Singapore is 17th most expensive location to send expat workers

The expatriate pay package for mid-level workers costs around US$225,171 annually. 

Singapore is the 17th most expensive location globally to send expatriate workers, with an average expatriate pay package for a mid-level worker costing companies around US$225,171 annually, according to ECA International.

ECA International said the overall average expatriate pay packages fell US$7,284 due to lower cost of benefits and decline in salaries.

Lee Quane, regional director-Asia at ECA International, said the drop in pay packages is also partly due to the lower costs of accommodation and other benefits that are commonly provided to white-collar expatriates. He noted that employees are also taking home US$1,000 less in salary than their peers in 2019.

However, Singapore remains the fifth highest worldwide in terms of salaries of expatriates. “This means that expatriates in Singapore are more likely to be paid more compared to their peers in other locations,” the regional director 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, given the cheaper cost of employing expatriate staff,” he added.

Globally, Japan overtakes the United Kingdom as the most expensive location to send workers with the average package of $405,685, according to the ECA International’s MyExpatriate Market Pay survey.

ECA International also said that companies need to consider cash salary, benefits such as accommodation, international schools, utilities or cars, and tax in the cost of an expatriate package.

The survey involved more than 300 companies in over 160 countries and over 10,000 international assignees conducted in late 2020.

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