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What does a standard relocation package include?

(48 Posts)
Wiifitmama Wed 17-Apr-13 19:39:03

Or is tree no such thing as standard? I am new to this. Dh interviewing fir job in Zurich. I am trying to work all the detail out. What do they normally pay for? It is an American insurance company if that makes any difference!

reluctantmover Wed 17-Apr-13 19:47:18

completely variable, no use asking anyone here as everyone's employer is different and employees of the same company can be treated differently.

I work with people who get their school fees completely free and help with moving, yet we get zero and pay for everything, so you could say we're not expats, in fact our children live on the cheapest food around! It's the luck of the draw and we lost. I see people working for biggies like Toyota or Pfizer, quite high up in rankings, treated differently, so some have no choice but send children to local schools, some choose local schools even if they're entitled to paid international schooling, some take full advantage of the paid international schooling, same job, different contracts.

UniS Wed 17-Apr-13 19:48:30

NO experience with international re-location.

When we had to re-locate with in the UK... .The company paid for 2 house hunting/ fact finding weekend trips to new region. Removal firm for one house move. ( had to get quotes from approved companies). There was a scheme where they would make you an offer on your house - guaranteed buyer sort of thing- but they decided not to accept our house , so it wasn't much of a guarantee after all. The while DH was weekly commuting after we had sold/ bought house and moved but before his bit of the company moved, he had a weekly allowance for rent and travel.

BUT - I gather this was a very generous relocation package from a company trying hard to keep existing staff when they moved HQ 200 miles and many companies are NOT as generous as that. Also many are not so generous to new starters and to old hands who are "being moved".

Wiifitmama Wed 17-Apr-13 19:51:56


Schooling is not an issue for us. I guess I was thinking more about moving costs, plane tickets, accommodation while you try to find someone more permanent to live, etc.

Did you not get any of this?

Wiifitmama Wed 17-Apr-13 19:53:13

Sorry, cross posted. My message was to reluctantover.

Thanks also for your input UniS

Clueless2727 Wed 17-Apr-13 20:13:24

Wonder if it might be different as new employee rather than transfer. Dh transfer covering relocation costs inc economy tickets to destination, 6 weeks serviced apt, shipping costs plus slush fund for other unforseen expenses. (Also insurance co)

Wibblypiglikesbananas Wed 17-Apr-13 21:18:12

It depends on the company. We got a cash sum that we could use how we wished - so if we'd wanted to blow the lot on first class flights, we could have done but then we'd have had no furniture here! In the event, the majority of this was spent on the shipping company we used (UK to US) and flights. We had to supply the receipts to DH's company and they paid all invoices. We also got a month in a serviced apartment when we arrived.

One thing I would try and negotiate if we did this again would be return flights each year for us as a family and an allowance for electricals - we had to replace everything due to voltage. We managed a recce trip here before we moved but only because I worked in the travel industry at the time and could get discounts. We wouldn't have had this otherwise.

Also - check out your tax position. What sounded like a generous moving allowance to us wasn't quite so attractive when DH had a chunk of his salary disappear at Christmas as tax on said package. To be fair, this may well be standard in the US but the point was, we weren't aware of it and would have negotiated a higher package in the first place had we known.

We don't get schooling etc paid but as DD is too young for school, it's irrelevant. DH's company cover his health insurance and mine and DD's is subsidised. There was no pension contribution for DH for the first year of his job but yr2 onwards it's something like 20%, so a lot higher than the UK.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Wed 17-Apr-13 21:20:02

Oh yeah - and if it's an American company, they will expect him to negotiate over the salary. Definitely don't accept the first offer, perhaps the second or third? People here seem much more open about discussing what they're 'worth' so now is not the time to be all British and polite!

theselegswermad Wed 17-Apr-13 21:21:35

When we moved to Canada husbands relocation package included this
All flights (3)
All visa's paid
Movers both ends to pack and un pack
40 ft container all shipping costs
1 month free accommodation other end
3 day re-locator advisory help with properties/medical/sign ups etc
$2000 electrical allowance for appliances etc

slipshodsibyl Wed 17-Apr-13 21:24:59

Rent for a suitable home. Health care. A flight home annually. A container (or whatever) of furniture transported for you. A settling in allowance for necessary extra expenditure needed for setting up a new home. Practical support with setting up - info about services etc. temp accom while house searching.

MrsJohnDeere Wed 17-Apr-13 21:35:08

At dh's firm it would include:

Rent for one year
10-20% salary bonus (depending on how desirable or otherwise the new location is)
Flights at the start and end of the stay for all the family
3 return flights per year
Someone to organise accommodation, schools, etc
Removal/strange costs

MrsJohnDeere Wed 17-Apr-13 21:36:28

storage costs not strange costs grin

Wiifitmama Wed 17-Apr-13 21:46:55

Wow. It varies so much. I think what I would want is packers/movers both ends, flights there, visas, accommodation for a month while we sort out apartment, some sort of help/advice settling in. Health insurance, pensions, etc i think are part of main contract, not relocation package.

Saltedcaramellavacake Thu 18-Apr-13 02:11:18

It really does vary. Ours is very generous, but my DH's company is really scaling back for new expats. The thing I was going to say is check carefully what happens on exit - if my husband had resigned within the first year we had to pay everything back - it would have been couple of hundred thousand dollars! If he quits now we have to get ourselves out of here with all the resulting costs. This is really worth checking in advance.

ripsishere Thu 18-Apr-13 02:43:25

We've had varying packages, ranging from a lot of shipping to none, flights for all three of us, to just one for him, housing provided, to no help at all.
For Switzerland, I'd ask for a relocation agent. There are 100s. She can help you with housing, health insurance and general day to day stuff that can be tiresome. Recycling and bin bags spring to mind.
Certainly ask for health insurance, ours was eye waveringly expensive in Zug.

kickassangel Thu 18-Apr-13 02:54:27

Anything from nothing to everything. But you will pay UK tax on your last earnings and that will include the relocation given to you.

MasterOfTheYoniverse Thu 18-Apr-13 02:59:15

Minimum would be:
All shipping costs INCLUDING insurance for your shipment.
One month serviced appartment
Health insurance
Depending on your tax situation, you might want to ask for a reasonnable monthly allowance to cover school & part of your rent.
Relocation agent.

Some companies also provide a small one off allowance to cover initial deposits (school & rent). Definitely negotiate and lay down on paper all your requirements.
And yes, bear in mind that there is often a clause that you should reimburse costs if you were to quit within the year.

ripsishere Thu 18-Apr-13 03:23:14

Good advice from Master. I'd also ask for a loan or allowance for the rent. Deposit and first months.

Want2bSupermum Thu 18-Apr-13 03:29:52

DH is now seen as too expensive to move because of my list of 'demands'. I won't uproot my family unless DH's employer provide the following:

1 - Continuation of pension (DH is on final salary and when he moved over to the US the clock restarted. He has now worked for 17 years for the company and will have 10 years built up in June this year when July will mark his 18th year with the company)

2 - Temporary accomodation plus cars for DH and myself depending on the location for up to 6 months with one bedroom for each child.

3 - Coverage of costs to sell and buy principle residence plus any loss we might incur due to sale of house. If we agree to rent the place out then they must pay for the management fee.

4 - School fees for any school our children gets into. This does not include daycare or afterschool activites to help them intergrate although I know this has been included in other packages.

5 - Flights for family plus immediate family members in home country to visit once per year (ie grandparents, siblings etc). Extra flights in years you are having a child was approved for one employee. Another good one is coverage of the cost of a car rental and vacation home rental while visiting family. We don't have this but others have. Very jealous but DH wouldn't ask for this. Instead we squeeze into his parents tiny apartment and my FIL is building another bedroom for their summer house. We have been told to have no more children - we only have 2! I have no idea how the four of us will fit in the box room in their apartment. We might possibly suffocate!

6 - Tax help. It gets bloody complicated especially when you are dealing with multiple returns.

7 - I have a good job and my employer would probably have something for me at another location but if DH didn't make good money I would want some help getting a new job.

Cars are another big thing. I don't really care as I don't buy fancy cars. Others have included them in their requirements. If employer doesn't offer professional moving service where they come and pack everything up for you I am not moving. It really is the least they can pay for. One of the wives was telling me she got her DH to ask for a professional organizer to come in before the movers to help her clear through everything. They lived in a massive house and it enabled them to get everything into two containers.

If anyone is reading this for inspiration of what to ask for. If you are moving to the US neigotiate when they will support your application for a greencard. When I moved on my own before I met DH it was the only thing I cared about. Without a greencard in the US you are in a precarious position.

Cerisier Thu 18-Apr-13 03:31:47

Your bargaining power depends on the situation for a new job. Does the company particularly want someone with UK experience/qualifications? If so then you can expect a good package.

If DH is up against local people who can do the job he isn't likely to be offered much of a deal unless he is head and shoulders above the opposition.

MasterOfTheYoniverse Thu 18-Apr-13 03:59:58

Want2BeSupermum shock at 3 & 5. Very cheeky.
Unheard of even from many with absolute stellar packages!

Definitely, definitely do ask for assistance with tax filing and immigration assistance with regards to your own employment. Very good points.

Mutley77 Thu 18-Apr-13 05:50:18

I don't think there is a standard but you need to have your base line ready!

We were re-located with my DH's company but he chose the job so it was kind of a 50/50 supported re-location if you see what I mean. We eventually ended up with (and I thought this was stingy!) -

- increased salary overseas for DH to compensate for my lack of earnings (I could work visa wise but difficult to arrange with no support networks and contacts)
- flights for us all to get here
- shipping for all our stuff including insurance, customs cost, full packing and unpacking
- cat flown and customs charges (decided not to in the end bless him - weren't allowed to trade this in on anything else)
- up to 2 months serviced appartment

I think that was pretty much it. We didn't need any immigration assistance as DH is citizen of our new country and I already had a PR visa.

We did choose the move as a lifestyle thing so I don't feel we have lost out as such but I did think they should be paying things like a car for DH, health insurance for us here, etc. That's not the way benefits work here generally due to tax so they felt the uplift in salary partly covered it (which it does).

Good luck!

Cerisier Thu 18-Apr-13 06:39:55

Master we did get no. 3 from Supermum's list on an internal UK move for DH's company, this was about 20 years ago.

Supermum in some countries you are not allowed to buy a property as a foreigner so you need to factor in rentals (which can be sky high in HK, Singapore etc).

I too think no. 5 is very cheeky- I have never heard of a company paying to fly granny over. In practice airmiles can help getting extra flights.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 18-Apr-13 07:15:59

OP In terms of moving costs, what you're asking is completely reasonable and is fairly standard.

In terms of package on the ground it's just too variable- depends on where you're going and the industry you're in. We have always had move costs paid (including pets) but Dh is on a local contract which means it's all in cash (salary) and we just pay our own living costs- no school fees, no rent, no cars etc but get health and pension. It's still worth being here becuase tax is much lower so take home is much higher. Local package is becoming much more common in Asia for front office investment business positions (unless the employee is on a fixed term secondment of 2 yrs or less). Back office is more flexible, largely because if someone's in IT and earning GBP120k equivalent and has to spend 70 of that on a 3 bed flat, they're not going to come. In industry, packages are still the norm. In the legal profession, it varies. Local becoming much more common. To an extent this reflects the fact that it's much easier to hire locally than it was, say, 10 years ago, and with the exception of a few hardship postings where no-one goes voluntarily, that's probably true the world over.

What is also true the world over is that whatever people have they moan. The package people bemoan their lack of flexibility (i.e. would rather have it all in cash and not have the club and 2 cars). Locals bitch that they want a club and a parking space in central

Barbie1 Thu 18-Apr-13 07:19:17

For our relocation package we had

Three day relocation 'help' the agents took us to find an apartment, helped with visas, banks, schools etc.

The cost of shipping, 20ft container.

Storage cost for remaining possessions.

Rental fees paid up to a certain allowance. More than enough to have lovely apartment and pool.

£5000 settling in allowance. Basically to furnish the apartment but as we shipped everything over we just spent it! blush

Daily food allowance while in tempory accommodation.

All pet cost involved in shipping a max of two pets over

Education fees from 3+ years

A company car

Private health insurance for all the family.

A return flight home each year. We now get the cash for the flight, so if we choose to we could spend it in other ways.

Visas and health screening cost all covered.

Dh gets a very good company pension.

Basically the company policy is that we shouldn't be out of pocket for moving abroad. If we find something which isn't covered and we wouldn't usually pay for it back in the uk dh just has to flag it up with hr and usually we are reimbursed.

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