Expat Perks Are Not What They Once Were

Contemplating expatriate perks

Research by Astbury Marsden has revealed that many of the generous expatriate packages that were once a given element of a prerequisite of relocation overseas are rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

According to the headhunting firm, perks such as the payment of school fees, membership of a club and company car allowances for high-flying expatriates who are sent overseas are being drastically withdrawn in an attempt to reduce costs. Where previously expatriates who are posted overseas would be awarded a generous living allowance and providing with annual flights home, it is now more common for the free accommodation provided to such individual’s to be limited to just one month in a serviced apartment.

Discussing their findings, Mark O’Reilly, managing director of Astbury Marsden in Asia Pacific, said: “Demand for jobs in Singapore and Hong Kong has now started to outstrip supply, as Asia tops the wish list as the international location of choice for an increasing number of bankers.

“An absence of political pressure on bankers’ bonuses, an increasingly attractive tax regime and the distance from the eurozone crisis are making a banking career in Asia increasingly attractive.”

The 2008 financial crisis is believed to be at the heart of the cuts, with the fallout of serious economic problems throughout the world entailing that many organizations can no longer afford to offer generous expatriate relocation packages.

Discussing the findings, one expatriate banker who is based in Singapore commented: “At the time of negotiating my contract I was just happy to have a job at all. The perks were not really at the top of my list of concerns and I think many other people are in similar position.

“It’s widely accepted in my industry that perks and bonuses are not what they once were.”