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Excerpted from the Peru Career Guide

Cost of Living

General living costs in Peru are average in comparison to other Latin American countries, but they are lower than those found in North America or Western Europe. Lima, Peru’s capital, and Cusco are among the most expensive urban areas in the country. Peru’s inflation is about 3 percent, and the country’s central bank forecasts a 2 percent inflation rate currently.

Housing

Typically people live in apartments in the larger cities, and Peru offers many housing options for expatriates. The housing sector is growing quickly, so it is easier to find a place in a new modern apartment building than in older colonial-style building.

Transportation

Most Peruvians travel by bus. There are dozens of intercity bus companies offering services at varying levels of comfort. Luxury buses may cost up to ten times more than the cheaper (económico) buses.

Medical Care/Health Insurance

Peru’s Ministry of Health is implementing Universal Health Coverage (Aseguramiento Universal en Salud) in an effort to address the inequality of treatment between rich and poor citizens. Free medical care is guaranteed to Peruvians who live under conditions of poverty through the Seguro Integral de Salud (Integrated Health Insurance), provided by the Ministry of Health.

Work Schedules and Holidays

Although unions have played an important role in Peruvian politics in recent decades, membership is declining as the informal labor sector grows. An eight-hour workday and a 48-hour workweek are the maximum, with a mandated weekly day of rest, usually a 45-minute lunch break and a compulsory paid annual 13-day leave.

Taxes

The tax year is from January 1 through December 31. Non-resident employees are taxed on their Peru-sourced income, while residents are taxed on their worldwide income. Individuals are considered to be residents, for tax purposes, if they remain in Peru for more than 183 days during a 12-month period.

Social Security and Pension

Social insurance and mandatory individual account systems are available to public and private sector employees in the workforce. Employees may choose between the individual account system (Sistema Privado de Pensiones or SPP, administered by the Superintendencia de Banca, Seguros y AFP; Spanish) and the public social insurance system (Sistema Nacional de Pensiones or SNP, administered by the Oficina de Normalización Previsional; Spanish).

This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete Peru Guide.



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