News: Pay and benefits rise for expatriates in Singapore

Benefits & Rewards

Pay and benefits rise for expatriates in Singapore

The average expatriate pay package rises in Singapore, including an average salary increase of USD 4,874, according to a study by MyExpatriate Market Pay survey published by ECA International.
Pay and benefits rise for expatriates in Singapore

The overall cost of sending a mid-level expatriate to Singapore is now USD 236,258


Expatriate pay packages in Singapore rose by USD 13,163 in 2018 to a total of USD 236,258, including an average cash salary of USD 90,170. This was one of the findings of the latest MyExpatriate Market Pay survey published annually by ECA International, a provider of knowledge, information and software for the management and assignment of employees around the world.

“Expatriate pay packages in Singapore increased across the board in 2018, with salaries increasing by nearly USD 5,000 and benefits going up by USD 6,400 on average,” said Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia at ECA International. “However, with minimal increases in personal tax and extremely low tax-related costs as compared to most of the other locations in our rankings, Singapore sits at the 19th position globally.  This is good news for companies with employees currently living in Singapore, as the relatively high cash salary and benefits and low taxes result in less expense for employers when relocating staff to the country.”

Regional highlights

Hong Kong’s expatriate pay packages continued to grow in 2018, with the average package costing companies USD 276,417, including an average salary of USD 86,984. The overall expatriate pay package in Hong Kong has risen by a total of USD 7,902 since last year, with increases to salaries and benefits making up the vast majority of the rise.

Quane said: “After a slight drop in the average expatriate salary in 2017, the overall pay package in Hong Kong increased significantly in 2018. Salaries rose slightly by an average of just over USD 1,500 while benefits, including additional expenses on top of the basic salary such as school fees or transportation costs, increased by over USD 6,000.”

Meanwhile, Japan is no longer the most expensive location in the world to send expatriates, after being overtaken in the rankings by the United Kingdom (UK).

Elsewhere in Asia, the pay and benefits packages of expatriates living and working in Thailand saw a major increase, with the overall package of an average overseas worker increasing by USD 27,917 as compared to the year prior.

The pay and benefits package of an expatriate living and working in China saw a significant rebound last year, after falling in 2017. The average package is now valued at USD 310,204 – an increase of over USD 33,000. This pushes China up one place in the rankings to the third position globally.

Global highlights

Middle Eastern nations Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continue to offer the best salaries for expatriates, with the nations now offering an average of USD 96,390 and USD 93,889 to mid-level expatriates respectively.

Quane explained: “The Middle East has always offered extremely high salaries to overseas employees, and 2018 was no different. Despite the high salaries, the benefits offered in these nations are not among the highest, and had actually dropped in both locations last year, Moreover, the lack of any personal tax means that the overall package works out to be a lot lower when benefits and tax are both taken into account.”

The UK now offers the most expensive expatriate pay package, primarily due to a major jump in the value of benefits, which rose by 25%.

The average pay package in the United States (US) has dropped, but this is only due to a major decrease in personal tax requirements as salaries and benefits both increased.

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Topics: Benefits & Rewards, #GlobalPerspective

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