Singapore Expats Forum

Pay scales & perks-Senior Research Scientist Cancer Research

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

biomarker
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Postby biomarker » Sat, 17 Mar 2012 3:54 am

Thank you again, Pengembara.

All this info will be really useful. Performance bonus salary if linked to publications, CME invites as a speaker etc sounds very attractive and attainable goal.

I was corresponding with some doctors in Singapore and one person told me that the pay of Senior Res Scientist can range from 8000 to 20,000 Sing $ or higher/month.

I agree with most of your points but my experience was Singapore has that vibrancy and a sense to strive, peruse excellence and be a epitome of professionalism ...something very similar to New York or Mumbai. From what I have heard, postdocs and technical assiatants are skilled and you can get a lot of work,experiments done with lesser, staff, shorter duration and in an infrastructure that matches anteing in Europe or North America.

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Pay scales & perks-Senior Research Scientist Cancer Rese

Postby pengembara » Sat, 17 Mar 2012 4:39 pm

Thanks, Biomarker. The salary range you mentioned of between 8k-20k seems about right. Also fully agree with you about Singapore having this vibrant energy and commitment with a talented pool of researhers at all levels. Another important difference, especially when compared to some neighbouring countries, is the largely meritocratic system rather than those based on 'affirmative action' favoring those of a certain race or religion. This has enabled Singapore to be become a regional centre of excellence. I come from the region originally and so am well aware of the culture of scientific mediocrity which exists in some neigbouring countries.

biomarker
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Postby biomarker » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 12:22 pm

I really appreciate all these responses to my earlier questions.

Based on these I have formulated some plan of action. Initial enthusiasm of moving to a great place gets quickly dampened if one realizes that you have been short changed or not received a fair deal.. especially so if pay is not uniform for the same role. So I will not do major compromises on my base salary.

One important query is NEGOTIATION.

In Singapore HR culture, is it normal to have a protracted round of negotiation, first round of multiple queries, request your demands in 2nd round, review counter offer of HR and then probably in 4th round accept the offer.

I have employed these strategies earlier successfully but it would be useful to know if the same works in Singapore.

Thanks

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Postby pengembara » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 7:31 pm

biomarker wrote:I really appreciate all these responses to my earlier questions.

Based on these I have formulated some plan of action. Initial enthusiasm of moving to a great place gets quickly dampened if one realizes that you have been short changed or not received a fair deal.. especially so if pay is not uniform for the same role. So I will not do major compromises on my base salary.

One important query is NEGOTIATION.

In Singapore HR culture, is it normal to have a protracted round of negotiation, first round of multiple queries, request your demands in 2nd round, review counter offer of HR and then probably in 4th round accept the offer.

I have employed these strategies earlier successfully but it would be useful to know if the same works in Singapore.

Thanks


The answer, at least based on my own experience, is YES. I did 3 rounds of negotiations before finally agreeing to terms, and where the starting point was 'can you match my current salary?'. But I would also think that the amount of leeway for negotiation will depend on several factors including the following: how badly they want you, the level of seniority of the position in question, and whether the position is an advertised one or one created specifically for a unique individual. Hope that makes sense.

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Postby biomarker » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 8:45 pm

Thanks once again.
Glad to know that negotiations are protracted.
Position, to the best of my knowledge, was probably created , definitely not advertised. Although level of Seniority may be midlevel, I suspect this is a niche job and my skillset looks attractive to my employer.
Will keep you posted.

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Special Payment for Foreign Staff (SPFS)

Postby biomarker » Tue, 20 Mar 2012 2:03 pm

For expats a Special Payment for Foreign Staff in lieu of Central Provident Fund that is given to SIngapore citizen and PR holders.

If I understand correctly Special Payment for Foreign Staff is capped at 5000$/month. It also includes % of performance bonus salary.

What should be the SPFS for a senior level research position - 1 months of base salary or more? Should it not be more close to 2 months base salary?

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Re: Special Payment for Foreign Staff (SPFS)

Postby ecureilx » Tue, 20 Mar 2012 2:45 pm

biomarker wrote:For expats a Special Payment for Foreign Staff in lieu of Central Provident Fund that is given to SIngapore citizen and PR holders.


There is no law that employers must hand over the employers CPF component to the employee, when the employee is non-PR/non-Citizen.

Companies can choose to add the employers contribution to your base pay or not.

You can look up some thoughts here ..

ftopic85756.html

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zzm9980
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Re: Special Payment for Foreign Staff (SPFS)

Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 20 Mar 2012 2:59 pm

biomarker wrote:For expats a Special Payment for Foreign Staff in lieu of Central Provident Fund that is given to SIngapore citizen and PR holders.

If I understand correctly Special Payment for Foreign Staff is capped at 5000$/month. It also includes % of performance bonus salary.

What should be the SPFS for a senior level research position - 1 months of base salary or more? Should it not be more close to 2 months base salary?


An employer would pay 16% of your monthly salary, max at $5k/month into CPF on your behalf. So 16% of $5k, or S$800 per month. And this assumes your employer gives you all of that. Some do, most don't, a few do something in the middle. Previous employer added $800 to my check. New employer does nothing. Both are very large US MNCs.

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Postby biomarker » Tue, 20 Mar 2012 5:29 pm

Thanks ecureilx and zzm 9980. The link was useful. But my analytical powers have gone for a toss.

At the risk of sounding dumb here goes another question:

I am being offered a SPSF of 12k. If it is 16 % capped at 5k , SPSF should translate to a max of 800*12= 9600k.

Is this correct?
In other words what is the max SPSF one can get annually?

I also understand that SPSF is fully taxable; So your base salalry+ SPSF+ bonus +health insurance will be taxed.
Is that correct?

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Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 20 Mar 2012 9:43 pm

You have to understand there is nothing official or codified called "SPSF". I never even heard the acronym until you used it. It is entirely up to the company to pay you as much or as little as you'd like; it's not a requirement for foreigners and most companies don't do it.

It is quite possible they are paying you more because it is taxable. If they were instead depositing the $9.6k into your CPF account, it would not be subject to income tax.

Base + All bonuses + "SPSF" (really just another bonus) are all taxable. Your health insurance depends. Are they providing you a flat amount to buy your own insurance? Then yes it's taxable. If not, are they putting you on a company plan? If that's the case, most of it won't be taxable, but certain niche items you claim may be. Your plan will detail it. In my plan for example, certain items of dubious medical value are reimbursable, but taxed. Gym memberships, health supplements, acupuncture, etc.

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Postby pengembara » Tue, 20 Mar 2012 11:13 pm

Like the others, this is the first time I've heard about SPSF or contribution in lieu of CPF for foreigners. I suspect that "some do, most don't" is probably true and it might be that this additional benefit is more common in the private sector? It certainly was never mentioned in my negotiations (I'm heading to a public sector institution).

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Postby biomarker » Wed, 21 Mar 2012 4:33 am

Just Google "Special Payment for Foreign Staff" & the first 4 hits give a wealth of information.

But the variables to research, understand their implications and then negotiate are mind boggling. Regardless of the outcome, this is going to be a negotiation to remember.

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zzm9980
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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 21 Mar 2012 9:43 am

The only three relevant links on the first page of Google go back to a page at NTU, a blog post talking about that same thing at NUS, and a forum post also about it.

Basically, financial institutions often pay *something* for it. They don't call it that though. Most other companies do not. Not much else to discuss really. Sounds like you're getting a lot for it since it's based on their part of CPF contributions. I'd focus negotiates elsewhere :)


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