Starting a new job generally creates a significant amount of stress—good stress, of course. But when that job involves a move, the pressure can skyrocket. However, we can help. No, we cannot hold your hand on the first day of your new position. But wemayHelpmake your move a little easier, starting with a guide to a job relocation package.
You may think that a job relocation package is all about the money. After all, your new business will foot the bill for your move and the associated costs. But there are many other aspects to consider as you work out the details with your future boss. To help you sort it out, we've answered some of the most common questions about average moving packages so you're prepared when you land your dream job in a brand new city. Are you ready to take the plunge? Continue reading.
Why should I ask my new employer for a relocation package?
Moving is expensive. And it's always more expensive than you think. From an unexpected hotel stay when your house isn't quite ready, to a spike in gas prices on the way to your new city, the expenses can add up quickly. Anything you can do to reduce the burden and stress of moving, financially and otherwise, you should do.
But perhaps more important than saving money, a relocation package is a recruitment perk your company offers as an investment in you. It is a symbol of their confidence that you are a valuable addition to their workforce. Companies that offer this type of support can typically count on a stronger retention rate and deeper employee retention, leading to higher caliber talent.
And it's better for your boss and co-workers, too, if you come into your first day of work in a good mood — rather than exhausted from a stressful move. Making your transition as smooth as possible is a win-win for everyone.
What are the elements of a job relocation package?
The first thing that comes to mind - and the most important part of a moving package - is financing to cover your moving expenses. That's a given. However, many employers know that they must offer a holistic package in order to attract qualified employees in a competitive job marketother facets of moving from city to city. Here are some basics to consider as part of your package:
- Moving Fund:Changing jobs involves a variety of expenses, from hiring aMoving and storage companyfor transportation to the new city and deposits for things like utilities and internet services. Funding to cover these costs is a fundamental part of a moving package and is generally the minimum investment an employer can make when offering any type of assistance with your move.
- Flexibles Start date:By giving you a little time for your first day at work, your new employer takes into account the inevitable hiccups that come with moving house. The internet guy doesn't show up on time. The contractor for your new house is ill. Your children will need a little extra care to adjust to a new school. Or maybe you just need a day to relax a little after your bags and boxes are unpacked. Whatever the reason, knowing you have some air to breathe relieves some of the pressure.
Developing flexibility will also benefit your soon-to-be ex-employer - after all, finding someone to replace you won't be easy. And you certainly don't want to burn any bridges. So if you can allocate a little extra time at both ends of your move, make it a priority.
- Temporary accommodation:Excursions into the city and looking for a flat are a good idea – but often impractical. For starters, you might still be working at your old job, and there's an endless list of things to do at the office and at home before you move. If this is your situation, your new employer may be willing to provide temporary accommodation when you first arrive in town. Whether it's an extended-stay hotel or corporate housing—or even Airbnb—this is a thoughtful addition to your moving package and another way for your new boss to make your job easier.
- Real estate help:This support can be for both sides of your move: sell your current home and help you find a new one. And who better to help with finding accommodation in an unfamiliar area than people who already live there? Assistance can range from helping you advertise your old home - like paying fees for marketing it - to paying for a local real estate agent when you arrive in town. If you are a tenant, your employer may choose to cover any penalties incurred as a result of breaking a lease.
- Storage:Whether your company will help you find a place to live or not, You'll need time to consider your options when you get there, especially if your new boss needs you fast and fastHer move was at the last minute. Or maybe your new apartment is smaller than your old one and you really need that extra square footage. Either way, storage can be a part of your moving package. The added benefit of using a movingAndStorage companies like PODS?You don't have to move everything twice.
- Payback-Klausel:All the benefits we’ve mentioned so far are pro-you. What about your new employer? Yes, they’ll likely earn your loyalty and have a happier employee unburdened by the myriad stresses of moving. But business is business, and companies need to protect themselves, too. So it’s not uncommon for a relocation agreement to include a payback clause, which specifies that if you leave the job within, say, 90 days, or any agreed-upon period of time, you are required to reimburse them for the costs they’ve accrued getting you to town and onboarded in your new position.
What types of moving packages are there?
- Refund:It's exactly what it sounds like: your company pays you back afterwards. If you go this route, be sure to keep all your receipts. And get a written agreement upfront about the maximum amount your company will pay—because there is a maximum.
- Direct billing:Some consider this the easiest option for employeesAndEmployer. All invoices for your move and related expenses are sent directly to your new business, so you don't even have to think about paying. Another advantage? Your move financing isn't going through your own bank account, so it's not considered income by the IRS. Who can argue with a lower tax bill?
- Lump sum:Many employees prefer the package deal – one payment before you move and you can use it however you see fit. One caveat though: budget wise. Make sure you understand what all of your expenses will be before you start spending that lump sum. Otherwise you may lose real money. No fun if you're new in town. (Or actually never.) One notable benefit of the flat rate option, however, is that it allows you to choose a moving and storage company like PODShelp reduce moving costs, so you can use those savings for other moving expenses.
- Third-party migration:Larger employers tend to prefer this version of a relocation package, where one service provider coordinates all of your relocation needs. A huge benefit for you: the movers and other organizations that the third party vendors use to handle your move have been vetted, so you can be sure you're dealing with reputable vendors rather than taking your chances with potentially dubious companies.
How much does a typical moving package cost?
Every move is different, and so will every employer's ability and willingness to fund your move. But for an approximate number, we'd estimate that the typical relocation package would range from a few thousand dollars to many, many thousands of dollars for high-level executives (who often successfully negotiate for their new company to even buy the home they are leaving). Do your research: Consider the cost of living in your new city compared to your current home, the average cost of moving, the cost of renting and housing, and the cost of transportation from point A to point B. (Pro tip:Google is your best friend in this case.)
Does a company have to pay relocation costs?
nope That's the short answer. But as we mentioned earlier, in a competitive job market, a smart employer will do whatever it takes to hire—and keep—qualified employees. Before you sign your employment contract or consent form, read your company's handbook or HR guide carefully to see if they offer relocation packages (you should still read the guide to see if a position is right for you, of course) . And the company may not offer unsolicited relocation assistance if you don't ask for it, so again, doing your due diligence is important.
Is it better to negotiate a higher salary than a moving package?
That can be difficult. In general, a move is not considered part of your salary - it is part of your recruitment as a talented employee and to make your transition as smooth as possible. So with this approach, it might be a good idea to keep the two separate when negotiating your compensation. But on the other hand, if the salary you're being offered is lower than you were hoping for and there's clearly no bucking, then positioning for a moving package is a great way to make up the difference. Employers may be more willing to flex on relocation expenses than base pay, since the former is a one-time thing and the latter is recurring.
Are employee relocation expenses taxable if paid by the employer?
Unfortunately, unless you use a third-party service or the direct bill option, your moving package is considered taxable income. This is the result of a 2017 law that only allows active-duty military personnel to deduct relocation expenses from their taxes.
Now that you've gained a little knowledge on the subject, it's time to show some confidence and fight for your worth (that is, in a professional and polite manner). With all the details settled, it's officially time to celebrate and move onrealFun: Start tagging things of yoursMoving checklist. Be sure to visit our PODS blog,Contain the chaosfor more tips and tricks — byNavigating the art of packingTofind budget-friendly ways to decoratewhen you arrive. Much luck!
Shannon Jacobs is a Tampa-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to the PODS blog. She has lived in Atlanta, the Berkshires and Nashville, but always returns to the warmth of Florida's Gulf Coast.