Employers offer a variety of different relocation policies, but most fall into one of two primary categories, sometimes with identical components.
Organizations may have a single "one-size-fits-all" policy for all transferees, regardless of their status, title or time with the company. A second, popular policy is a tiered program, with benefits that vary with the employee's status, pay level or tenure.
Typical Relocation Package Components
While policy component may differ from company to company, there are features that are typically included in many corporate relocation packages.
- Real estate assistance. This component includes funding house-hunting trips, providing access to experienced real estate agents and assisting employees in selling their existing homes. Employers may also choose to include home sale bonuses or financial contributions for employee losses when rapid sales are necessary.
- Temporary housing accommodations. Whether on house-hunting trips or awaiting permanent housing, employers often provide assistance to transferees in securing temporary housing accommodations. Short-term hotel stays are relatively easy for transferees to locate, but longer-term temporary housing may be more challenging to find in unfamiliar surroundings.
- Household goods moving. Organizing, packing and transporting household goods always pose challenges, stumbling blocks and logistical issues. Relocation professionals can smooth out this process to generate a coordinated, stress-free process of moving employees' personal items to a new community. If household goods must be stored for a period of time before a new home is available, relocation policies can provide for temporary storage of household goods.
- Transportation to the new location. Most policies will include reimbursement for transporting the employee and his/her family to the new location.
- Miscellaneous expenses. Relocation inevitably generates other expenses that will fall into the "miscellaneous" category. Typically, a relocation policy will identify or cap eligible costs, and transferees will submit receipts for reimbursement.
Successful transfers depend on competitive, comprehensive relocation packages. Policies should be compliant with IRS regulations, and should also align with the organization's goals and objectives. Regardless of the type and number of relocation package components, policies that meet the needs of both the employer and employee will be most effective.