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Software Engineer Salary Negotiation

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

Convolous
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Software Engineer Salary Negotiation

Postby Convolous » Mon, 08 Jun 2009 12:27 am

Hi,

I was recently offered a job in Singapore by a large international software company for the role of software engineer. I am very excited about the job, but I am unsure about salary which I will need to negotiate soon.

Currently in Australia I earn $4800AU (gross) a month as a graduate developer. This is on the high end of the graduate salary range for australia because I had quite a lot of success at uni. The equivalent in singapore taking into account currency difference would be S$5250 a month.

I was thinking of starting at asking for S$5000-6000, is this too high? What would be an appropiate starting point? Averages for software engineering in Singapore appear to be around S$3500, but this seems very low to me and would be a big pay cut, especially considering how expensive rent is in singapore.

My Details are:
Masters in IT
Bachelors of Software Engineering
1 yr full time experiance as graduate software developer.
3 yrs part time experiance as student software developer.
An IEEE publication and an international uni student prize (dont know if they would consider that?)

Thanks for the help!

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Postby efrew » Mon, 08 Jun 2009 2:57 pm

From my experiences regarding salary from companies in singapore is that they will at least try to offer you what you are getting net of tax. Since the tax rate in Australia is so high relative to the salary in SG, they will probably offer you a little bit less and argue that you get more take home pay.

Work that out, and that is probably your starting point. If you can get more, then great. =)

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jpatokal
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Postby jpatokal » Mon, 08 Jun 2009 3:25 pm

Never accept a salary cut, you'll have a hard time getting it back if you return to Oz. Ask for at least what you're earning now, preferably more -- it's not just take-home pay, you're also responsible for your own pension while in Singapore.
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Convolous
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Postby Convolous » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 5:32 pm

Thanks for your response guys.

They have offered me S$3800*13 months plus a variable bonus.

Using the tax calculator from http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page.aspx?id=230 and accounting for the exchange rate, I've worked this out to be almost exactly the same amount of take home money I get now.

Am I correct that as a full time worker in singapore I would be taxed as a "resident"? The IRAS website suggests I would be considered a resident after 183 days of work. With only S$1400 payable tax a year, this seems to good to be true!

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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 5:45 pm

Convolous wrote:Thanks for your response guys.

They have offered me S$3800*13 months plus a variable bonus.

Using the tax calculator from http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page.aspx?id=230 and accounting for the exchange rate, I've worked this out to be almost exactly the same amount of take home money I get now.

Am I correct that as a full time worker in singapore I would be taxed as a "resident"? The IRAS website suggests I would be considered a resident after 183 days of work. With only S$1400 payable tax a year, this seems to good to be true!


Yes, that is correct. Singapore personal tax rates are quite reasonable.

Be careful of one thing, and that is the exchange rate. In June, 2008, the Oz dollar would buy S$1.30. In December 2008 is was S$1.00. Today it is S$1.18. No one knows for sure where currencies will go but with any kind of recovery in the metals and minerals industries Australia could easily surpass where it was last June. The demand is just too great.

So, let's say a year out you go back, only the Oz $ now buys S$1.35. This is a 17/118 = a 14 percent drop in your salary vis-a-vis the Ozzie dollar. Should you again, go 'equal' you'd be significantly penalized.

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sierra2469alpha
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Postby sierra2469alpha » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 6:01 pm

Heya - I cannot emphasize Strong Eagle's point more strongly, especially if you ever need to repatriate monies BACK to Australia (superannuation, mortgage, etc.). The currency fluctuations have been both kind and unkind to us here. Please do keep this in mind.

HTH, Mr. P

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jpatokal
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Postby jpatokal » Fri, 12 Jun 2009 11:07 am

Convolous wrote:Using the tax calculator from http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page.aspx?id=230 and accounting for the exchange rate, I've worked this out to be almost exactly the same amount of take home money I get now.

Which means you're getting screwed out of your unemployment insurance, pension, and all the "non-take-home" parts of your Oz salary. Ask for more.

Am I correct that as a full time worker in singapore I would be taxed as a "resident"? The IRAS website suggests I would be considered a resident after 183 days of work. With only S$1400 payable tax a year, this seems to good to be true!

That's Singapore for you -- low taxes, low services.
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Convolous
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Postby Convolous » Mon, 15 Jun 2009 10:32 pm

Thanks for your responses guys, they have been very helpful.

I have unsuccessfully tried to negotiate my salary slightly higher.

Yes I would be losing my super, and the fluctuating exchange rates is a risk. Perhaps I am just young and naive, but I guess I'm just excited about moving to Singapore and aren't too worried about the money.

How ever I am worried how high the rent is in Singapore. As far as I can see 1-bedroom apartments go for a minimum of S$2000 a month, over half my salary! And studios seem to be almost non-existent.

Is this a correct assessment, or am just bad at searching the online real estate websites. And if so, where do professionals (as $3500 is supposedly the average salary in Singapore) live?

Thanks!

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 15 Jun 2009 11:00 pm

Convolous wrote:Is this a correct assessment, or am just bad at searching the online real estate websites. And if so, where do professionals (as $3500 is supposedly the average salary in Singapore) live?

Thanks!


They live in rented rooms. Either in a condo or more affordably in an HDB flat. (most are of Indian extraction and from India) This makes them a lot more affordable and as a large percentage do not drink and are vegans, they save lots. Others are married so both work and lastly, the locals if still single, most assuredly live at home with their parents.

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jpatokal
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Postby jpatokal » Tue, 16 Jun 2009 3:10 pm

Convolous wrote:I have unsuccessfully tried to negotiate my salary slightly higher.

In other words, you're willing to take a salary cut.

Perhaps I am just young and naive, but I guess I'm just excited about moving to Singapore and aren't too worried about the money.

So what do you hope to achieve by coming to Sg? If not immediately, will it pay off enough in the foreseeable future to make up for your salary cut? There's zero job security here and I don't see companies offering generous raises anytime soon.
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Postby trueman » Thu, 25 Jun 2009 2:30 pm

Convolous wrote:How ever I am worried how high the rent is in Singapore. As far as I can see 1-bedroom apartments go for a minimum of S$2000 a month, over half my salary! And studios seem to be almost non-existent.

Thanks!


Yes, there are studios for let , but do you really need to stay alone, you can rent a room in nice cando around 800-1200, or in a flat around 600-800.


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