Localization -- Implications for US Expat

Moving to Singapore? Ask our regular expats in Singapore questions on relocation and their experience here. Ask about banking, employment pass, insurance, visa, work permit, citizenship or immigration issues.
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Localization -- Implications for US Expat

Post by spidernyc » Sat, 10 Mar 2007 12:02 pm

I'm keeping my eyes open for other job opportunities, some of which are under local terms. I am a US expat with an employment pass living in Singapore, and in my current position compensated in an expat package (US salary, hardship premium, housing allowance, tax equalization, US-medical insurance, home leave).

I have several questions, as I review the offers that are under local terms -- so I can make an apples to apples comparison.

1. What is the medical insurance scheme like for locals, specifically, what is a typical monthly premium for medical & dental for a single male?

2. What happens to my U.S. social security and 401K plans? Are they suspended while I work in Singapore?

3. Am I required under US law to transfer my US-based banking and investment accounts into Singapore, or can I leave them as is until my future return? I find the Singapore investment accounts have higher commissions & fees than the US-based accounts, and would prefer to conitnue operating the US accounts.

4. Am I required to contribute to CPF, and if so, what is the percentage contribution, typical return on investment, and am I eligible to claim my contributions back if I leave Singapore?

5. Am I eligible for HDB housing, or am I limited to purchase of private properties?

6. What is the typical income tax rate for a gross salary of say S$100,000 annual? Are there the same types of opportunities for itemized deducations in the Singapore tax code, as exists for US? I understand the foreign earned income exclusion for US citizens, but am trying to assess the Singapore tax.

7. Do you have recommendations for tax accountants that specialize in expat tax preparation, especially for US citizens? If you are in the same situation, do you find that it's manageable to file your own taxes, or do you strongly recommend retaining a tax accountant because of the complex laws? I'm the type of person that likes to do my own taxes, and would prefer not to retain outside help unless it's way out of my league.

Thanks in advance for your input. So many things to consider!

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