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Singapore: Tax exemption for pensions of “not ordinarily resident” individuals

Singapore: Tax exemption for pensions

Certain employees were previously precluded from an exemption from tax of their employer’s contributions to overseas pension or provident fund under the “not ordinarily resident” (NOR) taxpayer scheme.


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With a change announced in October 2018, more “NOR taxpayers” would qualify for the tax exemption.

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) announced its change of position. The condition that the employer must not claim a corporate tax deduction (up to the NOR cap) will be considered as satisfied when:

  • The contribution is borne by a foreign company and is not charged or recharged to the Singapore employer, as no corporate tax deduction on the contribution is taken by the Singapore employer, or 
  • The employer is a tax-exempt body or representative office that is not required to file a tax return, as no corporate tax deduction on the contribution is taken by the employer

The change will enable more NOR individuals to qualify for the tax exemption in the future. The IRAS will also allow NOR individuals who did not previously claim the concession for Years of Assessment (YA) 2017 and 2018 to file a NOR application for the concession to IRAS for its review and re-assessment of tax, within four years from each respective year of assessment.


Read a November 2018 report [PDF 355 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Singapore

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