Singapore expat packages ranked 6th most expensive in region

A view of the Singapore's central business district. Singapore is the sixth most expensive place in Asia to employ expats, a new survey has showed. -- ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
A view of the Singapore's central business district. Singapore is the sixth most expensive place in Asia to employ expats, a new survey has showed. -- ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Singapore is the sixth most expensive place in Asia to employ expats, a new survey has showed.

The overall package for those in middle management costs about US$257,000 a year on average, according to human resources and relocation consultancy ECA International's latest MyExpatriate Market Pay Survey.

The study out on Wednesday surveyed over 10,000 expats from more than 269 companies in 163 countries.

An expat's package typically consists of a cash salary, taxes, and benefits - which includes acommodation, international schools, utilities or cars, said Mr Lee Quane, regional manager of ECA.

"In Singapore, the most expensive part of the expat package is typically the benefits element: the value of these is second highest in the region after Hong Kong," said Mr Quane.

But he noted that it was in Singapore that taxes made up the smallest proportion of the entire pay package.

On top of that, the value of expat packages has increased at a faster pace in Singapore than Hong Kong over the last year, as the cost of benefits rose more quickly here, noted ECA.

But expats in Singapore were still reimbursed less than their counterparts in Hong Kong, which ranked fifth.

Japan held the top spot, with expats receiving reimbursements worth US$379,000 on average, while Australia came in second.

China topped Hong Kong and Singapore at fourth place, but India came in third as taxes accounted for half the entire package.

"The cost of living allowance is a relatively small part of the overall package," said Mr Quane."If only the cash salary and benefits were taken into account, India would fall from the third to the 11th most expensive location in the region."