Know How Much Expats Are Earning in Singapore
Singapore/ Venture/ Careers

Here’s How Much Expats Are Earning in Singapore

Heres How Much Expats Are Earning in Singapore

Expats based in Singapore continue to pocket handsome pay compared to peers elsewhere despite a dip in the overall cost of sending employees to the Lion City.

Foreigners employed in Singapore received an average cash salary of S$119,927 in 2020, the fifth highest pay for expats across the globe, according to the latest MyExpatriate Market Pay Survey by ECA International released late in August.

“This means that expatriates in Singapore are more likely to be paid more compared to their peers in other locations,” said Lee Quane, regional director for Asia at ECA International.

“Combined with its ranking as the location with the best quality of living in the world, 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.

Meanwhile, the overall cost of employing a mid-level expat worker in the city-state declined by about S$9,800 to S$216,628, making Singapore the 17th costliest location in the world for companies to send expats to. The annual package considers three factors: the cash salary, benefits, and tax.

Pay packages in other countries

In Hong Kong, the annual pay package declined by US$5,000 to US$279,399 between 2019 and 2020 despite an average pay hike of US$265.

This reflects a wider global trend seen in other countries.

“While salaries for expatriates in Hong Kong rose by less than 1%, employers were able to benefit from lower accommodation costs, and reduce the amount of financial support provided for housing compared to previous year,” Quane said.

Japan overtook the U.K. as the most expensive location to employ foreign workers with an average expat package of US$405,685. 

Pay packages in Thailand fell by less than US$18,000, while those in Malaysia declined by US$2,813. ECA International attributed the latter to falling rental prices amid weakened demand due to the pandemic.

Taiwan bucked the trend as pay packages for expats there rose by US$10,733, driven by an increase in benefits costs to address steep local rental prices.

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