Job Offer Consideration - Advise Pls !!

Hello Members,

I am new to this forum and it is my very first post. I am glad to see very active conversations happening on this forum and hoping to get some advice from experienced residents on my query about relocating to Belgium.

I am currently a resident of Singapore working here as Data Manager in Silicon Photonics domain (Semiconductor Domain). I am married with No kids and both of us are working in Singapore. Recently i have received an Offer of Employment from Imec, Lueven for a post of R&D scientist (I am not sure if this position is apt for person like me with 10+ year of experience) - If anyone working in Imec can comment on this.

The initial Offer they made consist of the Following,
1. Gross Salary of 5000 Euro (13.92 Months in Total)
2. Daily Meal Allowance of 7 Euro
3. Internet Allowance of 20 Euro /Month
4. Bike leasing option with 80% sacrifice from Monthly salary - 20% paid by Company
5. Fully covered Medical Insurance (Me + Spouse)

Expat Benefits:
1. One Month Rental fully paid for the First month to find accommodation
2. Full shipping logistics paid for relocation
3. Air Tickets for both Me & Spouse

Now to start with, Is this considered a good offer to begin with ? I am earning around 100k Euro per Year After Taxation here in Singapore. Of course, i cannot compare between the two because of different Taxation Policy and Living Standard. But I was told my taxation will be much lower because of Expat Status and qualifies as 'Researcher'.

1. What is a good NETT salary for a Family of Two to live comfortably in Lueven. I assume my taxation to be around 30-35% under expat regime ?

2. What are the very common Extra benefits which i can ask the company other than Monthly Pay . I assume what they offered now is very basic and generally offered to any expat candidate.

3. Any suggestion if making this relocation is wise decision ? As, my wife will loose her income in Singapore and she will have to look for another Job in Belgium after relocation. Imec did mention that they do help Expat Spouse on Job hunting.

Any suggestion / Information will be much appreciated. Thank you again ,


I would prefer to stay in Singapore, as your income in Singapore is a very good amount.

This is a no-brainer. If you currently earn 100k Euros/year after tax in singapore, why would you swicth for a job that pays 70k Euros/year before tax??

Stay in Singapore please with that salary!
No matter expat or not, Belgium is not a good country for the high earners. (via salary)
Officially in Belgium it is 13.92 salaries/year but do not count on 1.92 salaries. They are taxed at an arm and leg rate and you will barely get 1500k out of 5k.
You would make the taxman very happy, them getting about 4k from you every month.
In the best scenario you will be left with 40K net and your spouse will have not an easy time to find a job if not a all.
The only way I could consider the move is if they could offer freelance option:
Meaning +800euro/day.
You create your own limited company and bill them monthly via your company then it  quite interesting offer I would think.

Although I've the feeling that you'll be able to save more money in SGP, it's difficult to say because it's really a different life. (And I know pretty well SGP)

Money speaking, you'll save more in SGP for sure!
From the OCDE last report, Belgium is the most tax country in the world again and again and again... years after years... But it's also a fiscal paradise if you know what you're doing and have a good help from a tax expert if you're freelance/have your own company in SGP...

Changing to freelancer like Edigj said is definitely a viable option, but finding company that will hire you at a rate higher than 700€ is not that easy too. It depends on your domain of expertise.
You'll pay high tax too, especially as a freelance, but you'll have a lot of other advantages, but only after few months of activities/years as the bank will want to see if your company is stable enough to lend money.

Another of my feeling is that... your package is quite low, even if the salary is quite higher than most of the Belgian salary (Belgian average salary is 3780€ gross)
At some point, as a data manager in semiconductor domain, I'd say that 5k is not "that much"... but it also depends on what you're going to do in Belgium!
It also depends on how old you're... if you're 20 go ahead, if you're 30 well think a bit the good & bad, if you're 40+ well... not a good package at all IMHO

The salary is high in a Belgian point of view, no doubt, but do you get what you should? hmmmmmmmm, it depends on your skills and your added value.
And is your package good enough? Well... I'd say it's quite "limited/low" knowing what they could do.

You should at least get a car instead of a bike (if you've a driving license), unless it's your choice.
And you can also negotiate a number of flight tickets to go back home to see your family per year, maybe even have your rent paid every month!
Everything is negotiable, even if it means reducing your gross salary a bit, although I would not.
But they'll tell you that you don't know FR or NL to try reducing your salary/package, you've to show huge skill to make them really want you and accept your terms!

But, to answer your questions:
1) Your salary is way high enough to be perfectly good in Belgium (2 peoples, even with a child).
You won't go to restaurant every day, but you'll be comfortable.

2) Rent paid, company car, expense report per month (basically restaurant tva paper / fuel / parking)

3) well, I did answer it in my post :D

If you can't get a PR at Singapore, then moving to EU country is a good option in long term considering you will get PR/Nationality in next 5-6 years.

I am not sure whether your combine income is 100K euro net or your individual income is 100K euro net. The interesting question would be, how much you can save at the end of year.

Good point made by Jimsen.

If you are looking for a change due to PR then its more of a bargain between immigration and salary.
Other than that SG pay is unbeatable in you case.

Also, we don't know your wife's domain. So, you should consider it as another point. Additional knock down factor on the household salary.

Hi Guys,

Thank you all for such valuable comments and suggestion on my query.
After the latest negotiation, they have agreed to Up the Gross to 6100 Euro and the rest of the benefit stay as it is.

They have also added another clause on Pension plan which states Every year company contributes 8% of your monthly base salary (multiplied by 13.85)
to this pension capital.

I am on Employment Pass in SG and as Jimsen mentioned, this is definitely one of prime reason of me considering to move out of SG. They have made it very difficult to get PR in SG. My wife is a PR and she works in Airline Industry as Lead supervisor. So i believe she could primarily try for positions related to Public Relation & Comm / HR / Office Manager etc. Are these Job profile easy to find without knowing preferred local languages ?

From salary perspective, i understand i cannot match SG pay scale. The taxation here is much lower, but so are the social benefits. I am trying to negotiate to 7k euro at minimum for me to consider this move. I will keep you guys posted on the outcome.

Thanks to all again,

If you are looking forward to get a PR/Nationality, avoid expat regime. There are other ways to increase your net income.

Your wife will get a job in Belgium.

Jimsen wrote:

If you are looking forward to get a PR/Nationality, avoid expat regime. There are other ways to increase your net income.

Your wife will get a job in Belgium.

Hi Jimsen,
Do you have an idea how to calculate expat regime net income? During my contract negotiation, HR told me it would increase my Net but didnt know by exactly amount


I don't know exact calculation.

Hi Jimsen,

As i read, i believe with the latest change in Expat Tax regime implemented from Jan 2022, the beneficiary will automatically be considered as Belgian Resident unlike previous Non-Resident Status.

Belgian residency:
Unlike the current system, the new special tax regime provides that standard residency rules included in the Belgian income tax legislation apply. Should the concerned expatriate not be considered as a resident taxpayer under the domestic tax rules, he/she would need to provide the tax authorities with a certificate of tax residency from another country.

This residency status implies that qualifying expatriates will be taxable in Belgium on their worldwide income, but are entitled to invoke the double tax treaties concluded by Belgium.

I am still trying to Negotiate on the Benefits extras. Could you also elaborate a bit more on how to Increase NETT pay other than opting for the expat taxation ?


I said expat tax regime is not good as Govt may ask you to pay the full tax & social security amount (of all previous years) when you apply for a PR/Nationality. If your primary source of income is in Belgium, avoid expat tax regime.

Your wife can get a job at Eurocontrol.

Hi Ashesh,
I got hired recently to Imec and still waiting for my offer letter that explains salary and benefits. Iam   currently a postdoc in US. I am interested to know how much gross salary did they finally agree upon. I am quite shocked to know that they offer fairly low salary to a candidate with a decade of experience. How flexible were they during the negotiation process?

Oh pls dont compate the salary here with the U.S. its very low here but low or nearly free health care and other explains a little bit.

I thought that you researched about this before applying at IMEC :)


Hi sumir89,

actually, i am in the same step with you and i would like to know how much time you waited for the offer letter after the last interview!

Thanks for sharing the info.


Hi sumir89, actually i am at the same step, waiting for the offer letter,

would you please tell me how much time have you waiting to get the letter from the last interview!

Thanks for sharing!

kind regards!


If you can get your full package to 100K (salary / individual bonus / other perks /everything included) you could be eligible for the new tax regime which would allow your employer to pay up to 30% of your annual salary exempt of taxes. This is a HUGE benefit that could get you to where you were in Singapore. That 30% would be CPE (Costs Proper to Employer) and will get on your monthly slip as non-taxed.

HR at Imec should be familiar with that. It is called: special tax regime for impatriated taxpayers in accordance with Article 32/1 of the CIR 92 ('the Special Tax Regime'). In accordance with the Special Tax Regime, the employer may grant a flat-rate allowance of expenses to cover repetitive expenses that result directly from the placing at work or the making available in Belgium. This expense allowance will be paid 12 times per calendar year as long as the worker benefits from the Special Tax Regime.

If you are eligible this is for 5 +3 years max (8 years in total).

Depending on the industry agreements Imec has, you might also be getting eco-cheques (250 euro per year - no taxed).

Make sure they give a good health insurance. They could also give a company phone, home office cost reimbursement - several things that are solutions to avoid the highly taxed salaries in Belgium.

And a agree with one of the previous comments - a company car should be part of the package. If that is possible, go for hybrid or electric as they are low on taxes (as you would pay a benefit in kind on it).

Good luck!