Tag Archives: Lump Sum

Drive the candidate experience with purpose when relocating talent this summer

In Chapter 6 of my book “Find Your Lane”, I share the importance of driving with purpose.

“When you drive or lead with purpose, you are committed. Commitment is the key to getting through the tough days and making it to your destination. You can’t be half in or even 90%, you have to own it!  Whether it’s finishing college, advancing in your career, or improving your marriage, you will need to be committed all the way for the most effective results.”

This is also the case when you are trying to relocate talent for your company.  For example, Tax reform has created a lot of questions and is driving conversation around changing mobility programs to a “lump sum” benefit which often places the burden on employee (and spouse in most situations) to manage the relocation on their own. This will decrease the experience in most cases since the majority of families need support during this difficult transition. They need a concierge and a coach to help elevate the onboarding and relocation experience.

Did you know over 40 million families move each year in the US and the majority of these moves happen in the summer from the time school gets out in May until school resumes in September?

This brings many challenges that requires comprehensive and many times complex coordination by relocation and transportation companies to meet customer expectations and make each move a great experience for each family. This time of year is more important than ever to have a partner you work with that you know and trust.

As we get ready for the upcoming summer peak moving season, let me share 10 things to consider as you drive your program with purpose to make it a great moving experience for your employees moving:

  1. Schedule the moving survey as early as possible. A successful move starts with a successful move plan.
  2. Reserve moving dates 2-3 weeks prior to your loading dates. Don’t wait. Many areas of the country close dates early especially during the summer.
  3. Stay away from “bidding” moves during peak moving season. Capacity pricing actually drives pricing up and employees and relocation companies aren’t committed until the customers says yes which can be too late to get their preferred dates.
  4. Some “difficult to service” areas may require a “virtual survey”.
  5. Need one day delivery? Ask about small shipment container options. Some include free storage up to 3 weeks.
  6. Transit spreads will be longer due to driver “hours of service” regulations and ELD mandates.
  7. Make sure you have full replacement valuation coverage.
  8. Want your boxes picked up after unpacking, ask about getting a debris pickups.
  9. Ask about other relocation services when moving such as home marketing assistance and home searches in new location.
  10. Draft or update your policy… Discuss with your partner for expertise and support!

Quote of the week: “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” (Albert Einstein)

Call to Action: Have questions when moving your talent to elevate the onboarding experience? Reach out to a partner to help you achieve your business needs this summer! The return will significantly exceed the time invested.

This has been A Relocation Minute on “drive with purpose when relocating talent” with Bruce  Waller, for more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out 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, or Barnes and Noble. Available on Kindle edition too!

Who moved my “mobility” cheese?

As Hem saw his friend getting into his running gear, he said “you’re not really going out into the maze again, are you? Why don’t you wait here with me until they put the cheese back?” “ Because you just don’t get it”, Hem said. “I didn’t want to see it either, but now I realize they’re never going to put yesterday’s cheese back. It’s time to find New Cheese.”

I love the book “Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, M.D.. It’s a great story about an  amazing way to deal with change in the workplace and in your life. We are currently dealing with change today in many industries including the mobility industry with the new tax cuts and jobs act law implemented this year which is creating a lot of “buzz” around change and the process of relocating talent. Many companies are reviewing their program and discussing ideas and strategies with their partners for policy alignment with the new tax laws, and their business goals.

Here are a few questions I have been asked this month about new mobility tax laws that might help your team in 2018…

  1. Can a corporation still deduct moving expenses when relocating talent? Yes, employee relocation is still considered a business expense. However, corporations are now taxed on all relocation expenses and will need “gross up” the costs to make the employee whole on his/her W2 for tax purposes. Corporation tax has also been reduced from 35% to 21% providing $140,000 of windfall for every $1,000,000 taxable income to help offset costs.
  2. What relocation expenses are tax deductible? Most relocation expenses are now taxable income for employees except for members of military on active duty moving for military orders, as well as tax protected home sale programs (BVO and GBO) as long as they meet WorldwideERC 11 key elements under IRS Revenue Ruling 2005-74.
  3. Does the time and distance rules still impact relocation taxes? Since the moving deduction is no longer viable for household goods and storage for 30 days, you no longer need to include 50 mile / 39 week rule in your policy. However, many companies are revising their policy by taking out “IRS” and changing to “Company” to give them a guide for employees eligible for a corporate relocation.

Quote of the week: “There is always new cheese out there whether you recognize it or not. And you are rewarded with it when you go past your fear and enjoy the adventure.” (Haw)

Call to Action: What questions do you have about employee relocation? Reach out to your relocation partner to discuss and develop strategy for an effective program when onboarding talent needing to relocate their family. They will appreciate having new cheese, and so will you!

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

Also, check out http://www.BruceWaller.com to order or review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Available on Kindle edition too!

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.