Are GLCs Better Paymasters Than MNCs?


While some doctors and administrators are having a friendly debate, I would like to bring your attention to another interesting discussion.

A reader by the name “wonder” claims that his friends in GLCs earn double of what MNC employees earn.

I’m a little sceptical, so let’s do an unscientific poll.

Let’s compare the ratio of high earners in GLCs to that in MNCs.

Are you working in a GLC or an MNC? Do you make more than S$100k/yr?


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  1. “GLC, more than $100k” still at 0%?

    Come on, where are our ministers and perm secs? 1 minister = 30 staff earning $100k. No horse run. 🙂

  2. MNC people are more free to surf the web, vote and post comments compared to GLC people, which have to slog like hell to get double the pay.

  3. Kevin: Lol. That’s funny.
    It’s almost always explosive when discussions of salaries are involved.
    I’m not sure if it’s because of the growing gaps between both ends of the spectrum.

  4. Though it’s very “government linked”, strictly speaking, it’s not a “GLC” – It’s actually a statutory board under the defence ministry. Its initials start with the letter D and end with the letter A.

  5. >>

    GLC=government link company, example ST aerospace, ST electronic, ST marine, ST kinetic…etc

    DSTA is not GLC, it is a stat board under mindef.

    i work in one of the group above under ST since grad from ntu.
    i have been working for 2 years.
    my performance grading is average.
    my annual is about salary is about 53000

  6. The original question is very ambiguous, so is the poll. What is “make more than S$100K/yr”? Is it gross earning? ie. salary + all bonuses + allowances. Or is it supposed to be just salary?

    I don’t see how this poll is meaningful at all.

  7. glc2mnc, GLCs are defined as stricly government-linked profit generating companies, most of which are public listed. The following are examples of the most high profile GLCs. Singtel, Capland, SPH, SIA, Keppel, Sembcorp, ST.

    When you hear investors talk about stocks, chances are you hear GLC names bandied about.

    THOSE are GLCs.

    Stat boards are NOT companies. Stat boards are not profit generators. They are cost-generators. And they are the hands and legs, doing the operations work of the ministries.

    How you can think a GLC ‘includes’ stat boards, DSTA or otherwise, is amazing. You must be a lousy local grad.

  8. And another thing. The term Govt-linked in GLC should denote to any logical mind, that there’s a quasi-government relationship/dependence, but remains essentially non-governmental in operation (has profit & loss, public listed). Hence govt-linked corp.

    Stat boards are 100% governmental in ownership & control via its parent ministry. ALL stat boards are controlled by a parent ministry. How anyone can be confused is beyond me. Stat boards don’t generate profit, they’re given an amount of budget to expend. They may incur loss if they overspend hahha.

    How anyone can be confused between GLC and stat board is beyond me. Its like confusing Capland with Ministry of Transport, which is just plain dumb.

  9. to gosh

    please properly

    GLC=government link company, example ST aerospace, ST electronic, ST marine, ST kinetic…etc

    DSTA is not GLC, it is a stat board under mindef.

    i work in one of the group above under ST since grad from ntu.
    i have been working for 2 years.
    my performance grading is average.
    my annual is about salary is about 53000

    > did i actually say that GLC included stat boards, i stated that >

  10. low cost-low tech on

    the % looks representative of SGP’s economy, with most pple working in MNCs & the highest % getting > $100K, & the others r probably in the civil service, with most of the lower echelons getting the lower pay.

  11. I think apple to apple comparison is more appropriate. I’m a IT manager in an MNC with around 9 year of experience.

    My annual pay is around $120K (no AWS and before performance bonus).

    Would I get more in a GLC?

  12. Join GLC:

    I think you need to count in the bonus. I have the impression that GLC have good bonuses (in a good year), e.g., 6-7 months(?). In a MNC, in an support function like IT, at a managerial level, I think the bonus is max at about 3 months (excluding AWS).

    Then again MNC are more open with shares (however little they may be. A good $10K cash out after 3-4 years of service is a nice departure “bonus”).

    Also MNC itself have multiple categories. Regional staff tend to follow a more global payscale (higher pay, less bonus) and local country staff tend to follow a local payscale (lower pay, more bonus).

  13. I didn’t count in bonus because I am on a 12 month package and performance bonus is very much dependent on company performance (ranging from 0.5 to 2 month, could be nothing for very bad years) but I do have RSU allocation. I am regional staff and I do agree regional or global staff are usually better paid.

    To apple, just wanna validate if GLC really does pay up to double of MNC.

  14. Join GLC:
    The bad news for you and me is switching to another MNC probably pays the same (i.e., i am earning about that kind of ball park with almost equivalent experience in a US MNC). Darn!

    I am curious if places like PSA, SembCorp pays much better for a regional/global IT manager/director at about 9 years total experience

  15. Join GLC: wow that’s pretty good money for early thirties! with stock options and other perks, i will say stay in the MNC that you are in if you can foresee future opportunities =)

  16. just curious, are you guys Applications or Infrastructure? I always have the impression that infrastructure guys are more in demand.

  17. I’m actually both. I come from an application background but is managing infrastructure design and build now. I would say rather then one discipline to another it would be if you are higher up on the value chain => consultant, solution architects, operation manager, etc that are more in demand (as in perceive to be harder to source for).

    Perhaps the impression of applications/software people being less in demand is due to the higher supply

  18. I have 15Y experience (within the same company), GLC, making $200K (including all bonus – corporate & personal performance) as a head of department, with heavy workload & responsibilities.

    Pls advise how this compares with a major MNC.

  19. I suppose it’s quite a tough climb to reach the department head level in a GLC. Maybe only 1 in 100 makes it? For that achievement, I would say 200k is on the low side. An equivalent “1 in 100” position in the private sector definitely brings in more.

  20. Mike: My guess is that it is about the same. I don’t think it is that easy to get into those kind of positions in MNC too. Congratulations, you must have done well in your career to date.

  21. If you got into a similar position in an MNC, you will be making much more. But it’s probably “1 in 1000”.

    What I was trying to say is that: for the same “difficulty level” of getting to a particular position, you would get more in an MNC and with perhaps less responsibilities and maybe similar risks of getting laid off.

    For example, a senior business analyst in systems development division of a foreign bank also gets about 200k. His boss gets more.

  22. I think we should take out the banking industry in comparison. In most of the MNCs, including the one I am in, a business analyst at 70-80k is already very highly paid.

  23. low cost-low tech on

    banking industry is in a different class altogether.
    there are also some big differentiations in the local sgp banks & foreign banks….

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  25. Is GIC considered a GLC? I was once offered a job by them which actually pays less than the firm I am working for now.

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