Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
Summer
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:19 pm

Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by Summer » Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:30 pm

I know the salary and bonus but not these items.....

Should a written job offer include details about relocation package?

Or are they normally disclosed after you signed letter accepting job?
What a good relocation package for Mid level employee?
I need to sell home and move into temp housing before buying or renting in new location.
They say they have relocation package but it hasn’t been disclosed.

Also- is it okay to ask about?
Who is there 401k company? ( I know the 401k match)
Health care benefit company? Cost? Yearly Deductible?
Is company paying for phone included?
What else am I missing?

Whats okay to ask/ negotiate before signing offer and what should be in writing with job offer letter- before you sign/ accept offer?

Thanks in advance
Summer

HomeStretch
Posts: 2512
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:06 pm

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by HomeStretch » Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:59 pm

Depends on the company. I think all pertinent information *should* be included. If something is important to me, I would want it in writing before I accepted and gave notice.

Offer letters at last company that were sent out from HR always included:
Expected Start date
Title
Title of who position reported into
Salary
Exhibit with one page summary of benefits - healthcare, 401k, ESPP, tuition assistance, vacation/sick/holiday, etc. Not a ton of detail.

If applicable:
Bonus opportunity
Stock compensation
Relocation
Executive perquisites
Reference to Change of control agreement, employment agreement, etc. to be executed at job start
Any guarantees (i.e. if hire was terminated without cause in first year, then relocation was not repayable

Letter was signed and dated by an executive officer. Letter included a “respond by date” and also noted offer was contingent on satisfactory reference check and education/employment/etc. background checks. No drug tests.

Keep a copy of the letter signed by both parties. It was not unheard of for a laid-off employee to claim a non-standard severance benefit was owed as per their offer letter which was not on HR’s radar.

Edited for typo
Last edited by HomeStretch on Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

informal guide
Posts: 277
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:26 am

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by informal guide » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:02 pm

I am neither a lawyer nor a recruitment person. But I have moved jobs several times.

Assuming this is a mid to larger sized employer, all questions like you listed are on the table; you should ask them without hesitation before signing any The recruiter is, at least in part, judged on acceptance rates, so the two of you are now allies. In my experience (and those of my kids), relo packages are usually included in offer letters. With the recent changes in tax deductibility, Relo is more often simply a lump sum - -do understand if it is "grossed up" for taxes (more unlikely recently). With a smaller employer or recently formed firm, they tend to be even more negotiable.

These items are sometimes negotiable, especially relo packages.

If a search firm is involved, ask them too --it is in their best interest that you accept, start, and stay, at least short term. They only get paid when you start and stay.

Unless you believe the credentials of the prospective employer are impeccable, I'd encourage you to get them in writing (and not be bashful about asking for them). If the firm is extraordinarily desirable, they should be glad to share all these details with you!

Congrats on the offer - -you are now in the driver's seat unless you become a real PITA

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 17373
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by Watty » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:13 pm

informal guide wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:02 pm
Unless you believe the credentials of the prospective employer are impeccable, I'd encourage you to get them in writing (and not be bashful about asking for them).
Even if they are "impeccable" get everything in writing so that are not any misunderstandings.

Sometimes things will come up like you don't get the 401k match the first year or your healthcare benefits will not start for 90 days so now is the time to get all the details clear even if you to not try to negotiate a better deal.

Frankly I am a bit surprised that this was not in the offer letter.

anhonymous
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:41 am

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by anhonymous » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:53 pm

What i have seen is that the offer letter itself is short and pithy laying out position, salary and other conditions related to background checks/employment law etc. If you are eligible for bonus/other awards they will reference you to some incentive plan document , which they should send along. Similarly they will send you a long form or short form brochure (typically long form so you know exact costs) of medical/retirement and other benefits.

Lastly for relocation, the offer letter will specify the "band" of relocation that is available to your role. There will then be a separate document that explains the nuts and bolts of the relocation package available to your grade etc.. Think about this way..In case you negotiate they want to make few changes and send a revised offer asap. So most of the details are in ancillary documents/policies.

User avatar
onthecusp
Posts: 712
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:25 pm

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by onthecusp » Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:13 pm

If you like what you have seen so far it is probably time for a verbal acceptance, but conditional on what you need to know.

Pare out anything you are curious about but would not change your decision.

Relocation can be a big sum of money, payable in some form in the near future, so it is important to know.
Health care is also a large ongoing expense.

Things like bonus and stock awards can be big. If they are guaranteed or highly normalized in the company they probably already mentioned them in the offer or possibly verbally. If not they may be much more discretionary and variable. Since you said mid-level such things are less likely to be factors. Depends on the location and industry as well as the particular company.

If you can explore these and other items, like phone policy with the recruiter or conversationally with someone at the company, ok, but I would not press for answers if they are not able to make promises.

User avatar
cockersx3
Posts: 233
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:55 pm

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by cockersx3 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:54 pm

I have relocated several times for work. In all cases, the offer letter called for "relocation consistent with company policies," and I would ask for - and receive - a copy of the relo policy prior to accepting the job. Never once had a recruiter hesitate when I asked. They hire people all the time, and they generally want to get you as much information as possible to help you decide on the role. (If they have not offered a copy of the relo policy, or if they defer or act concerned about questions you may have about the policy, that would be a red flag in my book.)

Keep in mind that the relo policies can go into multiple pages, so including all of the details in the offer letter is probably not practical. Also, companies will typically hire out the relo to another company, so the recruiter may not necessarily know all of the ins & outs of the policy. In those cases, they have always offered - and I have always accepted - a pre-meeting with the outsourced relo partner to discuss the details and answer questions. Again, this is all normal & customary, and there is no shame in asking for it. They do this all the time.

As far as what a relo policy typically includes, my experience is that it varies based on the industry and also on the level of the role. In my industry (health related), it always includes reimbursement of home sale costs (including realtor's fees), closing costs on a new home, and a full moving package (ie they come in & box up your stuff, as well as move it).

They sometimes will pay for temp housing in the new location for a fixed period, although my experience is that its more common to just provide a lump sum. They also will typically pay any taxes due on the relo funding. I have always gotten a guaranteed buyout offer on my old home in case it doesn't sell, although the offer is usually pretty lousy. (My current employer has eliminated that benefit though.) Some companies reimburse you to a fixed dollar amount if you sell your current home for less than what you originally paid. I have gotten that once at a very high level at an employer, which was unexpected but very nice :-)

rich126
Posts: 862
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:56 pm

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by rich126 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:26 pm

Of course they should. I've done it three times and all included information about relocation. Whether it was a flat amount or something that provided real estate commissions, hotel stays, upfront cash to cover odds and ends, etc. Packages vary greatly by companies and by your salary level (and I guess the current job market).

And sometimes a company is unwilling to pay anything. In those cases I just move onto someone else unless of course I was desperate for a job.

Make sure you get everything in writing, emails, etc. Don't trust verbal communications. I had an issue with a benefit where I knew the HR person told me I would get something and then when I started the company said that was inaccurate. Fortunately the HR person readily admitted the mistake and I also had a copy of an email exchange. They decided to honor it (not sure how they could have ignore it but that would be a different story).

I try to trust people but unfortunately if it isn't in writing and something goes wrong, you are often out of luck.

stan1
Posts: 7555
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by stan1 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:33 pm

Summer wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:30 pm
Who is there 401k company? ( I know the 401k match)
What you want to see is the list of funds in the 401K plan with expense ratios. If the 401K plan offers a low expense Index 500 fund and a low expense bond fund that's all you really need. A low expense total stock market and low expense total international fund would be nice too but there are workaround if the plan doesn't have those.

123
Posts: 5114
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by 123 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:42 pm

There have been some tax law changes in how relocation package benefits are taxed.

Depending on the relocation expenses you may need to consider whether you can afford the tax consequences of a relocation package.https://www.irs.gov/publications/p521
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

MrCastaway
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 7:50 pm

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by MrCastaway » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:45 pm

I had an offer from FAANG out of college that would not tell me where’d id be until after signing the official letter. That was weird and I did not do accept. Another company would not send me offer letter until I verbally accepted.

Another company that I ended up going to work for included the relocation package info in the offer letter. You can probably find the 401k health info via googling and searching Glassdoor reviews. I’ve found pdf of prior year health benefit brochures pretty easily online. I think a site called brightscope can list out the fund options in a plan. I’m sure there is another way to back into searching sec filings

Just because you sign offer letter does not mean you’ve entered into any kind of legally binding agreement in almost all circumstances.

Ask for everything you need to make a decision, they are used to that and if that becomes an issue then that’s a red flag. I agree with getting everything in writing, absolutely 100%.

I like to switch roles slot and have learned to always negotiate and ask for all details to support decision making. I think you are taken more seriously when you do that.

Topic Author
Summer
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:19 pm

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by Summer » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:21 am

Original poster-

Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply!

Here’s an update so far-

I now know- the salary, bonus, 401k company/ company match, health insurance co/ monthly premiums/ yearly deductible, phone allowance, start date and vacation time/ holiday/ sick time. All told to me verbal- I am waiting for written offer.

I don’t know, any real details of the relocation package. For some reason you have to accept job (sign on dotted line) before they will disclose any real details. Does this seem normal? They do have a relocation company that they do use (we been told) but I can’t figure out what the company willing to pay for and if we will have to pay for part or all of the move.
Which can be crazy expensive $$$$$

( we have to sell home, hire movers, move many states away, temp housing, temp storage for household goods, move cars , etc ... lots of :moneybag and I don’t know what we will have to pay- 😑 )

With No details of the relocation company benefits until we sign?

I am hoping there’s something in the written offer that mentions something but
If there’s no details in the written offer with some detail of relocation help, how do we proceed?
Maybe ask for “ relocation policy”

Thanks Again
Summer

HomeStretch
Posts: 2512
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:06 pm

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by HomeStretch » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:46 am

Wait for the written offer. If you are inclined to accept but the only open item is the relocation package, I would ask either the recruiter or company again to describe the overall financial terms of the relocation assistance. If the amount is critical to your decision, you can sign the letter but not give notice to your current employer until you have the relocation pkg info.

The relocation pkg may not cover all your costs and it may not be grossed up to cover taxes, if any, associated with it. You need to decide if this is a job in an area that you want to live in even if there is some upfront out-of-pocket expense to you. If I did agree to relocate, what would also be important to me is a separation agreement ... if terminated by the employer for any reason but cause within xx months of date of employment (or match the repayment term of the relocation pkg) then the relocation would not be repayable and I would want $xxx as a severance benefit. The latter is important if I moved to the new location only for the job and wouldn’t stay there if terminated. If the new location was where I wanted to be long-term, then I wouldn’t care as much about the severance benefit.

A lot depends on your level with the company or how much the company wants/needs you. The more senior you are, the more negotiating leverage you have.

User avatar
FlyAF
Posts: 458
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:14 am

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by FlyAF » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:16 am

Doesn't sound like you're being offered a relo package.

dknightd
Posts: 1829
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:57 am

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by dknightd » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:20 am

Summer wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:30 pm
I know the salary and bonus but not these items.....

Should a written job offer include details about relocation package?

Or are they normally disclosed after you signed letter accepting job?
What a good relocation package for Mid level employee?
I need to sell home and move into temp housing before buying or renting in new location.
They say they have relocation package but it hasn’t been disclosed.

Also- is it okay to ask about?
Who is there 401k company? ( I know the 401k match)
Health care benefit company? Cost? Yearly Deductible?
Is company paying for phone included?
What else am I missing?

Whats okay to ask/ negotiate before signing offer and what should be in writing with job offer letter- before you sign/ accept offer?

Thanks in advance
Summer
I would ask about it all. Get the bits important to you in writing as part of the revised offer letter.

Edited to add: Consider negotiating a higher salary in lieu of relocation expenses. You'd have to pay to relocate out of your pocket. But the higher starting salary could easily make up for it in a year or two. And if you stayed there longer all future raises would be based on a higher starting salary. Just a thought ;)

User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 3428
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by JoeRetire » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:31 pm

Summer wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:30 pm
Should a written job offer include details about relocation package?
Assuming they know that you are looking for relocation assistance - yes.
They say they have relocation package but it hasn’t been disclosed.
So ask for it in writing. Either ask that it be part of the written offer or in a separate writing.
Also- is it okay to ask about?
Who is there 401k company? ( I know the 401k match)
Health care benefit company? Cost? Yearly Deductible?
Is company paying for phone included?

Whats okay to ask/ negotiate before signing offer and what should be in writing with job offer letter- before you sign/ accept offer?
It's okay to ask about anything that concerns you while trying to make a decision.
Don't ask about things that aren't relevant for this decision, as you risk coming across as needy/high maintenance.

User avatar
Elsebet
Posts: 772
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:28 pm
Location: Washington state

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by Elsebet » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:35 pm

I would not accept a job offer that I had to relocate for without knowing the full details of the relocation package. I think it's fishy that a company would insist you accept before sharing the relocation package details.
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca

core4portfolio
Posts: 356
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:12 pm

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by core4portfolio » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:54 pm

I got few offers from companies recently. All are fortune 500 companies.In offer letter they are as follows :
First company mentioned relocation will be fully taken care by themselves including 2 weeks of rental car, 2 weeks of hotel stay, house hold goods and 1 car

Second company states $X is given for relocation and tax will be deducted from that.

Third company states in offer letter - relocation package as per discussion with your hiring manager (but no figure like $Y.)
I sent email to HR asking if $Y is taxable, got updated as it will be grossed up and so I will get $Y with tax paid by company but still no $Y in offer letter.

You can do like this as well - Send email to HR asking as part of discussion, do this agreed $XXXX is grossed up or not like who will pay tax like that... you can keep that as proof if you wish based on HR response
Allocation : 80/20 (80% TSM, 20% TBM) | Need to learn fishing sooner

User avatar
onthecusp
Posts: 712
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:25 pm

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by onthecusp » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:12 pm

If they "have a relocation company" it is probably a package meant to keep you "whole" but not provide a bunch of extra cash. They won't say what it is worth because you won't see the costs. Now various companies ideas of "whole" can be pretty different. I am pretty tolerant of such ambiguity but you might be different. That may or may not be a problem.

The last company I moved for gave me a lump sum and it was up to me to control costs or spend more if I wanted. That was well known right up front. Company before that paid for moves in a way that were not well spelled out but I bet they paid far more than the lump sum I got, even many years ago. Some companies won't pay for moves.

Surely by this time someone has said something like:
We will pay for the move. That is likely just the cost of a professional moving company.
We will pay for closing costs for a new house. That is likely a random set of fees of a few thousand dollars.

Is a few thousand dollars going to make a difference in your decision? Is knowing the precise amount that important? If so, I suggest passing on the company as you don't seem to have any confidence in them.

KyleAAA
Posts: 7524
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by KyleAAA » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:24 pm

Of course it's okay to ask about. There are absolutely no questions about benefits, etc that are not okay to ask. They should be able to send you a doc with the details of their standard relo package. You can probably negotiate the details if you can justify the need. The last time I relocated the offer itself didn't have the details, but they sent me a separate document that did.

The value of my last relo was in the $40k range, so it pays to know what they are taking care of and what you're responsible for. Also, make sure you find out if there is a clawback should you resign before a certain period of time (there almost always is).
Last edited by KyleAAA on Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

dcabler
Posts: 1109
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:30 am

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

Post by dcabler » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:31 pm

Summer wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:30 pm
I know the salary and bonus but not these items.....

Should a written job offer include details about relocation package?

Or are they normally disclosed after you signed letter accepting job?
What a good relocation package for Mid level employee?
I need to sell home and move into temp housing before buying or renting in new location.
They say they have relocation package but it hasn’t been disclosed.

Also- is it okay to ask about?
Who is there 401k company? ( I know the 401k match)
Health care benefit company? Cost? Yearly Deductible?
Is company paying for phone included?
What else am I missing?

Whats okay to ask/ negotiate before signing offer and what should be in writing with job offer letter- before you sign/ accept offer?

Thanks in advance
Summer
In your first group, I've always had all of that directly in the offer letter. Only once did I have to ask that the moving package be included, with details. And it was more of a "we forgot" than anything else as they had standard policies for all of those things.

In the second group, it's usually not part of the offer letter, but the HR rep/Recruiter has always been willing to supply me with all of that information without batting an eye. I've even had them send me a list of the actual funds available in the 401K.

You can try to negotiate anything, but I've usually seen the best luck with negotiating starting salary and sign-on bonus. Both of those were particularly important for my previous employer once I found out that, regardless of your performance, merit raises were zero to nonexistant over the years.

Cheers.

Post Reply