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Vienna Tops Mercer’s 19th Quality Of Living Ranking

Despite increased political and financial volatility in Europe, many of its cities offer the world’s highest quality of living and remain attractive destinations for expanding business operations and sending expatriates on assignment, according to Mercer’s 19th annual Quality of Living survey. City infrastructure, ranked separately this year, plays an important role when multinationals decide where to establish locations abroad and send expatriate workers. Easy access to transportation, reliable electricity, and drinkable water are all important considerations when determining hardship allowances based on differences between a given assignee’s home and host locations. 

“Economic instability, social unrest, and growing political upheaval all add to the complex challenge multinational companies face when analysing quality of living for their expatriate workforce,” said Ilya Bonic, senior partner and president of Mercer’s Career business. “For multinationals and governments it is vital to have quality of living information that is accurate, detailed, and reliable. It not only enables these employers to compensate employees appropriately, but it also provides a planning benchmark and insights into the often-sensitive operational environment that surrounds their workforce. 

“In uncertain times, organisations that plan to establish themselves and send staff to a new location should ensure they get a complete picture of the city, including its viability as a business location and its attractiveness to key talent,” Mr Bonic added. 

Vienna occupies first place for overall quality of living for the 8th year running, with the rest of the top-ten list mostly filled by European cities: Zurich is in second place, with Munich (4), Dusseldorf (6), Frankfurt (7), Geneva (8), Copenhagen (9), and Basel, a newcomer to the list, in 10th place. The only non-European cities in the top ten are Auckland (3) and Vancouver (5). The highest ranking cities in Asia and Latin America are Singapore (25) and Montevideo (79), respectively. 

Mercer’s survey also includes a city infrastructure ranking that assesses each city’s supply of electricity, drinking water, telephone and mail services, and public transportation as well as traffic congestion and the range of international flights available from local airports. Singapore tops the city infrastructure ranking, followed by Frankfurt and Munich both in 2nd place. Baghdad (230) and Port au Prince (231) rank last for city infrastructure. 

Mercer’s authoritative survey is one of the world’s most comprehensive and is conducted annually to enable multinational companies and other organisations to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. In addition to valuable data, Mercer’s Quality of Living surveys provide hardship premium recommendations for over 450 cities throughout the world; this year’s ranking includes 231 of these cities. 

“The success of foreign assignments is influenced by issues such as ease of travel and communication, sanitation standards, personal safety, and access to public services,” said Slagin Parakatil, Principal at Mercer and responsible for its quality of living research. “Multinational companies need accurate and timely information to help calculate fair and consistent expatriate compensation – a real challenge in locations with a compromised quality of living.” 

Mr Parakatil added, “A city’s infrastructure, or rather the lack thereof, can considerably affect the quality of living that expatriates and their families experience on a daily basis. Access to a variety of transport options, being connected locally and internationally, and access to electricity and drinkable water are among the essential needs of expatriates arriving in a new location on assignment. A well-developed infrastructure can also be a key competitive advantage for cities and municipalities trying to attract multinational companies, talent, and foreign investments.” 

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02-09-2013 iPMI Magazine Expatriate Life International Living Global Mobility News

What Could An Ageing Expat Community Mean For Expatriate Health Insurance Planning?

ACAS, the UK’s top employment relations service, notes that “One of the most significant changes that will impact on the workplace (in the UK) is the ageing of the workforce. The Default Retirement Age has been removed and this, coupled with the announced increases in state pension age, means that the average age of the UK workforce is expected to increase.” The consensus view amongst many experts, therefore, is that the...

28-08-2013 iPMI Magazine Expatriate Life International Living Global Mobility News

Sharp Rise Predicted In Global Assignments As Organisations Try To Plug Skills Gaps

Over two thirds of graduates want an overseas assignment during their career, but only 11% are willing to work in India and only 2% in mainland China 15% of organisations were unable to achieve growth forecasts in overseas markets due to talent constraints Females will make up over a quarter of all assignees by 2020 The traditional flow of talent from West to East will be reversed PwC research predicts the number of workers...

28-08-2013 iPMI Magazine Expatriate Life International Living Global Mobility News

Interdean Responds to New Expat Survey

According to the article Expats Prove Grass is Indeed Greener on The Other Side, published 15th July in Re:locate, the British Wealth Survey shows that nearly three quarters of British expatriates believe they now have a better quality of life. Citing a number of different reasons for this, the most popular factors included higher earning power (52%), the lower cost of living (50%) and better overall happiness (58%). The team at...

23-08-2013 iPMI Magazine Expatriate Life International Living Global Mobility News

Expatriate Health Insurance

Compare Expatriate Health and Medical Insurance Plans, Coverage, Quotes and Companies, with iPMI Magazine. iPMIM represents leading providers of expat medical, health and travel insurance plans. Find the right and most appropriate Expatriate Health Insurance for overseas travel, global mobility and relocation