We have answers:
To encourage mobility and to manage your international
assignment costs, you need precise information
to calculate fair, consistent expatriate compensation
packages. With offices in 42 countries and territories,
Mercer brings you factual, objective price information
from 300 cities around the world.
Based on over 200 goods and services, our surveys are conducted by professional researchers
in each location we cover.
Carefully chosen vendors reflect only those outlets
where your expatriates can buy goods and services
of international quality.
Key features and benefits:
- A unique international basket of goods and services
reflecting realistic spending habits established
through years of extensive expatriate research.
- Distinct cost-of-living (COL) indices for
different types of expatriate shoppers.
- Online calculators that allow you to use data for your specific needs.
- Reasonable, realistic indices.
- Full list of stores and sources where prices are collected.
- Immediate estimation of the cost-of-living allowance (COLA) using our Cost-of-Living Allowance Calculators.
- Current information, with locations extensively
surveyed twice a year by professional researchers.
- More frequent updates for markets in flux.
- Special cities surveyed upon request.
- Methodologies that let you determine competitive
purchasing power for all your employees,
wherever they come from.
View COL Sample report
Mercer's Cost-of-Living information provides all the key elements you need to calculate cost-of-living
allowances as well as the supporting information required to ensure full acceptance and understanding of the results.
The Mercer Multinational Cost-of-Living approach develops cost-of-living indices and differentials based on a blended international spending pattern. The methodology assumes a convergence of spending patterns among expatriates of companies employing a variety of expatriates with complex assignment patterns and from many different nationalities. With weighting of goods and services the same for all locations, this approach compares prices of similar brands and from similar retail outlets in both the home city and host city.
The Mercer ORC Home/Host Cost-of-Living approach develops cost-of-living indices and differentials based on the unique spending patterns in a base (usually home or headquarters) country. By using different weights for each home country, it ensures that expatriates can retain their expenditure pattern in the host location. This compares prices in the home country from a local-national perspective to prices in the host city from an expatriate perspective.
List of stores and sources
A full list of stores and sources supporting the COL index ensures that our process is completely transparent.
Home Country Spendable Income Tables
The Spendable Income Tables report the typical amount
an employee spends on goods and services in his/her
home country. Used in conjunction with our COL
indices, they support you in determining appropriate
The Spendable Income Tables are based
on national consumer expenditure statistics for major countries. The tables are
broken down by income level and family size, from
single employees to couples with four children.
International Spendable Income Tables:
compensating employees from low income countries
If the spendable income portion of a salary is too
small, no index can adjust it to make it sufficiently
To address this problem, Mercer has developed International Spendable Income Tables, which allow
companies to substitute non-competitive home country
spendable income with benchmark spendable
income levels. The International Spendable Income
Tables provide you with the ability to develop competitive
spendable incomes for your employees wherever
they come from, while allowing you to keep a consistent
"home country" compensation approach.
Home country housing norms tables
These tables provide the hypothetical amounts that
employees normally spend on housing in their home
country and are used to determine the employee's
contribution towards housing costs in the host
country. Tables are broken down by income level and
family size, from single employees to couples with
Expatriate accommodation cost tables
Mercer's Host City Accommodation Tables help you determine the housing allowance for
your employees when transferred abroad. Monthly
housing rental cost are provided
for each host location.
- Accomodation type: provide monthly rental costs for different-sized apartments and houses, furnished and unfurnished, in different areas.
- Number of bedrooms: provide expatriates' monthly rental costs for an apartment with one to four bedroom or for a house three or four bedrooms.
International education information
accurate information for schools including American, English, French, German, International, Italian, Japanese and Scandinavian, when available.
Business travel expenses tables
Mercer's Travel Expenses Tables provide a daily
allowance rate, representing typical daily costs for
employees on business trips. The data cover hotels,
meals, taxis and miscellaneous expenses.
Mercer advisory services
Mercer's Global Mobility consultants are available to advise you as you strive to manage your employees on international assignments, including program design, benchmarking, process review, partial outsourcing, localization, and benefits management. Please contact your local Mercer office for details.