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Considering relocation.

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

Linda123
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Considering relocation.

Postby Linda123 » Wed, 21 Nov 2012 4:40 am

Hi,

I stumbled on to this forum while looking for info. I am doing some research on my husband's behalf since he is still in the office at this hour. We live in West Europe. My husband works for a global consulting company that employs more than 10 000 personnel worldwide. We are looking into a job offer by the Singapore branch, it is a permanent job (one-way-ticket type of contract ?) or you can be contracted for a few years. My husband has 9 years experience, a Masters degree and a "post-Masters-certificate" (I rather not disclose which profession due to privacy reasons) There is no negotiation in the pipeline yet. At the moment, I am just looking for information to consider relocating to Singapore. From their short email exchanges, I gather that the terms are based on a local contract (although not specifically mentioned) but he will be paid the same salary (a little more than S$100 000 per annum) and some compensations. (not defined, yet)

1) I read in this forum that it may not be possible to get a comparable initial pay in your home country (after your contract in Singapore ends) if you've been away too long. I don't quite understand the rationale behind this. Can anyone please explain ?

2) We are trying for a baby for some time now. I read that pregnancy insurance in Singapore does not cover pregnancies if you haven't insured yourself 10 months before the child is born. I am afraid I can’t wait that long to get pregnant. Pre and ante natal care + going into labour in Singapore can be quite costly compared to the entire health insurance premium we pay here. What are the chances of the employer paying for costs incurred during pregnancies ? Can we ask the employer in advance to include in the contract, International School fees when our children are of school-going age, that is 7 years down the road ?

3) How difficult is it to get your child into a local school ?

4) Next to housing allowance, car allowance, annual flight tickets, 13th month bonus, same employment policies as in home country, repatriation costs, what else can you ask ? Allthough, I have to admit I have doubts if they will pay for housing and car because the conventional expat package is a thing of the past, much less if he is a mid level consultant in our home country.

5) We have a mortgage to pay in our home country. If we had to cough up mortgage back home and rent in Singapore, that would defy going to Singapore. Renting out our house is not viable nor is selling it.

6) How do you negotiate the best terms ? I heard that Chinese Singaporeans are sharp negotiators so I want my husband to be prepared for this. What should he mind ?

7) What is the working culture of Singapore like ?

Please state your views and thank you for your input.

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Re: Considering relocation.

Postby offshoreoildude » Wed, 21 Nov 2012 9:23 am

Linda123 wrote:Hi,

I stumbled on to this forum while looking for info. I am doing some research on my husband's behalf since he is still in the office at this hour. We live in West Europe. My husband works for a global consulting company that employs more than 10 000 personnel worldwide. We are looking into a job offer by the Singapore branch, it is a permanent job (one-way-ticket type of contract ?) or you can be contracted for a few years. My husband has 9 years experience, a Masters degree and a "post-Masters-certificate" (I rather not disclose which profession due to privacy reasons) There is no negotiation in the pipeline yet. At the moment, I am just looking for information to consider relocating to Singapore. From their short email exchanges, I gather that the terms are based on a local contract (although not specifically mentioned) but he will be paid the same salary (a little more than S$100 000 per annum) and some compensations. (not defined, yet)

1) I read in this forum that it may not be possible to get a comparable initial pay in your home country (after your contract in Singapore ends) if you've been away too long. I don't quite understand the rationale behind this. Can anyone please explain ?

2) We are trying for a baby for some time now. I read that pregnancy insurance in Singapore does not cover pregnancies if you haven't insured yourself 10 months before the child is born. I am afraid I can’t wait that long to get pregnant. Pre and ante natal care + going into labour in Singapore can be quite costly compared to the entire health insurance premium we pay here. What are the chances of the employer paying for costs incurred during pregnancies ? Can we ask the employer in advance to include in the contract, International School fees when our children are of school-going age, that is 7 years down the road ?

3) How difficult is it to get your child into a local school ?

4) Next to housing allowance, car allowance, annual flight tickets, 13th month bonus, same employment policies as in home country, repatriation costs, what else can you ask ? Allthough, I have to admit I have doubts if they will pay for housing and car because the conventional expat package is a thing of the past, much less if he is a mid level consultant in our home country.

5) We have a mortgage to pay in our home country. If we had to cough up mortgage back home and rent in Singapore, that would defy going to Singapore. Renting out our house is not viable nor is selling it.

6) How do you negotiate the best terms ? I heard that Chinese Singaporeans are sharp negotiators so I want my husband to be prepared for this. What should he mind ?

7) What is the working culture of Singapore like ?

Please state your views and thank you for your input.


I'm not going to answer all of these - maybe others will. The basis of your negotiation for any posting away from home should be on an equality basis. That is; you should no suffer financially - and within reason - lifestyle wise - for taking up an overseas posting. IF you do decide to take a haircut in order to get experience this is where problems begin.
Now I'm called PNGMK

Callput
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Postby Callput » Wed, 21 Nov 2012 10:08 pm

Regarding your 1st question, it is true only for expats who come here with a big bump up in Salary, for eg if they are offered double of what they make at home, obviously when they go back home they cant expect to be paid the double. In your case you are not getting an expat package its very local, so its not applicable to you.

Your second question again, your package is local so unless it has been specified right at the beginning, your employer is not likely to pay any of those expenses.


3rd question) Not difficult especially if it is far from your home and not a top tier school.

4th question) Irrelevant question, because housing and kids education are the deal makers or breakers.

5th question) You would be crazy to make a move here in that case, unless you are offered like 200k PA

6th question) Its about how badly you want it.

7th question) Cant generalize, especially since you are not telling the industry

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Re: Considering relocation.

Postby JR8 » Wed, 21 Nov 2012 11:46 pm

Linda123 wrote:
1) I read in this forum that it may not be possible to get a comparable initial pay in your home country (after your contract in Singapore ends) if you've been away too long. I don't quite understand the rationale behind this. Can anyone please explain ?

In my experience you get a hike in grade ('rank') and salary to move overseas, and when you return home you maintain the grade, and it is likely that your salary will be adjusted back downwards towards your home country value.


2) We are trying for a baby for some time now. I read that pregnancy insurance in Singapore does not cover pregnancies if you haven't insured yourself 10 months before the child is born. I am afraid I can’t wait that long to get pregnant. Pre and ante natal care + going into labour in Singapore can be quite costly compared to the entire health insurance premium we pay here. What are the chances of the employer paying for costs incurred during pregnancies ? Can we ask the employer in advance to include in the contract, International School fees when our children are of school-going age, that is 7 years down the road ?

3) How difficult is it to get your child into a local school ?

4) Next to housing allowance, car allowance, annual flight tickets, 13th month bonus, same employment policies as in home country, repatriation costs, what else can you ask ? Allthough, I have to admit I have doubts if they will pay for housing and car because the conventional expat package is a thing of the past, much less if he is a mid level consultant in our home country.

5) We have a mortgage to pay in our home country. If we had to cough up mortgage back home and rent in Singapore, that would defy going to Singapore. Renting out our house is not viable nor is selling it.

Renting out is not an option? What do you intend to do, leave it standing empty? On the one hand I can understand not finding it ideal someone else in 'your' home, on the other that emotional attachment comes with one heck of a price!



6) How do you negotiate the best terms ? I heard that Chinese Singaporeans are sharp negotiators so I want my husband to be prepared for this. What should he mind ?

You could also say that they are easy to 'play'. Just let them believe that they have won.


7) What is the working culture of Singapore like ?

Unfortunately that is too 'how long is a piece of string?' to give an answer to. Like asking 'What is British working culture like?'. If you are more specific about industry, role, seniority level etc., then there is more chance someone might be able to reply.

Please state your views and thank you for your input.

[/quote]"

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Postby Linda123 » Thu, 22 Nov 2012 12:50 am

Thank you for your inputs.

I misunderstood that posters meaning at the other thread when I asked (at this thread) why it is difficult to get a comparable pay when you return to your home country. I was questioning the disparity of one's salary before migration and the salary after returning to one's home country (taking inflation and career growth into account)

There are tenancy law, tenants are very protected on contrary to landlords. Renting out is not 'viable' because there is always a risk renting out your house, more so if you are not around. I would like to have our accommodation expenses compensated in Singapore to even consider making the move. A local contract doesn't look very appealing.

Do you guys get a huge mark up in your salaries when making the move ? How did you negotiate your deals ? I know every case is unique, please bear with me for asking. I read somewhere in this forum that white collar Singaporeans are catching up in salaries with their European counterparts. Is that correct ?

Well, it's the financial industry. I can't comment much on seniority level except to say that he is mid level in our home country. The position in Singapore wouldn't be a permanent one if they could easily fill that up locally.

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 22 Nov 2012 2:15 am

Linda123 wrote:Thank you for your inputs.


And what nationality are you?

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Postby Callput » Thu, 22 Nov 2012 4:39 am

Linda123 wrote:Do you guys get a huge mark up in your salaries when making the move ? How did you negotiate your deals ? I know every case is unique, please bear with me for asking. I read somewhere in this forum that white collar Singaporeans are catching up in salaries with their European counterparts. Is that correct ?


There isnt much markup in the present days, but thats not the point. Most expats who come here and are able to enjoy a good lifestyle are those that are quite high up in the career ladder(and paid well) or they are single.

With 100k PA and a family, you will struggle. Thats a salary good enough for a bachelor European.

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Postby Linda123 » Thu, 22 Nov 2012 4:36 pm

Nationality? One of the European nationalities. Could be the same as Napoleon's, Dali's or even James Bond's......nah. Not from an Anglo-Saxen country, that's for sure.

I do get that 100 K per annum for a family won't be enough. We would not be able to live on equal footings with that amount.

I get that certain topics are sensitive here. I will look elsewhere. Thanks anyway.

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Postby Callput » Thu, 22 Nov 2012 5:03 pm

Good Luck!

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Postby offshoreoildude » Thu, 22 Nov 2012 5:22 pm

Lots of Eastern Europeans moving out here now. I've yet to meet a Russian or Ukrainian here that is in a clean business though. They all seem to have dubious business associates as well. (no offense to OP - just something she said made me remember).
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Postby noskich » Mon, 26 Nov 2012 1:47 pm

Linda123 wrote:I get that certain topics are sensitive here. I will look elsewhere. Thanks anyway.


I don`t like your attitude, no offence...
You came here for advice, thus for (free) help which you intentionally made difficult in the first place by limiting the information available for assessment.
Then after getting it you say you already knew that and unhappy with the answers are looking elsewhere.
Good luck with finding it, you are going to need it.

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Postby Linda123 » Mon, 26 Nov 2012 6:47 pm

You've got some serious comprehension issues. It goes without saying S$100 K per annum isn't a lot considering rental price, school fees and medical insurance in Singapore. When it is mentioned that expats get a bump in their salaries, the next question would be on how they do it.-"I get that certain topics are sensitive here. I will look elsewhere. Thanks anyway." is referred to the hint I got that members here are hesitant about telling their negotiation experiences, so I won't press on.

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Postby noskich » Tue, 27 Nov 2012 8:30 am

Linda123 wrote:You've got some serious comprehension issues. It goes without saying S$100 K per annum isn't a lot considering rental price, school fees and medical insurance in Singapore. When it is mentioned that expats get a bump in their salaries, the next question would be on how they do it.-"I get that certain topics are sensitive here. I will look elsewhere. Thanks anyway." is referred to the hint I got that members here are hesitant about telling their negotiation experiences, so I won't press on.


Well, my impression is that offshoreoildude and Callput answered that question already. You are obviously being offered a local package which makes sense for a mid-career consultant transfer. Thus, in those circumstances there is no way for you to bump it up.
Consulting companies make money by getting a fat margin from the client on top of what the consultant is being paid.
Better package is much more likely to be offered for an internal position.
Just my 2 cents.

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Postby offshoreoildude » Tue, 27 Nov 2012 8:47 am

Linda123 wrote:You've got some serious comprehension issues. It goes without saying S$100 K per annum isn't a lot considering rental price, school fees and medical insurance in Singapore. When it is mentioned that expats get a bump in their salaries, the next question would be on how they do it.-"I get that certain topics are sensitive here. I will look elsewhere. Thanks anyway." is referred to the hint I got that members here are hesitant about telling their negotiation experiences, so I won't press on.


+1
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Postby Callput » Tue, 27 Nov 2012 6:29 pm

Linda123 wrote:You've got some serious comprehension issues. It goes without saying S$100 K per annum isn't a lot considering rental price, school fees and medical insurance in Singapore. When it is mentioned that expats get a bump in their salaries, the next question would be on how they do it.-"I get that certain topics are sensitive here. I will look elsewhere. Thanks anyway." is referred to the hint I got that members here are hesitant about telling their negotiation experiences, so I won't press on.


Ok. To tell you my negotiation experience. I was offered 5.8k a month. I rejected. They came back and offered 6k a month. I rejected. I kept asking for 7k a month and finally we met mid way at 6.5k. That was 3.5 yrs ago and now I have got a decent hike so i am doing good.

But point here is, negotiation is about taking calculated risk while rejecting and that depends on how badly you want the job vs how badly they want you. It's tough for either party to gauge the other parties interest, its about guess work and taking chances which can backfire. So back to the point of how badly you want it. Knowing the market and finding out how the salaries are helps in the negotiation process.

What doesn't help is having this entitlement complex that because you come from another country you deserve this bump up and believing that there is some secret way to convince this to the recruiter. That ain't gonna work.


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