Singapore ranks 17th globally for expatriate pay packages

Updated: Oct 2, 2021

SINGAPORE: Singapore is currently the 17th most expensive country in the world for expatriates to work in, with an average pay package for a mid-level worker in Singapore costing their employer USD 225,171 annually, according to ECA International's MyExpatriate Market Pay survey.

The survey explained an expatriate package was calculated based on cash salary, employment benefits as well as tax.

ECA International's regional director for Asia, Lee Quane, said expatriates pay packages in Singapore had taken a hit in recent years, just like in the rest of the globe.

This drop in pay packages is partly driven by lower costs of accommodation and other benefits commonly provided to white collar expatriates, but employees themselves are also taking home approximately USD 1,000 less in cash salary than their peers (did) in 2019,” Lee said.

“Combined with its ranking as the location with the best quality of living globally, these trends serve to increase Singapore’s attractiveness to expatriates looking to move to the region, and to companies looking to establish a regional hub in the country."

Japan overtook the United Kingdom as the most expensive location, with its expatriate valued at USD 405,685.

In Southeast Asia, Malaysia saw its average expatriate pay package fall USD 2,813 in 2020 compared to in 2019. “The average mid-level expatriate in Malaysia saw a salary of US$ 71,025 in 2020, which was slightly less than the previous year," Lee said.

Thailand found itself in the same boat, witnessing one of the largest drops in expatriate pay packages last year. “Thailand dropped eight places in the rankings, and currently sits outside the top 20 most expensive locations for expatriates. Salaries for these expatriates dropped by USD 3,462 on average, and benefit costs fell by over USD 8,500,” Lee said.

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