See How Much It Costs to Outsource Your Payroll Processes in Singapore

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Shell is the client of Links International.
Payoneer is one of the clients of Links International.

Smart Payroll Services in Singapore: One Solution for All Your HR & Payroll Needs

In the past, payroll processing services for multi-country companies in Asia often involved using different payroll services and solutions individually for each location due to country-specific payroll rules, diverse language requirements, and limited in-country support. Links One is designed to make managing payroll in Asia easy and effective. It is a cloud-based payroll solution that consolidates and integrates multi-country payroll management and reporting needs.

Links One harnesses the power of management for multi-country payroll. It centralises payroll data from different locations into a single dashboard for clear system reporting. Links Integration Hub helps consolidate system data from different locations by automatically formatting payroll data into a standardised form so you can easily report, compare, and evaluate.

Grow Your Business with Links' Trusted Payroll Management Services

Links provides 100% in-country payroll outsourcing management and support in Singapore. Common challenges businesses face when running payroll in Singapore and other locations around Asia is in the management of payroll matters from a remote location and/or without a specialised HR team. This is where we enter.

With over 20 years of experience in Asia HR, we service each company according to their payroll needs. Clients choose us time and time again for our expertise and experience in Singapore. Our award-winning services (from payroll system integrations to payroll processing and management) cut down on heavy paperwork and let you streamline your business operations. Benefits of outsourcing your payroll in Singapore include:

Elevate Your Role with Links HR Outsourcing Services

Want to focus on strategic functions that aid business growth and performance? Learn how Links Payroll Services assist your employees and management to deliver on company goals. Get in touch with a payroll specialist in Singapore!

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Simplify Your Regional Payroll

Have a regional operation across Asia? Partner with a reliable international payroll provider!

Links One is Asia’s leading regional HR and Payroll Dashboard Solution that caters to all your HR and payroll operations across Asia.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in Singapore Payroll

Can I do payroll myself? What should I be aware of?

If you’re willing to keep up with the latest legislation and do your own calculations, it isn’t unheard of for smaller companies or businesses with an in-house HR team to do their own payroll.

However, the downsides to processing payroll yourself is that it can be costly and takes time and resources away from your main business. There’s also an increased chance of errors, which are often followed by penalties.

Is it more expensive to outsource payroll as compared to doing it in-house?

While this will depend on the scale of your company, typically speaking, handling payroll in-house is more expensive than outsourcing payroll when taking into account direct and indirect costs of hiring resources internally to process payroll, eg, the salary of the employees, bonuses, medical insurances, computers and systems, training, licenses and maintenance, recruitment costs.

This also includes a lot of the fixed, costs including technology infrastructure and implementation (which would fall under the payroll services provider). Beyond that, hiring an in-house expert can also be costly.

What are the pros and cons of outsourcing payroll?

Cut costs and is less costly than hiring someone full-time
Eliminate manual errors or fines for missing compliance deadlines
Streamlined HR operations
Service guarantee – Accurate CPF with employees paid on time and fully compliant with local statutory requirements
Major time saver – Free up resources to drive business strategies

How does payroll outsourcing work?

Payroll outsourcing works by having a payroll service provider handle the administrative and compliance functions of paying employees.

How secure is outsourcing payroll?

Outsourced payroll is very secure, as long as you partner with a reputable company. Certifications are a good indicator of their service hygiene and guarantee. A reputable payroll outsourcing vendor will typically have ISO 27001, and SOC2 certificates.

Data privacy lays the foundation of our solution and data security is at the core of our product development.

As such, Links payroll solution is hosted on Microsoft Azure, leveraging Microsoft’s best-in-class security standards and certifications (e.g. SOC 1, SOC 2 etc.). Our payroll also has encryption at rest and in transit, VPN and SFTP secure transfer of information, ISO 27001 certification, Data Loss Prevention, Regular penetration testing and vulnerability scanning, GDPR and local privacy law compliance, IP whitelisting, CI/CD, continuous automated testing and use of Single Sign-On and Multi-Factor Authentication. Feel free to contact one of our reps for more information.

How much does it cost for payroll services?

While many factors can affect the final pricing, you can expect to pay per employee per month for payroll services with prices ranging from $9SGD to $28 SGD per employee per month, depending on your employee headcount (subject to minimum fees).

What is included in the scope of payroll services?

Payroll outsourcing is the outsourcing of your company’s core payroll operational functions to a third-party payroll service provider. A payroll service provider is responsibly for automatically processing payroll calculation, salary disbursements, leave, claims and time and attendance.

What is multi-country payroll outsourcing?

Multi-country payroll outsourcing (MCPO) or multi-country payroll services (MCPS) allows businesses to manage employee payroll operations across numerous countries.

What is CPF? Who is responsible for paying CPF contributions?

The Central Provident Fund (CPF) is a comprehensive social security system in Singapore. Both employees and employers are required to make monthly CPF contributions according to the employee’s total wages.

You can find more information at the official Central Provident Fund website:

What is the minimum salary to contribute CPF?

  • Employer and Employee do not need to contribute CPF for Employees if Employees’ total wages are $50 or under in a calendar month;
  • Only Employers need to contribute CPF when the employees’ total wages are from $50 to $500 in a calendar month;
  • Both Employers and Employees need to contribute CPF when the employees’ total wages are above $500 in a calendar month;

The Ordinary Wage (OW) Ceiling limits the amount of OW that would attract CPF contributions. The OW Ceiling is capped at $6,000 currently. For example, if an employee’s OW for a calendar month is $6,500, his CPF contribution would be computed based on an OW of $6,000; CPF contribution is not required on the remaining $500.

Does the employer pay CPF for bonuses? What payments attract CPF?

Bonuses are considered Additional Wages (AW) and are subject to CPF contributions.

Ordinary wages (OW – granted wholly and exclusively for employment in a month) AND additional wages (AW – not granted wholly and exclusively for the employment in the month) makes up an employee’s Total Wages and is subjected to CPF contributions.

CPF payable total wages include:

  • Basic wages
  • Overtime pay
  • Cash Incentives
  • Allowances (e.g. meals, transport)
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses

The following are CPF non-payable:

  • Genuine Reimbursements for business expenses* (e.g. transport claims for business meetings)
  • Termination benefits
  • Gifts in Kind

*Reimbursed amount must not exceed actual expenditure

Looking for a vendor to calculate your company’s CPF? Get in touch with one of our representatives today!

What are the factors affecting CPF contribution rates?

The following factors regarding your employee affect CPF contribution rates:

  • Citizenship – Singapore Citizen or SPR in the first and second year or from the third year of obtaining SPR status;
  • Age group; and
  • Total wages for the calendar month.

How to calculate the employer CPF contribution rate in Singapore?

CPF contributions for employees with total wages at $750 a month and above is calculated as follows:

Employee’s Age
Contribution Rates from 1 Jan 2016
(for monthly wages ≥&750 SGD)
By Employer
(% of wage)
By Employee
(% of wage)
(% of wage)
55 and below172037
Above 55 to 60131326
Above 60 to 6597.516.5
Above 657.5512.6

Have more questions about how to calculate your company’s CPF? Get in touch with one of our representatives to learn more.

What are Self-Help Group (SHG) Funds?

Self-Help Groups are set up by the individual communities in Singapore to help the underprivileged or lower-income groups in their own communities. They include the Chinese, Eurasian, Muslim and Indian communities.

The 4 SHGs Funds are as follows:

  • CDAC – Chinese Development Assistance Council Fund, administered by CDAC
  • ECF – Eurasian Community Fund, administered by the Eurasian Association (EA)
  • MBMF – Mosque Building and Mendaki Fund, administered by Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS)
  • SINDA – Singapore Indian Development Association Fund, administered by SINDA

Must I contribute to the Self-Help Group (SHG) Funds?

Employers are required to contribute to the Self-Help Group (SHG) contributions from their employees’ wages through deductions. Employees can contact the respective SHGs for more information if they do not wish to contribute.

What is Skills Development Levy (SDL)?

Employers are required to pay the levy for every employee they hire. Under the Skills Development Levy (SDL) Act, the levy is applicable to all employees, including permanent, casual, part-time, temporary or foreign employees rendering their services wholly or partly in Singapore.

The SDL is a separate levy from other payments such as the Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution or Foreign Worker Levy (FWL).

How do I calculate Skills Development Levy (SDL)?

It is mandatory for employers to contribute Skills Development Levy (SDL) for all employees* up to the first $4,500 of each employee’s total monthly remuneration** at a levy rate of 0.25% (maximum levy for each employee is $11.25). This is subject to a minimum of $2, whichever is higher.

If remuneration is paid in a foreign currency, the employer should compute the amount of SDL payable by reference to the equivalent remuneration in Singapore dollars.

The remuneration can be converted to Singapore dollars using any of the published exchange rates used by a major local bank.

After you have computed the SDL for each employee, you need to add up the total amount of SDL payable and round it down to the nearest dollar.

* Employees include full-time, casual, part-time, temporary and foreign employees rendering services wholly or partly in Singapore.

** Remuneration is any wage, salary, commission, bonus, leave pay, overtime pay, allowance (e.g. housing) and other payments in cash.

What is the Foreign Worker Levy (FWL)?

Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions are not applicable to foreign employees but employers must pay a monthly levy for Work Permit and S Pass holders via General Interbank Recurring Order (GIRO).

The foreign worker levy is used to regulate the number of foreign workers in Singapore. Regulation of the number of foreign workers within a company is defined by the Foreign Worker Quota.

Employers are required to pay the foreign worker levy starting from the day the Temporary Work Permit or Work Permit is issued, whichever is earlier. It ends when the permit is cancelled or expires.

Who should file IR21 (Tax clearance for foreign & SPR employees) in Singapore?

Employers are responsible for filing the IR21 for employees requiring a tax clearance. This applies to all work pass holders, including Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holders and non-Singapore Citizen employees who cease employment in Singapore or plan to leave Singapore for more than three months.

When should I file the IR21?

Employers must file the IR21 at least one month before the employee ceases employment in Singapore and withhold any monies due to the employee at this time.

There will be a Late Filing Fee penalty if the employer files Form IR21 late or fail to file. Employers who are late or fail to file the IR21 may even be summoned to Court.

ISO 27001 Compliant & Secure HR Outsourcing

We know information security is critical to your business. Our HR Outsourcing services are audited and certified for the ISO 27001 information security standard to give you an extra level of reassurance. For added security, we run our HR system through excess penetration testing on a secure hosting structure.

Links' HR Outsourcing services are audited and certified for the ISO 27001 information security standard.
Links International’s robust IT infrastructure, ISO 27001 compliant processes and Business Continuity Measures ensure that our clients have the highest level of information security.

Want to Grow Your Business Strategically?

Learn how to streamline your Singapore payroll operations with our HR Outsourcing and HR Payroll Services. Schedule a quick call with one of our Payroll specialists in Singapore today.


Links Rated a ‘Star Performer’ by Everest Group

Links International was rated as a ‘Star Performer’ in Everest Group’s Multi-Country Payroll (MCP) Solutions PEAK Matrix® Assessment 2022.

Highlights from the Assessment:

  • In-country service delivery in 12 locations with highly integrative and user-friendly technology
  • Delivering expert HR advice and industry best practices to Asia businesses
  • Appreciated by buyers for payroll accuracy and regulatory knowledge
  • Streamlined user experience through integration of Links One with Microsoft Teams
  • Detailed dashboard with various payroll metrics across different locations

“Links International’s emphasis on integrative technology, modern user experience, and financial wellness offerings aligns well with the evolving expectations of MCP buyers. Its strong YoY growth in the market and continued innovations, as well as investments in providing payroll insights and benchmarking, automation, and other value-added HR services, have helped it strengthen its position as a Major Contender and emerge as a Star Performer in Everest Group’s Global MCP Solutions PEAK Matrix® Assessment,”

– Priyanka Mitra, Practice Director, Everest Group.


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