Singapore Expats

401k/retirement funds

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maspats
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401k/retirement funds

Post by maspats » Wed, 13 Apr 2011 11:09 pm

So I have the IPA letter sent to me finally (Yay!) and I now have to start going through all the relocation issues. I'm trying to figure out what's the best strategy to deal with the 401k accounts (i'm a Malaysian currently working in the US). So being under retirement age, I'm thinking to keep those pre-tax funds in US so that I wouldn't get charged the early withdrawal fees/penalty. Is this what everyone does when you guys move to Singapore?

Also, at the current low USD rate (and being hopeful that it will increase back in the future), I'm thinking of opening a USD bank account in Sg/Malaysia to keep them in USD for now. I've seen in the forum that CitiBank Global Transfer is the way to go - but do they convert the currencies to sgd once i do the online transferring? And btw I checked the website and it says there's a $10 charge for transfers out from US accounts!

Thanks for all your input.

scarbowl
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Post by scarbowl » Thu, 14 Apr 2011 8:12 am

There are no banks in Malaysia who will hold money in a 401k account - they don't exist outside of the USA. When you withdraw them from a US bank you'll need to report them as income and pay taxes. I'd suggest you just leave them there.

It's interesting you could set up a 401k as a non-citizen. I'm a little surprised but good for you.

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Strong Eagle
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Post by Strong Eagle » Thu, 14 Apr 2011 10:58 am

Were you green card in the US?

maspats
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Post by maspats » Fri, 15 Apr 2011 1:37 am

I'm not a green card holder and don't think 401k is restricted to only citizens. Otherwise I would have lost quite a sum of money from the company matching! Well having said that, I also have to pay whole bunch of taxes ( Medicare tax, Social Security tax) that basically won't do me any good unless i become a citizen/PR. So basically they went down the drain.

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