Finance minister announces S Pass, work permit levy increases

24 Mar 16



What is the change? Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s minister of finance, announced today that Singapore would increase foreign worker levies this year.

What does the change mean? The increases will affect S Pass holders in all sectors and work permit holders in the services and construction sectors.

  • Implementation time frame: July 1, 2016
  • Visas/permits affected: S Passes and work permits.
  • Who is affected: Employers, S Pass holders, work permit holders in the services and construction sectors.
  • Next Steps: Affected companies must be sure they comply with the new levies once they take effect in July.

Background: In 2015, authorities announced that scheduled levy changes would be deferred until 2016. The finance minister announced today that increases for S Pass holders and work permit holders in the services and construction sectors would take effect this year. Details on the exact amount of the increases will be provided once authorities release Annex A-3 of the 2016 budget statement.

BAL Analysis: A significant number of employers will be affected by the levy changes, but authorities did place a one-year freeze on levy increases in the marine and process sectors, citing a reduction of work permit holders in them. Those employers who are affected should plan for the pending increases.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in Singapore. For additional information, please contact

Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact