The UK is still the most expensive to send expats

Europe

UK: This year’s survey found that the fall in the value of sterling against the dollar had resulted in its becoming cheaper in 2017 to send expats to the UK, with the cost of a typical package for a middle manager dropping to $384,400 a year.

France is sixth in the global rankings this year. The value of a typical expatriate package for Middle Managers in France is now EUR 232 000 / USD 264 500. The cost of an expatriate package to foreign companies has fallen in France by 16% in USD terms over the past two years due to the euro declining against the dollar over this period.

Expatriate packages for Middle Managers in Germany are the lowest out of all ranked European countries. The combination of comparatively low salary, benefits and tax all contribute to Germany ranking 23rd out of the 27 locations included in ECA’s rankings. The total cost of an expatriate package for Middle Managers in Germany is EUR 177 800 / USD 202 800 – falling by 15% over the past two years, also due to the euro’s decline against the dollar.

Americas

The cost of an expatriate package has increased by 2% in the USA since our last survey, with the US rising in our rankings to eighth place. The value of a typical expatriate package for Middle Managers is now USD 257 400.

“In the US, the costliest element of the package is the benefits provision, the fifth highest in our global rankings. To incentivise employees to accept an assignment to some countries companies will often grant additional allowances on top of the base salary that aren’t necessary when sending staff to the US. In Hong Kong, for example, dangerous levels of air pollution, combined with high international school fees and accommodation costs, mean that companies have traditionally offered generous expatriate packages to attract highly sought-after talent,” said Kilfedder.

Asia Pacific

Japan is home to Asia’s most expensive expatriate packages, second only to the UK on a global scale. On average, a package for an expatriate Middle Manager there is worth USD 367 500. The total package has risen by a significant amount from last year’s total, by around 12 per cent, with the yen strengthening against the US dollar in the survey period.

Expatriate pay packages in Hong Kong have fallen to a five-year low, falling by two per cent since 2012 in USD terms. However, they are still the fifth highest in the rankings this year. The value of a typical expatriate package for Middle Managers in Hong Kong is around USD 265 500.

A total package for an expatriate Middle Manager in China is worth around USD 282 500 on average. Expatriate packages in China have declined in USD terms from last year’s totals due to the yuan weakening against the dollar over this period.

“China remains attractive for foreign companies sending expatriates here as although costs are rising in local currency they have fallen in USD terms since our previous survey,” stated Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia, ECA International.

Middle East

Countries like Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia sit near the bottom of the global rankings. Even though the highest global Middle Manager expatriate salaries are found in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as the employee pays no tax on their salaries or benefits in these countries, the total cost is low by international standards with both sitting in the cheapest six locations in the global rankings. The values of expatriate packages in these locations are USD 172 800 and USD 188 400 respectively. Qatar will cost foreign companies the least out of our ranked locations, at USD 160 200 per annum.

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