Singapore Expats Forum

IT consulting job offer and salary negotiation

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

apollo_69
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IT consulting job offer and salary negotiation

Postby apollo_69 » Tue, 25 Aug 2009 2:49 pm

Hi there, need a bit of advice about an offer I've just had....

The offer is SGD $7.5k/month or $90k/year + medical expenses, 15 days leave and 15 sick days per year...

I'm currently working in the UK on around £47k / $112k SGD with similar benefits and 28 days leave so this seems like a bit of a step backwards (although I fully expect the £ to fall off a cliff along with the UK economy shortly, plus the tax is higher here).

Firstly I'm just curious if anyone else has any experience negotiating their offers with consulting shops, and should the opportunity arise how easy is it to move to a contract position somewhere else, once I'm over there and settled with an EP pass?

Ta :)

M
Last edited by apollo_69 on Fri, 16 Apr 2010 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 25 Aug 2009 4:29 pm

Most will tell you never to accept any less that you are currently getting. While I don't entirely disagree, often the uplift due to the extremely low taxes over here could amount to a considerable uplift by itself. This of course should be accompanied by suitable housing allowance and if there are children involved, educational expenses and transport (negotiable - as the island is extremely well equipped mass transit wise).

The ability to move to another company is limited by several things. One, of course, is your own networking abilities. Two, your EP is only good for the employer you are currently working for. Each time you change jobs, the new employer has to apply for another EP; and Three, unless, of course, you apply for a PEP while on your first position. The PEP is not tied to any employer at all, but is a one-time 5 year benefit which will allow you a considerable amount of freedom if needed and used wisely.

sms

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Postby apollo_69 » Tue, 25 Aug 2009 5:21 pm

Thanks sms that helps, so do employers typically apply for EPs for contractors or is that too much hassle? Sounds like a PEP would be the way forward for contracting in the long term but what are the pre-requisites and how difficult is it to obtain, is there a points system calculator online somewhere I can check out...? Obviously I'd like to stay with my prospective employer for a while but it's always good to have a plan B.

The $90k SGD already includes $300/month transport allowance (which seems on the low side to me?), not sure if they're expecting me to afford a car with that as I imagine I'll be doing a fair bit of travelling (potentially ASEAN not just domestic)....also no housing allowance included as they said it's a local package not expat. I will be asking for some relocation assistance though.

The tax uplift does help to offset things re take home pay, and right now the £:$ is 1:2.4 but I think in 6-12 months it will be more like 1:1.5 or less, UK is fubared in a big way and I don't want to hang around to find out just how bad...I think Singapore is one of the best positioned economies globally to handle this downturn, which I believe is going to get much worse than most people expect.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 25 Aug 2009 6:24 pm

It really doesn't matter if you are hired on contract or not. Besides, contract employment has a couple of definitions.

Definition 1 - I hire you into my company on contract. What this means is a term limited duration... maybe two years. If you need an EP, I get you one because you are an individual working for my company. With you S$7.5K you'd be a shoe in... contract ends and so does EP.

Definition 2 - You are a legal entity. I hire you as a business or pte ltd. Now, the EP is up to you which you must already have if you have a business that can contract with me.

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Postby Nath21 » Wed, 26 Aug 2009 2:36 pm

Sounds like not much difference really in wage so for me it comes down to ability to save and job experience and ability to move.

On a pure monetary basis
The biggest thing to hit you is rent and tax in both countries. So do a comparison and see what the difference is because the dollars are not a big difference salry wise. If you have a family I would say you will come off worse on that wage in Singapore without any further details because of rental and schooling costs. If your single you will probably come out better off but thats without any real details speicifc to your situation.

Can you provide more info on what size apartment you want if your bringing family etc.

On your salary at a rate of 2.4 without any extra tax changes:
UK $47kGBP x 2.4 = S$112,800 - uk tax at 2.4 $S27,168 = S$85,632
S$90,000 - sing tax S$5,700 = $84,300

So about even really but I would have thought UK rent is cheaper than Singapore rent and UK school cheaper thean Singapore school and UK food cheaper than Singapore food. So you would be worse of financially not to mention your days annual leave loss. Unless your sense of adventure outweighs your fianncial sense the numbers dont add up.

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Postby apollo_69 » Wed, 26 Aug 2009 5:38 pm

Thanks Nath, yeah the tax uplift almost evens things out....good news is I went back to them and they've improved their offer so I accepted :)

First year total salary including sign on bonus and end of year bonus is now around $110k SGD.....I'm only 25 so don't have any family or kids yet, and happy to flatshare so the rent shouldn't be too much higher than London, I don't plan to get a car either and everything else is about the same really. When the pound tanks later this year I expect the exchange rate will be 2:1 or less and with ~10% tax vs 30% in the UK my take home pay will actually be more in the long run. How did you calculate the tax rates below Nath?

Thanks again for all your help guys, will be posting a lot more round here in the future I'm sure...Singapore here we come :)

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Relocation Considerations

Postby Zimm erman » Mon, 12 Apr 2010 9:00 pm

Can anyone point me in the direction of a decent calculator (or maybe somewhere in here).

What I am trying to find out are the sort of things I need to consider when weighing up if it is worth my while relocating to Singapore.


So initial things that spring to mind:-

- Rent - I can look into this myself (aware that it is fairly expensive)
- Do I need private health insurance (if so, how much does this cost)?
- It appears that a pension is not paid into (is this typical)... so I guess I need to make an allowance for that (anyone offer any advice on how much)?
- Seems that leave allowances are smaller in Singapore (I currently get 30 days)
- Do they have public holidays in Singapore (how many)
- food and drink costs (is there really much difference between Singapore and the UK)?
- What deductions are taken from my salary.... is it just tax (and is this 10%).
- travel - I believe there is no real need for a car in Singapore (and they are expesive).

What else should I consider? Are there any other costs I need to weigh up/factor in?

Thanks

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Re: Relocation Considerations

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 12 Apr 2010 9:17 pm

Zimm erman wrote:Can anyone point me in the direction of a decent calculator (or maybe somewhere in here).

What I am trying to find out are the sort of things I need to consider when weighing up if it is worth my while relocating to Singapore.


So initial things that spring to mind:-

- Rent - I can look into this myself (aware that it is fairly expensive) Our hosts here are a good indicator.
- Do I need private health insurance (if so, how much does this cost)? I would probably be a good idea. Amounts vary with the coverage required. There are several thread here that deal with this.
- It appears that a pension is not paid into (is this typical)... so I guess I need to make an allowance for that (anyone offer any advice on how much)? Yes, you would have to make your own allowances for this - obviously the amount is something only you can deal with.
- Seems that leave allowances are smaller in Singapore (I currently get 30 days) For the most part, yes. But again, it depends on the industry and your position within the industry.
- Do they have public holidays in Singapore (how many) 11
- food and drink costs (is there really much difference between Singapore and the UK)?
- What deductions are taken from my salary.... is it just tax (and is this 10%). There are no deductions taken from your salary at all. You will get a tax bill in one lump sum after the tax filing season (ending on 15 Apr) You can pay it in a number of payments if certain conditions are met.
- travel - I believe there is no real need for a car in Singapore (and they are expesive). Everybody has their own idea on this. I sold both of my cars 18 years ago and have been using public transport ever since. Others think that riding in buses or MRT systems is beneath them.

What else should I consider? Are there any other costs I need to weigh up/factor in?

Thanks


Most of your questions have whole threads here dealing with them. Use the search function at the upper right side of this page. The one under the "profile" link.

After you have exhausted that, we will be glad to try to answer any specific questions.

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Postby Zimm erman » Tue, 13 Apr 2010 1:44 am

I appreciate that (and also conscious that you probably get newbies asking the same old stuff over and over again);

I am happy to do all the leg work myself, but was just wanting a bit of a "things to do/consider" list (so I know what I should be searching for).

Does that exist anywhere?

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Re: Relocation Considerations

Postby $Pripps » Tue, 13 Apr 2010 9:57 am

Having some time over here are some answers (opinions if u so will)

- Rent - I can look into this myself (aware that it is fairly expensive)

It all depends how you want to live but I imagine that when you come to the equator you would like to have a pool and maybe a gym so a condo apartment would be a natural choice. Prices vary, a place to get a feel for prices is to look at www.ura.gov.sg where there are lists of recent rental transactions

- Do I need private health insurance (if so, how much does this cost)?


Not sure, in my case the employer handles that. I have an allowance of 2k(3k?) SGD per year and 500SGD for dentist

- It appears that a pension is not paid into (is this typical)... so I guess I need to make an allowance for that (anyone offer any advice on how much)?


I am on a PR visa so pension is handled automatically, if you are not then you need to save yourself - can't help u there.

- Seems that leave allowances are smaller in Singapore (I currently get 30 days)


That is correct, I have 16 days in my current job, 21 days after 3 years and that would be pretty typical - if you are not on an expat package.

- Do they have public holidays in Singapore (how many)


They celebrate hindu,muslim,christian,buddhist holidays however its like one day except Chinese New Year were you may get two days off. If a holiday happens on a weekend you often get that credited as an extra leave day or a free Monday - depends on your employer.

- food and drink costs (is there really much difference between Singapore and the UK)?


If you want to eat Western food, its expensive and similar to any Western country if not a bit more pricier, if you are content with the local cuisine the cost is much lower e.g. at one place I frequently had lunch it cost for Nasi Beryani $2.30 plus $1.00 for freshly pressed orange juice. Not too bad. But if you like a decent steak you would pay 30-40 SGD for it.

- What deductions are taken from my salary.... is it just tax (and is this 10%).


That's about it AFAIK, if you are PR like me they subtract pension money into something called CPF which besides pension can be used to various other things like medical and property.

- travel - I believe there is no real need for a car in Singapore (and they are expesive).


In your case, no children no wife, taxi would probably be quite enough. It is fairly cheap to go by cab here and quite easy to get one. E.g. 15 min for 6 SGD (very rough estimate it depends on peek hours and other variables)

Buses and MRT are very good here in Singapore and cheap, so if depending on where you live you may just take the that. Personally I prefer taxi but I have had a period when I took the bus bu the commute time was 1h in one direction.

(The 300SGD per month would probably cover taxi costs if you are not living too far away).

What else should I consider? Are there any other costs I need to weigh up/factor in?


alcohol - very expensive here, especially if you go out drinking a night. If you buy a can of beer in Cold Storage (www.coldstorage.com.sg) it costs you 3-4 SGD, in a bar the same volume could costs 10+ SGD.

also electricity here is quite expensive, at least compared to my home country Sweden. So if you insist on having all your aircon units on 24x7 it may set you back quite a considerable amount 1-2k/m. Best is to learn to live without aircon or just have it on a couple of hours a day.

clothes here are relatively cheaper but the quality is also inferior, the problem is that in this climate leather and other things don't last very long (if you don't have aircon on all the time or have very sunny rooms).

i could go on, but there are probably better written accounts here on this site to look at as well.

good luck
Everybody already knows what it is, so there's not much point in saying it - Simpsons


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