• | 5:47 pm

India third most expensive to send expats amid high taxes

UK most expensive, followed by Japan, study says

India third most expensive to send expats amid high taxes
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

India remains the third most expensive country in the world to send expatriates amid high levels of personal tax, a new study by consultancy ECA International said. 

The total cost of a ‘typical package’ for an expatriate middle manager rose by 5% last year in local currency terms to ₹27,032,417 ($330,000), primarily driven by higher benefits costs, the study said.

A ‘typical package’ refers to the total compensation that includes not only base salary, but also benefits such as housing, education, cost of living adjustments, and potentially other components, depending on the company’s policy.

Benefits costs include health insurance, or increases in housing or school fees for expats, among others. This trend of increasing benefits costs is not unique to India, but has been observed in many countries worldwide, the study said.

In comparison with other Asian cities, pay packages for expat middle managers in Singapore rose 4% to $258,762, primarily due to higher rents. Hong Kong, on the other hand, saw typical expat packages decline 2% to $278,020.

Even with a decrease in actual terms, Hong Kong ascended three positions, becoming the fifth costliest location globally to deploy expatriate employees. 

Singapore secured the 16th spot on the list. 

“The surge in the cost of expatriate accommodation in Singapore is being felt by locals and expatriates alike, as reflected in the 9% increase in the cost of benefits in expatriate packages when measured in USD terms,” said Lee Quane, regional director-Asia at ECA International. “Only the fact that salaries fell by $4,000 prevented Singapore from moving up the rankings further.”

The UK maintained its position as the most expensive country, where the average expat package – encompassing salary, taxes, and benefits such as housing, global schooling, and utilities – was $441,608. Salary constituted just 18% of the overall package, the study said.

Japan, India and China followed next in the MyExpatriate Market Pay Survey global ranking.

The US jumped seven places to the ninth slot in the rankings as the dollar strengthened, with the average pay package rising to $272,770, despite a slight dip in expat salaries, the study said.

More Top Stories: