Co-operatives are established and transformed relative to the different social needs that arise through the years. Ever wondered which was NTUC’s first co-op and the social need it addressed? Is it NTUC Health, Income, or maybe even Fairprice? Let’s find out!
In the 1960s, Singapore was a developing nation with a population consisting of many low-income workers and the unemployed, threatening the development of the nation.
Understanding the challenges that Singaporeans are facing, Mr Devan Nair (former NTUC Secretary General) articulated the need for the Labour Movement to turn into a social institution to serve Singaporean workers. He also mentioned that a practical way of reducing the effect of unemployment is to introduce a system of unemployment insurance for unemployed workers to get income – not by courtesy or charity, but as of right.
Picture from NTUC Social Enterprise
This is where NTUC’s first co-op, NTUC Income, came to our rescue!
The original objectives of NTUC Income in the 1970s were:
- to promote and popularize co-operative insurance and encourage thrift, co-operation, mutual saving, and self-help among members,
- to provide policy benefits at the cheapest possible cost, subject only to sound actuarial theory and practice, and
- to promote and assist in promoting a wider Co-operative Commonwealth in Singapore in which the majority of working population would have a stake and from which they would derive concrete social and financial benefits.
So, how did NTUC Income fare over the years? Did it succeed? Here’s an infographic highlighting the co-operative’s continuous success over the years, even till now!
With the main mission of providing protection to the masses, INCOME has helped to revolutionise the insurance industry, providing insurance not only to the higher income group, but to anyone and everyone who needs it.
You can even pick up a life insurance for as little as a bowl of rice a day!
The co-operative also developed various social initiatives to assist those in need. For instance, the Silvercare Autism Scheme provides coverage for children and young persons with special needs, but are denied insurance from other insurance providers.
Picture from Campaign Brief Asia
Today, NTUC Income is the only insurance co-operative in Singapore, offering life, health, and general insurance. With the diversified portfolio and seven branches island wide, Income is one of the largest general insurers serving over two million customers. Income is also the largest motor insurer in Singapore, covering about one in four vehicles in Singapore.
The success of NTUC Income is attributed to the pragmatic alliance between co-operative principles, and the general public confidence generated by a sound management structure.
Are you insured under NTUC Income’s policies? How was your experience? Let us know in the comment box below!