You have a union in your company aka your company recognises a union. You are also part of a bargainable group of workers (means the union can represent you) i.e. you are not higher management.

There is usually a Collective Agreement (legally-binding) which spells out who and what the union can negotiate for. For example, salary ranges, annual leave, annual increment, retrenchment benefits, extra family-care leave, dispute resolution etc.

Dollars and Sense

Unions are also forming Company Tripartite Committees (CTCs) in unionised companies to push for workers to have better jobs and skills to be future-ready.

2. General branch members

You are an NTUC member, but your company does not recognise any union. You can still approach the union covering your sector for workplace advice, and get priority referral to TADM for disputes. However your union cannot represent you to talk to your company, unless the company is open to it.

Each union may have multiple groups of members within a company. Some companies, especially the big ones, may also recognise different groups of unions as there are various groups of workers within the company.

What is the difference between NTUC member, Plus! member and NTUC FairPrice member?

1. NTUC member

Sometimes referred to as NTUC union member.

Pays $9 a month ($18 in December) or $117 a year. Gets access to the benefits I’ve mentioned above. Has a silver card and can collect Linkpoints.

2. Plus! member

Means you enrol in the Plus! loyalty rewards program to collect Linkpoints.

Plus! members can choose to sign up for:

  • $9/month NTUC membership (silver card with NTUC member benefits)
  • Free: simply join the free Plus! program (black card, but means you don’t get any of the NTUC member perks)

3. NTUC FairPrice member

Note that NTUC union membership is different from NTUC FairPrice membership.

NTUC FairPrice members hold 20 FairPrice shares (worth $1 each) and can collect annual rebates and dividends.

If you are a NTUC FairPrice member, you should get the following letter every year telling you how much rebates and dividends you receive as a shareholder.

How to sign up:

  • If you are signing up as an NTUC union member, in the application form, you have an option to add on a separate NTUC FairPrice membership.
  • Alternatively, you can sign up directly as an NTUC FairPrice member here.

What other questions do you have about NTUC membership? Share in the comments below.

Featured image: NTUC

Read how I got out of my Covid-19 funk too.