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Average salaries in Singapore

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.

duluoz1
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Re: Average salaries in Singapore

Postby duluoz1 » Wed, 13 Dec 2017 9:35 am

carnifex wrote:Hi everyone,

Need a little bit of advice. So I am 3.5 years (25 years old) experienced Software developer from India currently serving my notice period in a very well known software company in Bangalore. My current take home salary in India is 23,00,000 INR per year.

I have a couple of offers in Bangalore of the range 29,00,000 INR(base pay + bonus, well-established startup) and also an offer in Singapore for about 90k SGD (base pay, no bonus, Series A startup). Which should I take up monetary wise etc?

After a lot of research, 90k SGD looks good considering I am single, but if I am thinking about the future, this amount does not even compare to my 29 LPA, IMO.

Also, I have a couple of offers from Estonia/Sweden for about 50-55k Euro, but considering the tax rates, I am not keen on it. Is that a correct decision?

Please advice.


It's very hard for others to advise you. Work out your expenses in Singapore and work out if the 90k offer is enough. There's such a vast range of living expenses here and everybody has different requirements. Do you get equity in the startup? What field is it in? Is it likely to IPO?

No idea how this compares to your 29 LPA whatever that means.

Do you prefer hot or cold weather? That'll help you decide between Nordic/Baltics and the Tropics. And it's hard to compare tax rates. Yes they are higher in northern Europe but you'll get free, great schools and medical for that, compared to expensive and dubious quality International Schools here, with a healthcare system that is ran like a business.

You need to do some more research and make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

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Re: Average salaries in Singapore

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 14 Dec 2017 3:46 pm

29 Lakh pa is around 60.7K SGD pa or around 5.1K SGD/month

SGD90K/pa is equal to roughly 42 lakh pa or 7.5K SGD/month

Not sure where the OP is getting his numbers from.

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Re: Average salaries in Singapore

Postby carnifex » Thu, 14 Dec 2017 4:47 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:29 Lakh pa is around 60.7K SGD pa or around 5.1K SGD/month

SGD90K/pa is equal to roughly 42 lakh pa or 7.5K SGD/month

Not sure where the OP is getting his numbers from.


What I meant was I have the 29 lakh pa offer in India. And I have a different offer from another startup in Singapore for 90k SGD.

Considering the cost of living is considerably low in India, but taxes are pretty high, I wanted to know which one should I take up. The offer in India is for a more senior position in a comparatively bigger company. But I am not being able to compare both the offers and judge which is the better one.

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Re: Average salaries in Singapore

Postby Wd40 » Thu, 14 Dec 2017 8:07 pm

29L PA is a lot of money in India compared to 90K in SG. A HR lady once told me roughly you must get double the amount in Singapore inorder to consider it as an on par salary. So the equivalent of 29L PA is 120K in SG and frankly I think you should get it if you really have the skills to get 29L in India. Cheers!

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Re: Average salaries in Singapore

Postby Unsub » Fri, 15 Dec 2017 4:54 am

Going to a job interview next week for a position in Asia/Pacific. The options are India, Indonesia, China and SG, the latter being the only real option for me. Swapping a global Product Manager position for a Regional Service Manager in a large multinational industrial company. I'm stepping down the organisational ladder, but bringing in huge amount of experience. Been with the company +10 years. Residing in the Nordics now with a taxable income of little under 90k SGD. Taxes are enormous here, of course. The interviewer and future boss is a German VP so he wouldn't not have much idea of the salary levels in SG. It's a new position so he wouldn't have any reference either.

Would a 10% increase to the current taxable income seem reasonable to you? That would be an huge amount of money in e.g. India as one of the options for the position, so that scares me... Only handful of other applicants for sure, and most would be locals or from other parts of Asia. Any hints?

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Re: Average salaries in Singapore

Postby Wd40 » Fri, 15 Dec 2017 3:05 pm

Unsub wrote:Going to a job interview next week for a position in Asia/Pacific. The options are India, Indonesia, China and SG, the latter being the only real option for me. Swapping a global Product Manager position for a Regional Service Manager in a large multinational industrial company. I'm stepping down the organisational ladder, but bringing in huge amount of experience. Been with the company +10 years. Residing in the Nordics now with a taxable income of little under 90k SGD. Taxes are enormous here, of course. The interviewer and future boss is a German VP so he wouldn't not have much idea of the salary levels in SG. It's a new position so he wouldn't have any reference either.

Would a 10% increase to the current taxable income seem reasonable to you? That would be an huge amount of money in e.g. India as one of the options for the position, so that scares me... Only handful of other applicants for sure, and most would be locals or from other parts of Asia. Any hints?


I don't really know what the salary for your role should be. I would suggest have a look at the various salary surveys. Singapore is low income tax, but bear in mind the cost of living can be expensive unless you can live on the cheap. 90k is not a lot of money here for foreigners. Pretty average salary for people in IT who can dabble on the keyboard.


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Re: Average salaries in Singapore

Postby flossysingapore » Sun, 17 Dec 2017 6:56 pm

What is deemed a decent salary would really depend on sector, level of seniority and position and the type of lifestyle you expect to lead.

Very few expats in Singapore have extravagant expat packages that would have been common 15+ years ago. A few may receive some sort of allowance towards housing if they are senior but it would be the exception rather than the rule.
Generally there seems to be a shift away from the big expat packages globally. There is a lot more global talent that is easy to access, and the cost of relocating an employee and paying for their accommodation, children's schooling, spousal allowance (if unemployed), etc. has become hard to justify. All the more so if companies want to be able to offer relocation/temporary assignments for retention, as well as strategic reasons. The millennials want international experience and I see a lot more less senior moves driven by the employees desire to work abroad and the company's desire to retain them.

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Re: Average salaries in Singapore

Postby flossysingapore » Sun, 17 Dec 2017 7:02 pm

carnifex wrote:Hi everyone,

Need a little bit of advice. So I am 3.5 years (25 years old) experienced Software developer from India currently serving my notice period in a very well known software company in Bangalore. My current take home salary in India is 23,00,000 INR per year.

I have a couple of offers in Bangalore of the range 29,00,000 INR(base pay + bonus, well-established startup) and also an offer in Singapore for about 90k SGD (base pay, no bonus, Series A startup). Which should I take up monetary wise etc?

After a lot of research, 90k SGD looks good considering I am single, but if I am thinking about the future, this amount does not even compare to my 29 LPA, IMO.

Also, I have a couple of offers from Estonia/Sweden for about 50-55k Euro, but considering the tax rates, I am not keen on it. Is that a correct decision?

Please advice.


If you are basing your decision only on income, thats rather sad. All the salaries quoted are decent for your age and role and the respective regions. Why not consider which opportunity fits best with your long term goals, which company values resonate most with your own, which country offers a good quality of life and chance to learn something new, etc.

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Re: Average salaries in Singapore

Postby eastbie » Thu, 21 Dec 2017 11:31 am

Hi,
I am based in central Europe. I hold PhD degree in engineering and 6 years of post PhD experience including 3 years as a postdoc in a prestigious European institute and 3 years in a renowned MNC based in Europe. Before PhD, I have a couple of years work experience as well. Additionally, I have a couple of experience and examination based professional certifications in my field.

My current salary is around Euro 75k plus about 6% for pension plan per year. We are a couple without child. We make some savings with a reasonably comfortable life and afford a car.

I am South Asian and planning to move to Singapore. I have been interviewed by an A-Star institute as a Technical Lead (not sure if its a common designation as I have heard of Scientist I and Scientist II etc. being more common). They have asked for my expected salary in email.

How much salary I should be expecting (probable range for such position)? Should I expect some allowance towards housing? Any margin for negotiation with A-Star?

Thank you in advance for your reply.

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Re: Average salaries in Singapore

Postby duluoz1 » Sat, 23 Dec 2017 8:38 am

This place you mean?

https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/A-Star ... ding=false

Salary seems to top out at around 100k per year. Range from 80k-100k sounds about right.

I doubt they'll pay anything for accommodation. You might get a pension equivalent in lieu of CPF contributions.

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Re: Average salaries in Singapore

Postby TillyWiz930 » Wed, 03 Jan 2018 3:01 pm

I'm in digital forensics/cyber security and was making in the range of $110k USD (excluding bonuses, OT, RSUs, etc.) prior to moving here. I've been in negotiations with a number of companies who have been extremely persistent in questions about my previous salary and all have insisted that I should NOT expect companies in Singapore to match my US salary (after conversion) since the SG income tax rate is so low. Is this expected behavior and/or something I simply need to accept going forward?

I understand that my net after-tax may be slightly more even with a lower (converted) base, but things are far more expensive in Singapore and I feel like companies are using the income tax rate as an unfair bargaining chip to pay me less than I deserve. Would love to hear others' experiences and any advice.

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Re: Average salaries in Singapore

Postby PNGMK » Thu, 22 Feb 2018 8:42 am

TillyWiz930 wrote:I'm in digital forensics/cyber security and was making in the range of $110k USD (excluding bonuses, OT, RSUs, etc.) prior to moving here. I've been in negotiations with a number of companies who have been extremely persistent in questions about my previous salary and all have insisted that I should NOT expect companies in Singapore to match my US salary (after conversion) since the SG income tax rate is so low. Is this expected behavior and/or something I simply need to accept going forward?

I understand that my net after-tax may be slightly more even with a lower (converted) base, but things are far more expensive in Singapore and I feel like companies are using the income tax rate as an unfair bargaining chip to pay me less than I deserve. Would love to hear others' experiences and any advice.


1. Remind people who compare US tax rates to Singapore tax rates (and expect you to go down as result) that Singapore costs of living to maintain even a slightly similar standard of living (car, house, education, eating) are FAR higher and that second you STILL have a US income tax obligation (less the Foreign Earned Income Deduction). Add in GST and the substantial number of hidden levies here and it really is not a reasonable comparison or evaluation.

2. Yes it's expected behavior from HR morons. Instead of looking for the best for a price they think they are so freaking smart using past income as a level of pay indicator. Personally I avoid companies that engage talent recruitment with that mentality. What they should be doing is saying "The range for a person who is skilled in porn star fluffing in Singapore is between 5 to 15 thousand a year. We will offer you a salary at the 66% percentile" or similar with an additional allowance to help offset the costs of living adjustments.
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Re: Average salaries in Singapore

Postby Wd40 » Thu, 22 Feb 2018 8:54 am

Come to think of it GST is a tax on spending. Personal income tax is tax on Income. So Singapore is great for people who are in the accumulation mode and US is great to spend it all away. This is off topic, though :)

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Re: Average salaries in Singapore

Postby Girl_Next_Door » Fri, 23 Feb 2018 8:37 am

TillyWiz930 wrote:I'm in digital forensics/cyber security and was making in the range of $110k USD (excluding bonuses, OT, RSUs, etc.) prior to moving here. I've been in negotiations with a number of companies who have been extremely persistent in questions about my previous salary and all have insisted that I should NOT expect companies in Singapore to match my US salary (after conversion) since the SG income tax rate is so low. Is this expected behavior and/or something I simply need to accept going forward?

I understand that my net after-tax may be slightly more even with a lower (converted) base, but things are far more expensive in Singapore and I feel like companies are using the income tax rate as an unfair bargaining chip to pay me less than I deserve. Would love to hear others' experiences and any advice.


It is not clear how many years of experience you have, to be in the range of $100k USD but there is a growing demand in this field in Singapore. If you are dealing with HR/recruiters who are representing smaller firms, they might use the above argument. Consider speaking to the big 4, they all have digital forensics/cyber security team in Singapore, so you can have a better gauge on the appropriate salary.

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Re: Average salaries in Singapore

Postby Airlift » Tue, 27 Feb 2018 12:51 am

Hi Guys I'm from Indonesia,

so I got this offered opportunity from Grab Singapore as a senior executive digital marketing, my experience here already around 5 yrs, but for the field that I'm applying my experience is 1.5 years

What's a good amount of salary do you guys reckon?

Thanks for your reply, :)


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