CapRelo Blog

CapRelo Named HRO Today Baker's Dozen Top Global Relocation Company in 2018... Again!

Posted by CapRelo on Fri, Apr 27, 2018

2018-Bakers Dozen

For a baker in medieval England, there were laws relative to the cost of wheat used to make the bread they sold. Bakers could be subject to various punishment if they sold the bread for more than what is was worth. The widely known term ‘baker’s dozen’, of 13 instead of the usual 12, originated when bakers would throw in an extra loaf of bread when selling a dozen for the fear of coming up short. 

As a provider of services to clients who rely on CapRelo to ease the mobility process for employees and their families, we never want to come up short. It’s why we are driven to give more than what is expected—just like bakers with that 13th loaf!

It’s rewarding when those with whom you do business rank you as the best at what you do. Such is the case when HRO Today again named us at the top of a list of global relocation companies with the annual HRO Today’s Baker’s Dozen Award. 

Every year, HRO Today rates companies based on three subcategories: quality of service, deal size and breadth of services. While the feedback is anonymous, it comes solely from the buyers of relocation services. These are the people for which we wake up every day and come to work. I am honored to announce we have been rated fourth Overall and second for Quality of Service.   

Our dedicated team helps to empower employers make the best decisions that drive their global talent. We listen to the needs of global HR teams to find ways to better connect with their cultures and help solve challenges. I’m very proud of our team on this important achievement. 

Would you like to learn more about custom relocation solutions? Leave a comment below or give us a call!

Topics: HRO Today, Baker's Dozen

Global Compensation Services (Part 3)

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Apr 05, 2018

FormsA global mobility program can offer significant value to a company, not only because of the business opportunities it presents, but also because it helps to attract and retain quality talent. However, to remain in compliance with the rules and regulations of various countries, a well-run global mobility program needs accurate, timely administration and bookkeeping. Working with a global compensation services provider offers companies a cost-effective way to gain access to the expertise, manpower and resources needed to maintain centralized, organized payroll and tax reporting.

Today is the last post in our series of posts about the services offered by global compensation services providers. Keep checking back to learn more.

Global Statement of Earnings (GSOE)

The global statement of earnings (GSOE) provides a comprehensive, detailed overview of what was paid to (or on behalf of) each assignee. It is sent to the tax provider for ease of preparation of tax returns. In addition, it’s used as a data source for shadow payroll. The GSOE is reconciled to the U.S. Box 1 Form W-2 at year’s end.

The GSOE is critical to accurate reporting. It ensures that the company is in compliance both at home and in the host country, as well as that all taxes are properly recorded for reporting purposes. Furthermore, it makes sure assignees are paying taxes as needed and enables the employer to provide assignees with tax return preparation assistance, which can be an important benefit.

Shadow Payroll

Shadow payroll, also referred to as “ghost payroll,” reports compensation that is paid to an assignee from another country. Running a shadow payroll concurrently in the host location simplifies income and tax reporting and facilitates compliance efforts.

Compensation reporting can be complex, because the various components of an assignee’s total compensation may originate from different locations. The base salary and any bonuses are usually paid from the assignee’s country of origin, but many assignment-related costs such as housing allowances, dependents’ allowances and taxes are paid from the host country. Keeping records in both countries ensures timely and accurate reporting. For this reason, compensation services providers send shadow payroll reports that show all payments made to the host location and/or the company’s tax provider. They also send an “add to earnings” file to the payroll department in the home country for the payments made in the host location. This ensures that there’s a full and accurate report of all costs associated with an assignment in each location.

Balance Sheet Updates

Balance sheet updates are adjustments to the initial balance sheet that was created at the beginning of the assignment and affixed to the letter of assignment. Balance sheet updates can be performed during an assignment for a number of reasons, such as a change in salary or family size. They’re also required at regular intervals to revise the cost of living adjustment (COLA) as needed. Compensation service providers work with the company’s data provider to obtain updated COLA indexes and exchange rates.

Tax Equalization

The fundamental principle of tax equalization is that the assignee will not suffer financial hardship nor experience a financial windfall as a result of the tax consequences of a global assignment. Tax equalization plays an important role in helping employees make a balanced decision about accepting an global assignment. Without it, an employee might not want to go to Sweden, where the income tax rate is currently more than 57 percent, while others could be lining up for assignments in countries with low tax rates like Saudi Arabia.

During the tax equalization process, the company’s tax provider calculates what the assignee’s tax liability would have been in his or her own country for non-assignment compensation. That means that base pay is taken into account, but things like cost of living allowance, education allowance, relocation costs and other similar costs are not included in the calculation. The resulting sum indicates whether the assignee’s compensation needs to be adjusted up or down, and the tax provider prepares a settlement accordingly. Consequently, the compensation services provider processes the payment. If the employee owes the employer money, the compensation services provider will collect it and send the company the relevant reports.

Year-End Reporting

Year-end reporting involves the collection of all payroll and tax reports for all assignees, as well as the subsequent filing with all relevant national and state entities. A compensation services provider coordinates the tax eligibility list with the company and its tax provider. Throughout the year, it also provides preliminary reports to the tax provider to make sure any safe harbor (estimated tax) payments are being made. When all compensation data is collected, the GSOE is sent to the tax provider. This can be done in the currency of the home country, host country or the country where the company is headquartered.

 

The Value of Global Compensation Services

 

Topics: global mobility, compensation services, compensation and benefits, global assignments, global compensation services

Upcoming Mobility Shows and Events - April 2018

Posted by Amy Mergler on Fri, Mar 30, 2018

 

Look for CapRelo at these Upcoming Events

We will be attending and/or sponsoring the following upcoming events. If you’re attending, look for us and say hi, because it's a great opportunity for us to stay abreast of the latest global mobility trends, as well as develop and strengthen trusted partnerships. 

 

Southern California Relocation Council Lunch & Learn Spring Program

Date: April 5

Location: Wilshire Loft, Los Angeles, CA

Attendee: Patrick Cacho

The SCRC Spring Program will feature an interactive "Ask the Experts" panel discussion with talent mobility representatives from Adidas, Square, Allergan and Blizzard Entertainment. 

Learn more and register for the program here

 

Midwest Relocation Conference 2018

Date: April 10-11

Location: The Sheraton Westport, St. Louis, MO

Attendee: Christopher Bloedel

The 2018 Midwest Relocation Conference will include corporate and peer-to-peer roundtable discussions, keynote addresses and educational sessions on domestic and global topics for all levels of mobility professionals.

Click here to find out more about the conference and to register

 

Global Business News Global HR Business

Date: April 11

Location: ROAM Buckhead, Atlanta, GA

Attendee: Scott Williamson

The Global Business News event will include presentations on achieving ROI with mobile talent, employer branding, talent and mobility life cycle, tax law changes and their implications on global mobility and more.

Register for the event and learn more here

 

Tennessee Relocation Council 2018 Spring meeting

Date: April 12

Location: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN

Attendee: Christopher Bloedel and Robert Brizuela

The TRC's spring meeting features a corporate roundtable, an introduction to DISC Assessment, the second annual TRC Knowledge Hop and a keynote address on vendor partner relationships.

To register for the meeting or to learn more, click here

 

Arizona Relocation Alliance 2018 Annual Conference

Date: April 19

Location: Marriott Courtyard Salt River, Scottsdale, AZ

Attendee: Patrick Cacho

The ARA's annual conference's educational sessions will include a corporate panel on General Data Protection Regulation moderated by CapRelo's Patrick Cacho. The conference will conclude with a networking happy hour and silent auction to support the Melonhead Foundation, an organization that provides for the needs of children with cancer and their families. 

Learn more and register for the conference here

 

North Texas Relocation Professionals April Breakfast Panel Meeting

Date: April 19

Location: Omni Frisco Hotel at the Star, Frisco, TX

Attendee: Scott Williamson and Rick Bruce

The NTRP panel meeting will discuss "A Relocation View from the RMC Lens" and will feature CapRelo's Rick Bruce as a special guest panel member.

To find out more and register, click here

 

Rocky Mountain Relocation council 2018 Spring Conference

Date: April 24

Location: Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities, Arvada, CO

Attendee: Patrick Cacho

The RMRC will host its first full-day event, featuring a keynote address by motivational speaker Brad Montgomery, who will discuss how fulfillment in the workplace translates to bottom-line increases in profits and employee satisfaction.

Click here to learn more and register.

 

Forum for Expatriate Management Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter Meeting

Date: April 24

Location: CapRelo Dallas Office, Dallas, TX

Attendee: Scott Williamson

Details for the FEM Dallas/Fort Worth chapter meeting are not yet available. Please check back, as information will be added when it becomes available.

 

New Jersey Relocation Council Spring Conference

Date: April 26

Location: Galloping Hill Golf Course, Kenilworth, NJ

Attendee: Pete Larkin

The NJRC spring conference will focus on what's new and what's next in global mobility with presentations on key industry trends and changes, diversity and inclusivity and tax reform.

To register, click here.

 

Pacific Northwest RELOCATION COUNCIL 2018 SPRING Meeting

Date: April 26

Location: Museum of Flight, Seattle, WA

Attendee: Patrick Cacho

The PNwRC spring meeting includes networking activities, an industry update and a session on lessons from 2017 and what it means for 2018.

Register and find out more about the meeting here.

 

If you can’t attend, please be sure to follow CapRelo on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Topics: CapRelo Employees

Tax Rates by Country - Global Wages vs. Take-Home Pay

Posted by CapRelo on Wed, Mar 28, 2018

There are precious few certainties in life but as the old saying goes, taxes are one of them. With America’s tax season in full swing, that inevitability is sure to be on the minds of many in the United States.

During this time of the year it is easy to forget that America isn’t the only country where tax considerations loom over the population, as well as how different tax rates and financial realities can vary around the globe.

With that in mind, CapRelo decided to take a look at salaries, taxes and take-home pay from a number of countries all over the world, and to contextualize that information for an American audience. Here’s what we found.

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To get a baseline on how the average citizen in each country can expect to be taxed, it’s necessary to know how much the average citizen makes. CapRelo examined a report from an intergovernmental economic organization listing the average annual salary for the countries we analyzed. After converting local currencies to their equivalent in U.S. dollars, it was possible to assemble the map above, which illustrates how much the average worker can expect to make around the globe. The countries in darker red are nations where workers are compensated the most.

 

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Of course, the taxman will take a cut, and we were able to find the overall percentage of salary that someone making an average wage can expect to pay in taxes in each country. This was done by taking post-tax earnings and dividing them by pre-tax earnings. We felt this was the best way to produce a consistent comparison across countries, given the occasionally complex nature of various tax codes.

 

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Once taxes have been paid, we get a better picture of exactly how much money the average annual wage is for workers around the globe. This chart shows post-tax take-home pay, once again converted to U.S. dollars. Countries in dark red here have the highest take-home pay.

 

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Comparing maps can make it challenging to ascertain the exact scope of tax impact, so we decided to visualize the data an additional way to show how much of the average wage in each country is consumed by taxes.

 

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Many in America comment on how much they have to pay in taxes, so we thought it would be fun to look at how that rate would change in other countries. By taking the average annual American wage and factoring in the rate it would be taxed in other nations, it is possible to see where things could be better or worse. Only ten of the surveyed countries would produce a lower tax bill than Americans already experience, with the rest taking more… at times, significantly so. Bet you never thought you’d be happy with your current taxes!

 

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Finally, CapRelo wanted to provide an even more detailed examination of taxes around the globe. The result features much of the same data that has already been presented, like average annual salary and post-tax take-home pay for every country (and the average American wage), as well as some new information. First is a more detailed breakdown of the specific tax rate as it applies to the average wage in each country, and second is an analysis of purchasing power.

The latter feature utilizes the Big Mac Index, a metric devised by The Economist that takes the price of a McDonald’s Big Mac in two countries to determine the relative value of money in each place. Utilizing this tool, we were able to find out how much the post-tax take-home pay was actually “worth.” As a result, we see that while somewhere like Russia has an average post-tax take-home pay amount equivalent to just $8,456, that money allows someone to buy the same amount of “stuff” as someone with $19,488 in America. On the flip side, Switzerland’s average take-home pay of $84,006 only goes as far as $65,567 would in the United States.

While taxes may be constant, the information above demonstrates how actual cost impact definitely isn’t. Hopefully seeing how taxes compare across the globe—along with the extra two days afforded by this year’s April 17 deadline—takes a little bit of the sting out of filing this year!

Download Talent Mobility & US Taxes: What You Need to Know

 

Topics: relocation taxes, mobility and taxes, taxes

Global Compensation Services (Part 2)

Posted by Amy Mergler on Tue, Mar 27, 2018

PayrollsA global mobility program can offer significant value to a company, not only because of the business opportunities it presents, but also because it helps to attract and retain quality talent. However, to remain in compliance with the rules and regulations of various countries, a well-run global mobility program needs accurate, timely administration and bookkeeping. Working with a global compensation services provider offers companies a cost-effective way to gain access to the expertise, manpower and resources needed to maintain centralized, organized payroll and tax reporting.

Today is Part 2 in our series of posts about the services offered by global compensation services providers. Keep checking back to learn more.

Certificate of Coverage

When an employee of a company is sent on an assignment to another country, he or she may be required to pay social security taxes both at the home and host locations—unless those countries have entered into totalization agreements. These are bilateral social security agreements that eliminate dual taxation by assigning coverage to only one of the countries, which is usually the one where the work is being performed. As a result, employees on global assignments and their employers are exempt from having to make social security payments in the other country. Currently, the U.S. has totalization agreements with 26 countries. The certificate of coverage is the document issued by the country that is assigned coverage of the employee’s work.

It’s important to understand social security coverage implications for global assignees. Employers need to be aware of the exact social security regulations of a country before sending employees on assignment, and if applicable, apply for a certificate of coverage before the assignment starts. This will protect both the company and its employees from dual taxation, preventing potential problems with employees who are relying on their employer to manage (or at least inform them about) these matters on their behalf. Moreover, it will safeguard the company from compliance issues.

In general, a certificate of coverage has a duration of five years. However, a country’s social security administration may grant extensions, although there is usually a processing period of four to six weeks involved. Compensation services providers can apply for certificates of coverage on behalf of their clients. In addition, they can help them track expiration dates so there isn’t a lapse of coverage.

Payroll Instructions

For each global assignment, payroll instructions must be developed based on the financial data as detailed in the assignee’s letter of assignment and initial balance sheet. The first objective of these instructions is naturally to ensure that all elements of the assignee’s compensation are accurately incorporated into payroll. The second objective is to make sure that all components are accurately recorded and that necessary withholdings are made and the funds sent to the appropriate governmental bodies—something that can be extremely complicated, depending on the location.

The payroll departments both at home and in the host locations need to receive and understand each assignment's payroll instructions. Some compensation services providers not only prepare payroll instructions, they also provide training on what the content of payroll files should be, as well as what data will be needed for payroll file returns. Instructions regarding payroll reporting can be flexible, with companies receiving instructions for full payroll details per cycle or only updates about any applicable changes.

Payroll Reconciliation

Payroll reconciliation is necessary to ensure that the payroll instructions are being carried out correctly. It verifies that the amounts are correct and for the appropriate time period, as well as that the monies are being directed to the correct accounts. When this is done by an external company, it’s an additional layer of protection against errors.

During payroll reconciliation, compensation services providers may also collect all payroll detail as a part of the compensation accumulation process.

Compensation Accumulation

Compensation accumulation is a critical component of a company’s global mobility reporting. Compensation accumulation is the collection of all assignment-related, off-payroll costs that are made to, or on behalf of, assignees through accounts payable (housing, for example) or finance (taxes). All reports are reconciled to the relevant assignee’s letter of assignment and balance sheet, as well as to company policy.

Compensation accumulation can be very challenging for companies that have assignees in multiple countries. Collecting the required data often involves interacting with multiple locations and departments. It can even involve interacting with service providers to whom a company has outsourced business processes. Nevertheless, it’s important to report all of these expenses accurately to remain compliant.

A compensation services provider collects the reconciled payroll data needed for compensation accumulation on a monthly basis and stores it in a central location. This keeps the process streamlined; plus, it organizes and eliminates the issues that can arise from decentralized, untimely data collection.

 

Check back next week for Part 3!

 

Managing Global Assignment Costs

 

Topics: global mobility, compensation services, compensation and benefits, global assignments, global compensation services

Global Compensation Services (Part 1)

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Mar 22, 2018

Global CompensationA global mobility program can offer significant value to a company, not only because of the business opportunities it presents, but also because it helps to attract and retain quality talent. However, to remain in compliance with the rules and regulations of various countries, a well-run global mobility program needs accurate, timely administration and bookkeeping. Working with a global compensation services provider offers companies a cost-effective way to gain access to the expertise, manpower and resources needed to maintain centralized, organized payroll and tax reporting.

Today is the first in our series of posts about the services offered by global compensation services providers. Keep checking back to learn more.

Cost Projection

A cost projection is a comprehensive, high-level estimate of expected costs specific to the global assignment. This is based on the client's mobility and compensation policies, as well as all additional assumptions that have been agreed upon for a specific assignment. In addition to the employee’s base compensation, which consists of his or her salary and any bonuses, it includes all estimated assignment expenses and hypothetical expenses. This can involve a range of expenses such as relocation expense reimbursement, cost of living allowance, home leave, housing allowance, expatriate premium, tax services and more, depending on the individual case. It also includes a breakdown of the projected domestic and host country taxes. Costs are assessed based on reliable data sources and projected for the duration of the assignment. For assignments that are longer than two years, inflation may be taken into account. However, it’s important to understand that actual costs may vary due to economic fluctuations that impact the cost of living, as well as other factors such as hardship, emergencies, changes to family size and more.

The main purpose of a cost projection is to create a data-driven estimate of costs that the company can use to make strategic decisions regarding its workforce needs in that location. With an accurate and comprehensive overview of the required financial investment, the company can determine whether the assignment is financially viable. If necessary, it can be used as a tool to consider alternative solutions that require a lower investment such as sending a less senior—and therefore less expensive—employee or working with a local staffing agency to hire short-term, local professionals.

Quick Cost Projection

A quick cost projection tool is a standalone tool that the company can use to plan and compare different scenarios. Whereas a cost projection is a detailed document that’s tailored to a specific assignment using the most current data, a quick cost projection tool uses more general data based on country-specific information. Based on the user’s input, it calculates cost of living, education costs, tax data, housing costs, health care expenses and more to create quick cost projections that can be used to compare the investment associated with various scenarios.

For example, a company might want to compare the costs of sending a senior manager with a spouse to Frankfurt for two years to the costs associated with sending a lower level manager who has a spouse and a child on the same assignment. Or a multinational company might want to compare the costs of sending an engineer from Detroit, Michigan on a 12-month assignment to London with the costs required to send an engineer with the same skills but who’s currently based in Milan on the same assignment.

Many quick cost projection tools are web-based platforms that companies can access themselves and use at any time. This makes them both easy to use and much more affordable than in-depth cost projections—although an in-depth cost projection will be required further on in the assignment process.

Letter of Assignment

A letter of understanding or letter of assignment outlines the details and benefits of the assignment. It’s a legally binding document that basically serves as an addendum to the assignee’s regular employment contract and lays out any varying or additional terms that apply for the duration of the assignment. As such, it must be signed by all parties. In addition to the start and end date of the assignment, job title and location, the letter of assignment must specify all contractual agreements, code of conduct, compensation and benefits, assignment-specific benefits such as moving expenses and repatriation allowance, tax equalization and other fiscal matters.

It’s important that the letter of assignment lay out all pertinent details of an assignment in a manner that leaves no room for misinterpretation. Any lack of clarity could lead to misunderstanding, which in turn could lead to costly and time-consuming problems. This can be a drain on resources, and it can create a distraction for the employee and impact the success of his or her assignment.

Initial Balance Sheet

The initial balance sheet is typically affixed to the letter of assignment. It provides details regarding the assignment allowances the employee will receive.

 

Check back next week for Part 2!

 

Global Assignment Guide

Topics: global mobility, compensation services, compensation and benefits, global assignments, global compensation services

What Are Global Compensation Services?

Posted by Amy Mergler on Fri, Mar 16, 2018

Piled currency symbols in 3D isolated over white.jpegDue to increased globalization and cross-border projects, a growing number of companies are sending employees on short- and long-term global assignments. While this offers benefits for both employers and employees, it also makes payroll, as well as income and tax reporting, much more complex. This is further complicated because global assignments include relocation-related benefits that may or may not have to be reported. Nevertheless, employers are not only responsible for ensuring their employees are compensated adequately and in a timely manner, but also that all local income and tax reporting regulations are adhered to.

Compliance with regulations and timely, accurate tax reporting are vital to protect both an organization and its employees from potential issues with revenue services, regardless of whether they’re those of the host country or in the country of origin. This can become highly complex, especially for companies with multiple assignment locations, a range of assignment lengths and types, different pay scales and employees with varying nationalities.

For companies with employees on global assignments, navigating the complexities of international regulations and reporting requirements can be a significant burden on their payroll and bookkeeping departments. Many do not have staff with the diverse, precise knowledge required. For example, a company might have seven employees on assignments in four different countries. If these employees are of varying levels of seniority, their wages and benefits will all be different. To enable accurate reporting, knowledge is needed of the regulations and employment tax laws of all four countries. If the employees also have varying countries of origin, the situation becomes even more complex. Additionally, the duration of an assignment has an impact on the taxability of compensation items associated with global assignments—such as household goods storage.

Even if a company does have professionals with the required knowledge on staff, the time and investment needed to ensure correct and comprehensive reporting may be a drain on resources that are needed elsewhere.

For this reason, a growing number of companies are outsourcing this business process to global compensation services providers. These are third-party service providers that assume the responsibilities associated with collecting, controlling and reporting all the compensation data of employees on global assignments on the employer’s behalf. They assist employers from the very beginning of an assignment, ensuring transparency for all parties, as well as correct and complete documentation. Furthermore, they provide accurate, comprehensive administration and reporting that complies with all applicable regulations.

The Value of Global Compensation Services

Topics: global mobility, compensation services, compensation and benefits, global assignments, global compensation services

Upcoming Mobility Shows and Events - March 2018

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Mar 01, 2018

 



We will be attending and/or sponsoring the following upcoming events. If you’re attending, look for us and say hi, because it's a great opportunity for us to stay abreast of the latest global mobility trends, as well as develop and strengthen trusted partnerships. 

 

New England RELOCATION Association March MEETING

Date: March 8

Location: Four Points Sheraton, Norwood, MA

Attendee: Pete Larkin

The NERA March meeting will address the 2018 tax reforms and their impact on the mobility industry.

Learn more and register for the meeting here

 

Texas RELOCATION Network Conference

Date: March 8

Location: Cascades Conference Center, The Colony, TX

Attendee: Scott Williamson

The TRN Conference will include panel discussions with industry experts focusing on innovation and collaboration.

Click here to find out more

 

Greater Washington Employee Relocation Council Membership meeting

Date: March 14

Location: Top of the Town, Arlington, VA

Attendee: Dan Keating

To register for the meeting, click here

 

Southeastern Regional Relocation council Spring Conference

Date: March 21 & 22

Location: Marriott Resort Fort Lauderdale Pompano Beach, Pompano Beach, FL

Attendee: Scott Williamson, SRRC Board Member

The theme of the SRRC Spring meeting is "Building On Change" with panel discussions on the tax legislation and the impacts to mobility programs, policy review and development and the RFP process. 

Learn more and register for the meeting here

 

Delaware Valley Relocation council Spring Summit

Date: March 27

Location: Desmond Hotel, Malvern, PA

Attendee: Pete Larkin

The DVRC Spring Summit will focus on changes in the mobility industry, including immigration, diversity and inclusion, and will feature roundtable discussions and presentations from industry experts to help attendees strategically address challenges.

Click here to learn more and register.

 

If you can’t attend, please be sure to follow CapRelo on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Topics: CapRelo Employees

Tips for Designing a Core-Flex Policy

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Feb 15, 2018

Team MeetingDesigning a core-flex policy takes time and work. Nevertheless, by committing to creating a comprehensive program from the start, making periodic updates and adjustments becomes easier. It’s advisable to establish several factors up front:

Competitive Core-Flex Policies in Specific Industries

HR departments and mobility managers should begin by researching what their competition provides in terms of mobility benefits. Because mobility benefits are critical to attracting top talent, knowing what competitors offer will provide some guidance about the services to include, as well as the average budget for each. Of course, it may be challenging to find this information, so consulting with an experienced global mobility company to gain insights about the components of the average core-flex policy can be helpful.

Core Components

As we’ve seen, household goods moving, travel costs and other benefits the company considers critical are standard core components. Depending on the company’s needs and budget, relocation counseling, visa and immigration services, tax equalization, lease services, temporary housing and home-finding assistance may also be included, especially for long-distance and international moves.

Flexible Services Offering

Flexible benefits can include home finding trips, home sale and home purchase support, property management, mortgage assistance, temporary living, spousal support and career services, child and elder care assistance, language training, cross-cultural training, school search assistance, pet transport, vehicle transport, lump sum assistance and tax services.

Note that whether a service is categorized as a core component or an additional service depends entirely on the employer. Companies in competitive markets that want to surpass the competition may decide to include more services in the core component to attract more talent.

Policy Tiers

This is determined by factors such as employee seniority, family size, relocation distance, international travel and homeownership. It should be clear that most companies will allocate a larger budget to senior managers than junior employees, that homeowners need more support than renters and that international moves have different core and flex needs than domestic ones.

Flexible Services Selection

Given the sensitive nature of these selections, a global mobility management company can be a key resource in these discussions and in providing recommendations and guidance to both the employer and employee. HR professionals and even supervisors may not have a full understanding of their employees’ personal lives and their corresponding responsibilities. For example, a manager might not know that a transferee cares for a disabled parent or that an employee wants his or her children to attend a specific kind of private school. In short, it’s essential to give employees a say in determining which services he or she receives and come to an arrangement that suits both employee and employer. The expertise and experience of a global mobility management company can be helpful in providing advice on which flexible services companies may want to consider including in their policy.

Guide to Core-Flex Policies

Topics: global mobility, employee relocation, core-flex policies, talent mobility

Can Olympic Athletes Change The Country They Represent?

Posted by Jim Retzer on Fri, Feb 09, 2018

The Olympics are a global showcase of the world’s best athletes, and in recent years the Games have steadily become more inclusionary in service of that ideal. It has become increasingly common, for example, for Olympians to hold citizenship in and represent countries other than the ones they were born in. There are any number of reasons athletes adopt new homelands, but the overall effect is that more athletes and nations get to realize their Olympic dreams, while the makeup of the Games better reflects the increasingly globalized world we live in.

As globally-focused mobility experts, we at CapRelo applaud this trend, and are examining how it will be represented at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. With that in mind, we decided to do a little research of our own into the upcoming Winter Games to see who these athletes are, where they come from, where they’re relocating to, and much more. Check out our findings below!

There are nearly 3,000 athletes set to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, and we did our best to find out where each and every one of them was born. We started with the official rosters announced by the nearly 90 participating Olympic Committees that were available by the start of February.

Where possible, CapRelo used official Olympic Committee websites to verify birthplaces, and combined that data with official websites of various sports’ governing bodies, news outlets, and other credible sources to fill in the gaps. These statistics are based on the rosters announced the day of the official cutoff date, January 29.

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One of the things that jumped out at us was the sheer number of American-born athletes competing under different flags: thirty-seven in all, far outpacing the second and third place finishers in Canada and Russia. That these three countries led in this category isn’t terribly surprising, however, as they all feature large populations and have climates and geography that is perfect for producing Winter Olympians. The competition to make the official Olympic squads for these countries is incredibly tough, making it very appealing for some athletes to look elsewhere to reach the biggest stage in their respective sports.

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One of the biggest beneficiaries of non-native athletes is unquestionably the South Korean hosts. In an effort to give their home fans more athletes to root for and increase their chances at winning some coveted medals, South Korea naturalized 18 athletes in the run-up to 2018, including some with previous Olympic experience for their nations of origin. These naturalized Koreans will be most prominent when it comes to the South Korean men’s ice hockey team, which we’ll give some more in-depth coverage to later.

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Speaking of America losing athletes and South Korea gaining them, four of those 18 naturalized athletes for the hosts hail from the USA, two ice dancers and one player each for the Korean men’s and women’s ice hockey teams. The only nation with more American-born athletes competing (excluding the USA, naturally) is the USA’s neighbors to the north, as Canada counts six such athletes among their Olympic contingent.

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One of the biggest surprises we found was when we really dug into the sports that featured the most non-native competitors. We assumed figure skating would feature the most non-native athletes competing in Pyeongchang, and while that sport did come in strong with 26 athletes, alpine skiing was the big winner in this category, featuring 32 competitors!

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Olympic ice hockey teams are allowed to have rosters consisting of 22 skaters and 3 goalies, for a total of 25 athletes each. As the host country, South Korea was granted an automatic place in the hockey competitions, something they have known about since they were announced as the winning bid by the IOC in July 2011. With an eye towards improving their chances in one of the most popular of all Winter Olympic sports, the South Koreans turned to North America to bolster their ice hockey roster. As a result, 7 of their 25 players hail from Canada or the USA, over 25% of their total roster! These North Americans have spent the past several years playing professionally in Korea while representing the South Korean national team, and they will be crucial to the host nation’s competitiveness on the rink.

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Lest anyone get the idea that all athletes who switch nationalities for the Olympics only do so because they aren’t skilled enough to make the teams from their birth countries, it is important to note that a number of athletes competing in 2018 will be doing so having already taken home past Olympic medals. This includes more than a few gold medalists. Russian-born Slovakian Anastasiya Kuzmina is one of the world’s best biathletes, counting 2 golds and a silver medal to her name already. USA native Vic Wild will be defending both gold medals he won for Russia in 2014. And Ukrainian-born Belarusian Anton Kushnir scored higher than any athlete in history to win the gold in men’s aerial skiing four years ago.         

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For some countries there would be no Olympic representation were it not for non-native born athletes. A dozen different nations are represented in Pyeongchang exclusively by competitors born elsewhere, including a historic contingent of Nigerian women who will be the first ever Olympic bobsled team from Africa!

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The Nigerian women are historic for a number of reasons, as they are also the first ever Winter Olympians from the African nation, making them one of three different Olympic contingents composed entirely of foreign-born athletes making their nation’s Olympic debuts. Joining in that distinction are Kosovo and Eritrea. CapRelo also found it interesting that the makeup of non-foreign athletes in South Korea is set to be extremely diverse, as even though the average age of competitors is 26.6 years old, the overall pool of foreign-born athletes runs the gamut of ages from 16 all the way to 43.

When you tune in to the Winter Games this month, keep your eyes and ears out for the stories of these incredible athletes and the lengths they’ve gone to reach their Olympic goals. Consider just how impressively globalized our world has become, even when it comes to sports. We know we sure will! 

 

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