Tag Archives: Lump Sum

It’s time to “HIT REFRESH” on your relocation policy…

In his new book “Hit Refresh”, author and CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella shares a story about transformation at Microsoft and the quest for new energy, new ideas, and renewal. When you hit refresh, it’s not about starting over, but “clearing the clutter” for a refreshed update. 

Since the elimination of the moving deduction in the recent “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”, it’s time to refresh your relocation policy. One suggestion is to remove the moving deduction language being an “IRS requirement” since it is no longer a tax deduction. However, you may want to keep the “time and distance” content as a parameter as a guide for mobility benefits. Based on feedback from WorldwideERC members on the community forum, many plan to keep the time and distance content as a guide for their program as you can see from a few examples below:

  • We are still using the distance test as an eligibility requirement.
  • We are still using it as an eligibility for relocation benefits. The business needs some sort of guidance so easier to just maintain it irrelevant of tax ability.
  • Most of our clients are electing to leave the distance test in their policies, removing all reference to IRS guidelines and calling it a company requirement for eligibility of relocation benefits. They are also keeping in the 1 year from the new job start date for completion of benefits also as a company requirement.

It is getting more difficult to hire the best candidates and employee relocation will continue to be a significant part of the process to attract and retain key talent. What will your company be doing to elevate the onboarding experience for your relocating employees in 2018?

If you would like to access this information or more on the moving deduction feedback, visit WorldwideERC community https://www.worldwideerc.org

Call to Action: Review your relocation policy with your partners to confirm the verbiage that you would like to communicate with your candidates as well as other potential changes in 2018. It’s a great idea to review or HIT REFRESH on your policy each year…

Quote of the week: “A team is a not a group of people that work together. A team is a group of people that trust each other.” (Simon Sinek)

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Its time to hit refresh on your policy” with Bruce Waller,  For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media Facebook and Twitter page.

Also, check out http://www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon!

2018 brings opportunities and changes when relocating talent in the US.

Each New Year always brings many opportunities and challenges for all of us in business and in our personal life. The key to success is how we adapt and respond to change. In 2018, there are some changes that will impact your company when relocating talent in the US. Some of these changes will include the $1.5 Trillion “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”, as well as the FMCSA’s Electronic Logging Device mandate for owner operators in the trucking industry. 

In the book “The 4-hour work week” by Tim Ferris, he shares an email from a friend that reminds me of the best approach when facing any new changes:

“While many are ringing their hands, I recall the 1970’s when we were suffering from an oil shock causing long lines at the gas station, rationing and 55 mph speed limits on federal highways, a recession, very little venture capital, and what President Carter (wearing a sweater while addressing the nation on TV because he had turned down the heat in the White House) called a “malaise”. It was during those times that two kids without any real college education, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs, started companies that did pretty well. Opportunities abound in bad times as well as good times. In fact, the opportunities are even greater when the conventional wisdom is that everything is going into the toilet. … we can look forward to a new year filled with opportunities as well as stimulating challenges.”

So what are these changes and how will they impact employee relocation?

  1. The Moving Expense Deduction: The moving expense tax deduction will be suspended until the year 2025. This means that companies that gross up the relocation expense will need to plan on an increase for the household goods move, 30 days of storage and final move trip. Since this is no longer an excludable tax deduction, the moving expense will now show as income to the employee. (*Exceptions will be for a military relocation). There are other areas of impact for relocation expenses as well which include supplemental rate changes, mortgage insurance, home sale capital gains reduction, and others. The bill does not seem to effect the tax on relocation home sale transaction expense completed by an RMC. Please consult with your tax firm for making any changes to your current program.
  2. Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate: The Federal Carrier Motor Safety Act (FMSCA) has now mandated the use of ELD’s for all truck drivers including household goods van operators. This device will sync with the van operators working / driving hours. What does this mean for corporate relocation? It could mean longer transit times up to 2 days due to the hours of service rules, increase temp housing, and an increase in transportation costs. The key to success will be communicating expectations during the relocation. Companies and their suppliers must be proactive, more now than ever when communicating with employee/family moving for a successful relocation.

Call to Action: Reach out to your tax consultant for the latest tax law changes and update your policy as soon as possible. Q1 would be a great time to review any changes with your suppliers and partners. If you don’t a partner, invest in one for 2018! You will appreciate the single point resource and so will your employees relocating.

“The first step to leadership is no action, it’s understanding.” (John W Gardner)

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Relocation Changes in 2018” with Bruce Waller, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media Facebook and Twitter page. 

Also, check out http://www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon!

Self Storage or Van Line Storage? 4 things to know!

One of the exciting things about a great economy is a robust housing market and being able to sell your home quickly. We are seeing this across several US markets. Sometimes, it’s so quick that you don’t have a new home to move into, which may require you to place move your personal household goods into short term storage until you can close on your new home.

Many times an employee relocation will include short-term storage with the van line while the employee searches for a new home. However, there are times when the family will be responsible for storage costs because the storage is not included in relocation policy, or the company may have provided a lump sum for the employee relocation which leads to a question I hear many times during the year: Should we use van line storage, or find a self-storage unit to minimize costs?

When helping families relocate, I often share the information below to help customers make an informed decision on this important topic. Consider these 4 points next time you or someone you know is moving into storage.

  1. Estimated Cost… A visual survey provided by the van line surveyor can help determine not only the estimated cost for the van line storage, but will also provide you with the information needed to determine self-storage unit size which is needed to compare costs. If the storage unit doesn’t have trailer access, there may be additional fees for smaller truck to “shuttle” for unloading too.
  2. Valuation Coverage… if you decide to use personal storage, be sure and check all items as they are unloaded into the storage unit for damage. When using van line storage, items are checked in / out storage for continuous coverage. Items placed in personal storage are typically not covered once unloaded.
  3. Protection… If customer decides to use personal storage, be sure to have plenty of blankets on hand to protect furniture items when unloaded. When items are placed in van line storage, blankets are provided for protection to minimize any damage while in storage.
  4. Access… When household goods are placed in van line storage, they are “vaulted” (loaded in a secure wooden box) for security, which doesn’t provide immediate access customer. You will need to call in and schedule appointment 24-48 hours so staff can locate your vaults for access. The advantage is minimal handling to prevent damage during storage to delivery.

Depending on where items are being stored, storage costs will vary from city to city. So be sure to look at all variables to make the best decision for your family. Many times, the van line storage will provide more advantages, as well as make it easier to coordinate the delivery when the new home at destination is ready!

“Policies are great, but without flexibility, you might lose your talent.” (Joe Crumly)

Call to action: Contact your relocation partner to confirm advantages and disadvantages for storage to share with your teammates relocating. With low inventory, storage is on the rise!

This has been “A Relocation Minute” on “self-storage or van line storage” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com. 

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This US Tax Reform proposal could impact your corporate relocation budget in 2018!

Did you know… there is currently a house bill on the table for US tax reform that if passed, will make all relocation expenses taxable income for your employees relocating? This includes the movement of household goods and storage. The repeal of these moving expense provisions would greatly increase gross-up expenses for your employees relocating. 

WorldwideERC website states “The Senate plan released on November 9 repeals the moving expense deduction, as well as the exclusion for moving expenses paid or reimbursed by an employer, effective January 1, 2018. The moving expense deduction makes relocation more affordable for businesses and individuals and spurs economic growth. Without the deduction, a relocation will be costlier for companies and employees, and will impact decisions on whether the move makes sense.”

There is an exception for US military and the bill will not affect expats and their employers. You can read more information about this tax reform on the WorldwideERC website.

Call to Action: Write a letter to your congressman ASAP requesting that they help restore this tool vital to workforce mobility. You can access this information at WorldwideERC or American Moving and Storage Association.

This has been A Relocation Minute on “US Tax Reform” with Bruce Waller, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media Facebook and Twitter page.

Also, check out www.BruceWaller.com for information on my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon!

Don’t miss this onboarding strategy to support talent acquisition in 2018!

November is a time to be thankful as we reflect on our achievements in 2017. It’s also business planning season which gives your team the opportunity to keep moving ahead in the same lane or make a lane change to achieve business goals and elevate employee experience in 2018.

One area often overlooked in the business planning process is the onboarding experience for employees and family relocating. Imagine coming to work on your first day not knowing where to park, or not having a computer login, or having no agenda or plan to onboard that day. It just might leave you with a sick feeling the company doesn’t care or value the importance of your arrival. 

What if the employee is relocating for the new job from another city? Oh my, this is where onboarding begins. Here is a question to think about as you plan for 2018…

Are you just giving your employees money to relocate? This message might be saying… we don’t really have time to procure companies to help you, so you are going to be on your own? Are you helping your employee with other ancillary services such new city tour, or helping the spouse with job search? There are so many ways to add value here…

It’s a competitive market and a great opportunity for your team to create a better experience by engaging in a partnership. There are several ways to help your employees from realtor support to sell their home, to finding temp housing, to moving their household goods, to providing house hunting trips and more with minimal costs depending on the level of comprehensive services.

Last month, I had the honor of serving on a corporate panel to share some ideas on career search and networking. It was exciting to see this company hosting a career networking event for employee’s spouses looking for employment. Now that says… WE CARE! I am sure it was minimal costs, just takes some time to plan.

So…….. What are you going to do to enhance the onboarding experience for your employees relocating in 2018? Here are 3 places to start…

  1. Start with a client review to confirm services available. Reach out to your partner and ask for a 30 minute meeting to discuss benchmarking and trends in the workplace.
  2. If you don’t have a partner, reach out to someone you know and ask for a referral. There is NO fee to have a partner coordinate the household goods moving and minimal fees for add’l relocation services.
  3. Try something NEW this year. Family issues are one of the biggest reasons why relocating assignments fail. It’s time to elevate and make 2018 the best year ever!

Call to Action: Reach out to someone you know in mobility and have some dialogue about enhancing services for your employees in 2018! They will be glad you did – and so will you!

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Business Planning 2018” with Bruce Waller, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media Facebook and Twitter page.

Find your lane when onboarding talent that requires relocation.

Companies come in all shapes and sizes. There are large organizations with complex organizational structures to smaller companies that have only a few employees. One common thread is the need to achieve business goals which requires attracting talent. Many times the best talent can be found locally, but often requires mobility for a new candidate, an executive opening a new office, or even an employee in a developmental role.

When relocating employees, we have learned that different lanes will yield different experiences for the employee and family. There are basically three lanes to consider when managing a relocation for both US domestic and international. Each each lane has many  positives, but can also present potholes and the opportunity for detours to help make each relocation a better experience for the employee and family. Some employees don’t have the time or expertise to manage a lump sum relocation which creates challenges trying to get family transitioned,, while other employees are looking for a great experience, but the company doesn’t have the bench strength to manage the program and need a relo partner for support.

So which lane are you in?

  1. Lane 1 Lump Sum Relocation
    This lane is easy to manage/administer, but can be costly due to taxable income for companies when grossing up or to employee receiving non-taxable income. There is a  lump sum “plus” program that can be less costly and a detour to consider for best experience.
  2. Lane 2 In House Relocation program managed partnerships by HR staff.  Managing relocation takes expertise and bench strength, but can yield great results for the relocating employee working with partners they know and trust. The pothole to avoid is bidding moves during the summer peak season. Investing time identifying partners for the employee and family and using a distribution model will elevate the experience for everyone.
  3. Lane 3 Outsourcing / Partnering with Relocation Management Company. This is a great option when you have limited resources to manage and support executives with home sale purchase, as well as capturing expenses for tax reporting and more flexible. The key is to align with the RMC that best fits your program goals and culture.

Call to Action: Do you want to learn more about potholes and some of the detours available for your team? Attend HRSouthwest Conference on October 2, 2017 in Fort Worth, Texas to attend my session. Register at http://www.HRSouthwest.com.  If you can’t make it to the conference, reach out to your partner to identify potholes and the best way to navigate around them, detour, or just change lanes for best experience.

“If you could get all of the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.” (Patrick Lencioni)

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Find your lane onboarding talent” with Bruce Waller, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media facebook and twitter page.

Also, check out www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon!

Taking ownership can make the difference for your candidates relocating.

In my latest book, “Find Your Lane”, I share a story about when my two year old daughter got out of her car seat and put my vehicle in gear only to roll into and damage a new car in the dealership parking lot. I had just told my four year old son to watch his sister while I stepped out of my vehicle for a few seconds. When I asked him why he let her get out of her car seat, he said “I didn’t know she could drive”. After smiling, I realized that I had control over the situation and needed to be accountable for the situation. 

As HR professionals handling mobility, we must also take ownership when we see something that needs to be adjusted or changed for a family relocating. Many times I hear someone comment they only give our employees $3,000 or $5,000 for their relocation and let them handle the moving. Unfortunately a household goods move will probably cost between $5,000 and $10,000 on the average. What about the other relocation needs for the employee such as lease breakage, temp housing, or a home finding trip?

If you are relocating a candidate just out of college, then a U-Haul move or small moving budget may be in order. But if you are helping a family of any size, there is probably more assistance needed from the household goods move to new home search to possibly childcare.

So what can you do when helping your next employee relocating?

  1. Ask a colleague or friend for a referral to help your teammates. Some companies can provide more relocation support along with additional services added with no extra cost.
  2. Update your policy. Don’t just settle because someone else has always done it that way. If you feel it’s important, let your team know the results or outcome a change could bring.
  3. Ask for options. Ask questions when your employee needs better transit time or a tighter budget for self-packing. Many times there are options that could elevate the experience while maintaining or even reducing costs. If not, the awareness is out there.

“The first step in leadership is not action, its understanding.” (John W Gardner)

Call to action: Reach out this month to benchmark your current policy. There may be some cost savings or benefits to add for a better experience.

This has been a “A Relocation Minute” with Bruce Waller on Accountabilty, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media facebook and twitter page.

Also, check out http://www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon!