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Expat Pacakge (Junior) -what should we ask for?

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

offshoreoildude
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Postby offshoreoildude » Fri, 28 Sep 2012 8:33 pm

For income tax check the tax tables on www.iras.gov.sg

Income tax rates are low and will be about 5% gross estimated at your $120,000 package.

Income tax can be paid by the company but this is treated itself as a taxable benefit.
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Postby Prune » Fri, 28 Sep 2012 8:42 pm

Thank you for your reply, zzm9980 it's very clear. :) Maybe you are in the same industry as my husband :lol:

I am not sure that the company will be willing to give us that, but we need to give an offer before they bring it down lower during the negociation process next week -.- You say that you can't see the company giving that much in allowance with such a small wage, could you give us an idea of what you think is a more realistic salary if they do give us all of the mentioned allowances? (I want house/school paid for by the company, not us, I just feel it's more secure that way) We don't want to seem unreasonable in our demands ... Thank you!

And offshoreoildude (lol) thank you for the income tax info. I am not a pro at income tax dealings so I will show it to my husband to study and let him figure that out :p

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Postby ebiburger » Fri, 28 Sep 2012 9:04 pm

$5k income, with the rest of the more expensive expenses being paid for will be good enough.


Condo: $3.5k - $6k
depends on the district the condo is located. if the condo is located nearer town, it will be more expensive and towards the $6k/mth rental for a nice condo with 2-3 bedrooms and good condo facilities

School (per kid): $2K - $3/mth for the more prestigious and well-known International Schools in Singapore

Car : This is definitely very useful and convenient for getting around Singapore.
Petrol costs will be about $50-$80 /mth depending on how much you are using the car.

Health Insurance: You may want to opt for a private Health insurance plans for each one of your family members with one of the local insurers as they will be much cheaper than health insurance from international companies. It will cost about $150-$200 / mth if you opt for local insurers and will be covered for all hospitalization costs.

Tax: The tax rate for foreigners is rather high but there are schemes to help you save on taxes. For example, if you are staying for 10 years or more, you can make use of the Supplementary Retirement Scheme(SRS) to help to reduce taxes by up to 50%. The tax rate is about 15%, so a monthly salary of $5,000 will be taxed for about $9000 a year.

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Postby Prune » Fri, 28 Sep 2012 9:35 pm

Ohh thank you ebiburger (yum) for such a detailed response!! I think we will write down almost exactly what you suggested, in the contract :)

The tax seems a bit poop but I doubt we will be staying 10 years to take advantage of the SRS that you speak of. We will try to stick that onto the company expenses too and see how they take it :p

Thank you again, your post is very helpful. :D

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Postby ebiburger » Fri, 28 Sep 2012 11:03 pm

You are welcome! Glad to be of help. Do keep us informed on what the company says. :)

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Postby thismyvoice » Fri, 28 Sep 2012 11:25 pm

For official cost of living and other general information, you can always go to this website.

http://www.contactsingapore.sg/why_sing ... of_living/

There is a cost of living calculator.

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zzm9980
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Postby zzm9980 » Sat, 29 Sep 2012 10:06 am

When it comes to the negotiation, I would prioritize housing, transportation (car and/or flights home every year), and schooling. Unless you're American, Russian, or North Korean and need to still pay income tax in your country of citizenship, don't worry about them compensating you on taxes. They're really low here.

And my comment about the compensation package was more in regards to most (not all, but most) companies/industries not paying anything beyond a straight salary unless you're in the Director/C-level range. Most of us (generalization, I don't know the actual %) just negotiate for a higher salary to compensate the costs we expect to incur. Based on what you're looking for, if you go straight salary with nothing reimbursed/covered in the contract, you shouldn't go lower than $12k/month base (pre-bonus etc) IMO.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Sat, 29 Sep 2012 7:49 pm

ebiburger wrote:$5k income, with the rest of the more expensive expenses being paid for will be good enough.

There are multiple errors in this post.

Condo: $3.5k - $6k
depends on the district the condo is located. if the condo is located nearer town, it will be more expensive and towards the $6k/mth rental for a nice condo with 2-3 bedrooms and good condo facilities

$6K is the low end for "nice" condos with 3 bedrooms. $8K is not unusual... just look at the Caribbean, as an example.

School (per kid): $2K - $3/mth for the more prestigious and well-known International Schools in Singapore

Car : This is definitely very useful and convenient for getting around Singapore.
Petrol costs will be about $50-$80 /mth depending on how much you are using the car.

These numbers are a joke. Expect to pay at least $50 in petrol per WEEK... that gets you about 20 litres of fuel. Expect to pay $1000 in road tax per year, another $1000 for insurance... this is on top of the average $6000 in COE, etc for a small car.

Health Insurance: You may want to opt for a private Health insurance plans for each one of your family members with one of the local insurers as they will be much cheaper than health insurance from international companies. It will cost about $150-$200 / mth if you opt for local insurers and will be covered for all hospitalization costs.

Local health insurance policies don't cover foreign travel, nor do they offer evacuation, etc. You can help somewhat with travel insurance from companies like AIG, but if you travel frequently, an expat package is the better choice over local.

Tax: The tax rate for foreigners is rather high but there are schemes to help you save on taxes. For example, if you are staying for 10 years or more, you can make use of the Supplementary Retirement Scheme(SRS) to help to reduce taxes by up to 50%. The tax rate is about 15%, so a monthly salary of $5,000 will be taxed for about $9000 a year.

All of this is patently incorrect. Tax rates for foreigners who stay mor than 183 days are identical to the tax rates of locals. Unless you are a PR, you cannot avail yourself of any Singapore retirement scheme.

Beware of recommendations from posters who have joined the same day.

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Postby ebiburger » Sun, 30 Sep 2012 12:36 am

Strong Eagle wrote:
ebiburger wrote:$5k income, with the rest of the more expensive expenses being paid for will be good enough.

There are multiple errors in this post.

Condo: $3.5k - $6k
depends on the district the condo is located. if the condo is located nearer town, it will be more expensive and towards the $6k/mth rental for a nice condo with 2-3 bedrooms and good condo facilities

$6K is the low end for "nice" condos with 3 bedrooms. $8K is not unusual... just look at the Caribbean, as an example.

Carribean@ Keppel Bay is in fact one of the higher end condos in sg, just like Pinnacle@Duxton. So perhaps your definition of nice condo would be superbly high? And do note that this is for a junior expat package, it wouldn't be nice asking for unreasonably high housing demands and company have to forgo the proposal or send someone else instead. There are in fact reasonably well maintained condos with good facilities within the range I quoted, if your know the local housing market well.

School (per kid): $2K - $3/mth for the more prestigious and well-known International Schools in Singapore

Car : This is definitely very useful and convenient for getting around Singapore.
Petrol costs will be about $50-$80 /mth depending on how much you are using the car.

These numbers are a joke. Expect to pay at least $50 in petrol per WEEK... that gets you about 20 litres of fuel. Expect to pay $1000 in road tax per year, another $1000 for insurance... this is on top of the average $6000 in COE, etc for a small car.

Yes, my bad, it should be per week instead. Petrol costs might have to be adjusted a little higher if you are a frequent car user. But if the car is only for daily commuting to work closeby and occasional weekend dine-outs, petrol costs would not be that high either. Note that I have also said figures vary in the last sentence.Also, for all those expenses like insurance and road tax, wouldn't you think that the company would already be covering that should they actually be generous enough to include a car inside the package? Furthermore, there is even the option of getting the car under the off-peak car scheme, if the usage was only for daily comuting to and from work and usage on weekends, subject to the timings under the scheme. This would save significantly on annual road tax and perhaps even car insurance. And besides, your facts are wrong too. In the latest COE figures released in August 2012, COE the smallest category of cars(1600 cc and below) is already about $70,000, NOT $6,000, but all this only applies if TS is buying a car in their own expense. If you actually take time to read her posts carefully, she is consulting on whether the proposal should include a car for usage in Singapore, which of course, COE will be irrelevant here since the company is paying for it.

Health Insurance: You may want to opt for a private Health insurance plans for each one of your family members with one of the local insurers as they will be much cheaper than health insurance from international companies. It will cost about $150-$200 / mth if you opt for local insurers and will be covered for all hospitalization costs.

Local health insurance policies don't cover foreign travel, nor do they offer evacuation, etc. You can help somewhat with travel insurance from companies like AIG, but if you travel frequently, an expat package is the better choice over local.

Yes, local health insurance policies are not as comprehensive as local ones but they are way cheaper. Exclusion would be prenancy costs, dental etc. This is suggested only as an alternative option to TS and the word 'may' was used. Do note that there are expats whose companies actually required them to take up local insurance health plans due to the difference in costs. Foreign travel if any, would be covered by travel insurance from the company and why would you need evacuation services when in an emergency, you should actually admit into a private hospital for A & E services. Are you trying to say the medical standards here are too low? Again, this was suggested for significant and reasonable cost-saving for TS to consider in the proposal.

Tax: The tax rate for foreigners is rather high but there are schemes to help you save on taxes. For example, if you are staying for 10 years or more, you can make use of the Supplementary Retirement Scheme(SRS) to help to reduce taxes by up to 50%. The tax rate is about 15%, so a monthly salary of $5,000 will be taxed for about $9000 a year.


All of this is patently incorrect. Tax rates for foreigners who stay mor than 183 days are identical to the tax rates of locals. Unless you are a PR, you cannot avail yourself of any Singapore retirement scheme.


Your statement is flawed too since you did not mention how the 15% came about. If you want the full tax rate for foreigners, here it is. Tax assessment period is generally around April or May. If you are employed for 60 days or less(first year), no tax. If you are here working for 61 to 182 days (first year), it will be 15% for that year. If you are working here for at least 183 days in a year(first year and subsequently) , it will be based on resident rates which will be around $3350 for the first $80,000 gross income, in fact lower than the amount of 15% used to calculate. And as a moderator, please do not serve to confuse newcomers if you cant get your facts right. Go read what the SRS is about, http://app.mof.gov.sg/supplementary_ret ... cheme.aspx , and you will know that foreigners are Eligible for it, on the conditions of joining the scheme for at least 10 years. This has been a useful tax deduction for foreigners intending to stay in the long term.


Beware of recommendations from posters who have joined the same day.
[/color]


Yes, be beware and always look around for more opinions. But not all users who joined the same day and provide advise should be regarded as giving misleading advices. Take a look at all my posts and you should know whether my advices are based on false information or actual situation in Singapore. (That is, if you are even aware of the local situation as a moderator)

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Postby offshoreoildude » Sun, 30 Sep 2012 7:41 am

IMHo a low end expat package will not include;

1 Any spare cash sufficient for SRS - heck I have trouble finding the $12,000 odd every year for mine and I'm a mid range expat.

2. A car. Maybe a 'transport allowance' of a couple hundred bucks instead but not funding for a car. A basic leased car runs at $1600 per month or so now?

3. Health insurance. I don't see it - only the local health insurance or more likely a repatriation deal if they get really sick.

I moved out here with nothing except a basic flat salary in 1992. I don't know if this can still be done though - it was hard back then and probably harder now.

The last of my self funded expat friends left two years ago - he was on $12,000 a month and couldn't do it with two kids - the school fees admittedly killed him but after the condo rent, car lease he said he would still have struggled.
Now I'm called PNGMK

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Postby zzm9980 » Sun, 30 Sep 2012 9:26 am

ebiburger wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:
ebiburger wrote:$5k income, with the rest of the more expensive expenses being paid for will be good enough.

There are multiple errors in this post.

Condo: $3.5k - $6k
depends on the district the condo is located. if the condo is located nearer town, it will be more expensive and towards the $6k/mth rental for a nice condo with 2-3 bedrooms and good condo facilities

$6K is the low end for "nice" condos with 3 bedrooms. $8K is not unusual... just look at the Caribbean, as an example.

Carribean@ Keppel Bay is in fact one of the higher end condos in sg, just like Pinnacle@Duxton. So perhaps your definition of nice condo would be superbly high? And do note that this is for a junior expat package, it wouldn't be nice asking for unreasonably high housing demands and company have to forgo the proposal or send someone else instead. There are in fact reasonably well maintained condos with good facilities within the range I quoted, if your know the local housing market well.

School (per kid): $2K - $3/mth for the more prestigious and well-known International Schools in Singapore

Car : This is definitely very useful and convenient for getting around Singapore.
Petrol costs will be about $50-$80 /mth depending on how much you are using the car.

These numbers are a joke. Expect to pay at least $50 in petrol per WEEK... that gets you about 20 litres of fuel. Expect to pay $1000 in road tax per year, another $1000 for insurance... this is on top of the average $6000 in COE, etc for a small car.

Yes, my bad, it should be per week instead. Petrol costs might have to be adjusted a little higher if you are a frequent car user. But if the car is only for daily commuting to work closeby and occasional weekend dine-outs, petrol costs would not be that high either. Note that I have also said figures vary in the last sentence.Also, for all those expenses like insurance and road tax, wouldn't you think that the company would already be covering that should they actually be generous enough to include a car inside the package? Furthermore, there is even the option of getting the car under the off-peak car scheme, if the usage was only for daily comuting to and from work and usage on weekends, subject to the timings under the scheme. This would save significantly on annual road tax and perhaps even car insurance. And besides, your facts are wrong too. In the latest COE figures released in August 2012, COE the smallest category of cars(1600 cc and below) is already about $70,000, NOT $6,000, but all this only applies if TS is buying a car in their own expense. If you actually take time to read her posts carefully, she is consulting on whether the proposal should include a car for usage in Singapore, which of course, COE will be irrelevant here since the company is paying for it.

Health Insurance: You may want to opt for a private Health insurance plans for each one of your family members with one of the local insurers as they will be much cheaper than health insurance from international companies. It will cost about $150-$200 / mth if you opt for local insurers and will be covered for all hospitalization costs.

Local health insurance policies don't cover foreign travel, nor do they offer evacuation, etc. You can help somewhat with travel insurance from companies like AIG, but if you travel frequently, an expat package is the better choice over local.

Yes, local health insurance policies are not as comprehensive as local ones but they are way cheaper. Exclusion would be prenancy costs, dental etc. This is suggested only as an alternative option to TS and the word 'may' was used. Do note that there are expats whose companies actually required them to take up local insurance health plans due to the difference in costs. Foreign travel if any, would be covered by travel insurance from the company and why would you need evacuation services when in an emergency, you should actually admit into a private hospital for A & E services. Are you trying to say the medical standards here are too low? Again, this was suggested for significant and reasonable cost-saving for TS to consider in the proposal.

Tax: The tax rate for foreigners is rather high but there are schemes to help you save on taxes. For example, if you are staying for 10 years or more, you can make use of the Supplementary Retirement Scheme(SRS) to help to reduce taxes by up to 50%. The tax rate is about 15%, so a monthly salary of $5,000 will be taxed for about $9000 a year.


All of this is patently incorrect. Tax rates for foreigners who stay mor than 183 days are identical to the tax rates of locals. Unless you are a PR, you cannot avail yourself of any Singapore retirement scheme.


Your statement is flawed too since you did not mention how the 15% came about. If you want the full tax rate for foreigners, here it is. Tax assessment period is generally around April or May. If you are employed for 60 days or less(first year), no tax. If you are here working for 61 to 182 days (first year), it will be 15% for that year. If you are working here for at least 183 days in a year(first year and subsequently) , it will be based on resident rates which will be around $3350 for the first $80,000 gross income, in fact lower than the amount of 15% used to calculate. And as a moderator, please do not serve to confuse newcomers if you cant get your facts right. Go read what the SRS is about, http://app.mof.gov.sg/supplementary_ret ... cheme.aspx , and you will know that foreigners are Eligible for it, on the conditions of joining the scheme for at least 10 years. This has been a useful tax deduction for foreigners intending to stay in the long term.


Beware of recommendations from posters who have joined the same day.
[/color]


Yes, be beware and always look around for more opinions. But not all users who joined the same day and provide advise should be regarded as giving misleading advices. Take a look at all my posts and you should know whether my advices are based on false information or actual situation in Singapore. (That is, if you are even aware of the local situation as a moderator)


Pinnacle@Duxton is an HDB, not a high end condo, not even in the same ballpark.

You're also wrong on taxes; anyone during their first year of employment who does not meet the 183 days but is working on a valid pass with a validity of atleast 183 days (pretty much everyone) will be assessed at the residents rate. And if by some chance you're not, point this out during the subsequent year's assessment and it will be adjusted.

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Postby offshoreoildude » Sun, 30 Sep 2012 10:31 am

For the OP's erudition - it's almost impossible to legally rent a HDB flat in Singapore.
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 30 Sep 2012 10:56 am

offshoreoildude wrote:For the OP's erudition - it's almost impossible to legally rent a HDB flat in Singapore.


:???: OSOD, what're you on this morning? Can I have some of it?

Sure you can rent an HDB flat in Singapore if you have a residency permit (EP,WP,SP,LTVP of more than 6 months). But you cannot rent directly "from" HDB. Only from the Owners.

offshoreoildude
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Postby offshoreoildude » Sun, 30 Sep 2012 11:21 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
offshoreoildude wrote:For the OP's erudition - it's almost impossible to legally rent a HDB flat in Singapore.


:???: OSOD, what're you on this morning? Can I have some of it?

Sure you can rent an HDB flat in Singapore if you have a residency permit (EP,WP,SP,LTVP of more than 6 months). But you cannot rent directly "from" HDB. Only from the Owners.


Sure.... but try to find one. It's almost a bidding process. I should have said that the supply of the lower cost HDB flats is at a premium.
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Postby Prune » Mon, 22 Oct 2012 9:47 pm

k, so here goes:

Preliminary contract offered by the company includes:

S$4000 basic salary per month (after tax)
S$4000 rent per month
company mobile phone contract for husband
private insurance
yearly plane ticket for family
relocation fees

So far we have said NO to this ; they have not taken into account the school fees and as many of you have mentioned above, it can be costly. If, out of the $4000 we have to pay school, transport, bills and food, it just doesn't seem viable (Of course I will get a job too, but as I mentioned earlier, I don't want to have to rely on that). My husband has shown his boss the education costs and he was surprised at how expensive it is, so I hope they will reconsider the offer...


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