How to Ask for a Pay Rise in Singapore

Learn How to Ask for a Pay Rise in Singapore! Find everything you need to know before asking for a pay increase in Singapore.
How to Ask for a Pay Rise in Singapore

How to Ask for a Pay Rise in Singapore

Data released last year shows that, by the end of 2023, salary increases in Singapore are expected to average 3.75 percent. If you’re hoping for a pay raise, don’t just sit back and wait for it. Talk to your employer about why you think you deserve one. If you’re unsure of how to ask for a pay rise in Singapore, use the tips in this guide for help. Below, you’ll learn when to ask for a pay rise, how much to ask for, and the factors that influence your chances of getting a pay rise. You’ll also see some examples of how to ask for a salary increment politely in various scenarios.

When Do I Ask for a Pay Rise in Singapore?

If you ask anyone if they want a pay raise, most people will say yes. After all, who wouldn’t want to make more money?

While everyone might want a pay rise, not everyone is in a situation in which one is justified or likely to be awarded.

How do you know if it’s a good time to ask for a raise? Here are some factors to consider before you make your request:

You’ve Worked at the Company for at Least Six Months

If you’re still brand new to the company, your chances of getting a raise are low. You haven’t had a chance to prove yourself yet.

Wait at least six months before you think about asking for a raise. That way, you’ll have some examples of how you’ve benefited the company since you joined and will be more likely to have your request considered (and potentially granted).

If you don’t get the answer you hoped for after six months, don’t give up hope. Ask when a good time would be to revisit the matter and, between now and then, focus on demonstrating your value.

The End of the Fiscal Year is Near

According to the Singapore Companies Act, the fiscal year generally starts on a company’s incorporation date and ends on the day the owner chooses. The end of a quarter — 31 March, 30 June, 30 September, or 31 December — is common. Businesses typically plan their budgets for the fiscal year and revisit them toward the end. If you know that the end is near, consider asking for a raise then. That way, your employer has time to assess the budget and make room for changes in your salary.

You’ve Gone Above and Beyond

If you’ve recently completed a big project or have a specific example of how you’ve gone above and beyond for your employer, you’re more likely to get your raise (or at least have your request considered). Wait until you have something significant that you can use as evidence during your negotiations.

Your Annual Performance Review Is Coming Up

It can also be effective to wait until your annual performance room to talk about a raise.

After your manager or boss has talked about all the things you’re doing well, bring up the idea of a salary increase. Use all the positive things they just said about you as evidence for why a raise makes sense right now.

What Is a Reasonable Increase in Salary in Singapore?

Average pay raises throughout Singapore at around 3.75 percent this year. However, that doesn’t mean everyone will get that specific raise when they ask for one (although you can use that information to help you make a case for the pay rise you want).

It’s helpful to go into a meeting about a pay rise with best-case-scenario and worst-case-scenario numbers in mind.

For example, maybe you would like a three percent raise, but you’re willing to settle for a 1.5 percent raise. Start with the highest number, and don’t settle for anything less than the lowest number.

If you’re not sure how much more money to ask for, look up the average salary for someone in your position with the same amount of experience as you. Calculate the difference in percentages and use the result as a guide during your meeting.

Which Variables Influence a Pay Rise?

Several factors influence whether you’ll get a pay rise and how much of a pay rise you’ll get. It’s not always a matter of whether you’ve done enough to deserve one.

The following are some of the most significant factors to keep in mind when you request a raise:

Company Financial Position

Your employer might want to give you a raise, but they might also be struggling with a tight budget and unable to accept your request. In situations like this, you may want to consider requesting other perks that can compensate for the lack of a salary increase (such as more flexibility with your schedule).

Employee Experience Level

The more experience you have in a particular role, the more reasons you have for being worthy of a raise.

If you just graduated from university and have only worked at the company for a few months, you don’t have much experience and, therefore, are less likely to get a raise. Conversely, someone who has over a decade of experience and has been at the company for three years is in a better position for a salary increase.

Employee Performance

Naturally, employee performance also plays a role. You have to show that you regularly go above and beyond the minimum requirements of your job.

It’s not enough to meet those requirements. You should strive to exceed expectations whenever possible if you want to boost your chances of getting a pay rise.

Employee Loyalty

Employers are often more likely to give raises to people who have been loyal to the company for a long time. The more time you’ve spent at the company, the more opportunities you’ve had to show your commitment and demonstrate why you deserve a raise.

Competitors’ Salary Changes

If the company’s competitors have recently adjusted their employees’ salaries, an employer might be more willing to consider giving raises to their team members. Otherwise, they may find that they start to lose top talent to a competitor as people chase higher salaries.

Economic Changes

The economy typically influences a company’s performance and financial well-being. If the entire country is struggling financially, the chances of an employer being able to give significant raises (or any raises at all) are slim.

Company Schedule

Some organizations offer raises annually based on factors like performance, loyalty, and cost-of-living increases. If that’s the case for your employer, they’re unlikely to give raises outside of that schedule, but they might be willing to discuss other benefits.

Top 4 Examples of How to Ask for a Pay Rise in Singapore

Let’s get into the specific ways that you can ask for a pay rise in Singapore. Here are some of the most effective ways to make your request:

1. How to Ask for an Increase in Salary in an Email

Writing a formal letter or email can be a good way to broach the subject of a pay rise. Here’s an example of how to ask for an increase in salary via email:

Dear [Manager’s name],

Thank you so much for the opportunities you’ve provided me during my time as a [job title] for [company]. Over the past three years, I’ve grown significantly as an employee, expanded my understanding of the [industry] industry, and taken on many new responsibilities, including [responsibility]. For these reasons, I want to request a salary adjustment.

My salary has remained the same since I was hired in January 2020. Since then, I have accomplished the following:

  • [Accomplishment 1]
  • [Accomplishment 2]
  • [Accomplishment 3]

Based on these accomplishments, I want to request a salary increase of 4%, which is in line with the average salary increase across the country.

If possible, I would like to meet in person to discuss my request further. Please let me know what time is best for you.


[Your name]

2. How to Ask for a Salary Increase in a Job Offer

Say you’ve recently received a job offer and are excited about the position, but there’s one problem: You think the salary is too low. In that case, you might want to ask to negotiate the salary before you accept the job.

Below is an example of how to ask for a salary increase in a job offer:

Dear [hiring manager’s name],

Thank you for offering me the position of [job title]. I’m thrilled with the opportunity to join your team!

Before formally accepting the offer, I would like to discuss my starting salary. If you’re open to negotiations, please let me know when we can meet. You can contact me directly via [email address or phone number].

Thank you in advance for your time. I hope to hear from you soon.

Kind regards,

[Your name]

3. How to Ask for a Salary Increment in an Interview

You don’t necessarily have to wait until you’ve received a job offer to ask about salary negotiations. You can also address the subject politely and professionally during the actual interview.

The following is an example of how to ask for a salary increment in an interview:

“I’ve researched the average salary for a [job title] in [location]. I’ve seen that the average range is [salary range], and based on my previous experience and skills, I believe my contributions are worth [desired salary]. Would you be willing to discuss a potential salary increase?”

4. How to Ask for a Salary Increment Politely

Remember to be polite and professional when you’re asking for a salary increase.

It can be frustrating to learn that you’re making below the market average (especially if your boss seems unwilling to make adjustments to your pay). However, if you lose your temper, you run the risk of losing your job or hurting your chances for raises in the future.

Here are some examples of how you can remain professional when discussing a salary increment:

  • Focus on the facts: Mention your research, where you got your numbers, etc.
    • Example: “I recently reviewed [website name] and saw that the average salary range for this position is [salary range].
  • Be confident but not arrogant: Explain why you think you deserve a raise, but don’t exaggerate your contributions or put others down to make yourself seem better.
    • Example: “Based on my [number of years] years of experience and skills, including [skill], I think a starting salary of [salary] is fair.”
  • Consider their point of view: Do your best to empathize with your boss and consider where they’re coming from. It’ll help you keep your composure and make reasonable arguments.
    • Example: “I understand that you might not be able to give me an answer right now. However, I hope we can arrange to discuss salary further at a later date.”
  • Have a backup plan: If you can’t get a financial raise, can you get improvements in other areas, such as changes in your benefits package?
    • Example: “If a pay rise is off the table, would you be able to discuss changes in my benefits, such as [benefits change]?”

It helps to practice your pitch for a raise before going into the meeting, too. That way, you can speak calmly and confidently, which increases your chances of getting what you want.

Try to get any agreements you and your boss (or potential boss) come to during your meeting in writing. Asking for written confirmation provides you with a paper trail that you can produce during future discussions to ensure the negotiations remain productive.

Ask for a Pay Rise in Singapore (and Get It) Today

It can be scary to ask for a pay rise in Singapore — especially if you’ve never asked for a raise before. However, don’t let your fear stop you from earning what you’re worth.

Follow the examples and tips discussed in this guide, and you’ll feel much more confident requesting a higher salary.

Are you curious about what other people are earning in positions like yours? If so, check out GrabJobs’ Singapore salary guide today.

Valentin Berard

COO at GrabJobs. Valentin leads strategic and operational activities regionally. Background in Business Development and Recruitment. Passionate about social innovation, he constantly strives to find solutions to real-world problems through harnessing smart technology. Read more: