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Administration Policy and Procedure


41.111:  Relocation Expenses


Status:

Approved on November 4, 2009Signatures and dates
on archival copy

Effective:

when approved 

Initiated by:

Luis Lewin
Chief Human Resource Officer
 

Endorsed by:

The Ohio University
Executive Staff

Pam Benoit
Executive Vice President and Provost
 

Approved by:

Roderick J. McDavis
President
 

Date of Approval
Following Last Full Review:

November 4, 2009 


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Purpose

This policy provides for consistent compensation to employees for certain expenses of their relocation for employment at Ohio University.


Plan

Ohio University provides relocation assistance to facilitate the movement of new regular faculty and staff. This program helps Ohio University to remain competitive in the recruitment process in attracting a pool of talent to meet its needs.

This policy is designed to guide employees through the relocation process allowing them to complete their transfer to Ohio University with minimum difficulty.

Ohio University may compensate new regular faculty and staff for transportation of household goods, temporary housing, travel, and lodging cost from the previous residence. While it is our intention to assist new employees with most reasonable and actual costs associated with their move, this policy does not provide full reimbursement for each and every item of expense the employee may incur. In addition, in the event that both the relocating employee and spouse are employed by Ohio University only one set of benefits will be authorized to relocate the family.

The amount offered may be expended over a period of up to two years from the first day of employment.

Departments have the full responsibility to determine the need for, applicability, and the amount of relocation compensation, up to the maximum amounts provided in this policy. Any exception that exceeds the amounts specified in this policy must be approved by the President or Provost.

The relocation benefits shall be specifically stated in the offer of employment. University Human Resources ("UHR") is charged with the responsibility to act as a liaison between the hiring department and the employee. UHR will provide a package of the specific relocation plan with the letter of offer. The hiring department will notify UHR immediately following the offer to start the relocation process.


Policies and Procedures


I.   Policy Guidelines

Benefits provided by this policy have tax implications to those receiving the benefits. Tax information is described in Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") Publication 521, "Moving Expenses." The current information is subject to change by the IRS. Please refer to the IRS website and Publication 521 and consult a tax professional for tax advice.

Detailed descriptions of the processes to be used to implement this policy will be maintained online, linked through http://www.ohio.edu/hr/employment/.


II.   Relocation Allowance Table

Service or BenefitMaximum ReimbursementMethod of Payment
 RenterHomeowner 
Shipping of Household Goods$5,000$10,000Direct Payment to vendor
(Debit Card for self-move)
House Hunting Trip$1,800$1,800Debit Card issued to employee
Temporary Housing$5,000$5,000
Travel and Lodging at Time of Move$1,200$1,200
Total$13,000.00$18,000.00 
For purposes of this policy, a homeowner is defined as someone who either owns his or her home at the time of hire, or has household goods weighing greater than 10,000 lbs, or both. All others are treated as renters.


III.   Methods for Payment of Relocation Expenses


A.   Direct Payment to Relocation Service Supplier

Unless the employee has elected to self-move, the university will contract with one or more providers of household goods moving services, and will pay them directly (up to $5,000 for renters and $10,000 for homeowners) for the movement of personal belongings, furniture, clothing, etc.


B.   Payment to the New Employee Prior to the Move

Payment of up to $8,000 will be achieved by issuing a declining-balance debit card to the employee. By using this card, individuals will be responsible for all of their expenses associated with house hunting trips, temporary housing, travel, and lodging at the time of their move.

If the employee elects to self-move (e.g., renting a trailer or truck), excluding Ohio University from the process of relocating the household goods, then the debit-card described in the prior paragraph may be issued for the full amount of the relocation award as stated in the letter of offer.

All applicable taxes (approximately $2,500 at the maximum reimbursement amount for the categories described in the first paragraph, more if the employee uses the self-move option) will be withheld from one of the employee's first paychecks. (If the taxes exceed the take-home pay, then the amount of the extra withholding tax payment will be divided evenly and spread over two, or more, pays, as needed.) The entire payment will be reported as taxable wages on the annual Form W-2. The employee must retain documentation of expenses for tax purposes. The employee is encouraged to consult a tax professional for further advice.


IV.   General Instructions

The appropriate relocation reimbursement package options must be discussed and disclosed to the new employee during the hiring process. The letter of offer must then state the appropriate option based upon the previously introduced Relocation Allowance Table that defines the maximum amount for the service or benefit selected. Total amount reimbursed must not exceed the amount stated in the table. UHR will include a packet describing the new employee's specific relocation plan with the letter of offer.


A.   Temporary Housing

Temporary housing is included in the relocation offer in amounts not to exceed those specified in the Relocation Allowance Table. For information about university-owned housing, the employee should be directed to Policy and Procedure 03.007, "Guest and Temporary Housing." A list of the accommodations is published online linked through http://www.ohio.edu/housing/ (scroll down to "Guest, Graduate & Family Housing" for details). All inquires may be made by calling the Conference Services Office at 740-566-9001. Use of university accommodations is not without cost. An employee in transition is expected to pay for his or her accommodations with the debit card, for all services rendered.

For information about non-university-owned housing, the employee should be directed to the "where to stay" choices on the Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau web site.


B.   Real Estate and Other Options

Procurement Services will maintain information online, linked through http://www.ohio.edu/hr/employment/relocation.cfm, related to the optional relocation services that are available through the university-designated moving services agent (e.g., real estate agent cash reimbursements). Complete details will be included with the employee's relocation packet. Some of these benefits and services may be available only to those employees that contract with the university-designated agent to move their household goods.


V.   Exceptions

Policy and Procedure 01.003, "Exceptions to or Restrictions of University Policies," applies to this policy, except that:

  • Only the President or Provost may approve exceptions to this policy that involve payments for services or benefits not covered above; that involve payments in amounts exceeding the maximum amounts specified above; or that involve reducing the amount of repayment called for by the Relocation Expense Repayment Agreement.

  • All exceptions involving maximum amounts or covered expenses must be made before the employee accepts the offer of employment. There are to be no ex post facto exceptions to this policy.


VI.   Relocation Expense Repayment

The employee must sign and submit the Relocation Expense Repayment Agreement in order to receive reimbursement of relocation expenses. The Relocation Expense Repayment Agreement is incorporated by reference as part of this policy.

The agreement will be in effect for up to two years. If the employee chooses to terminate his or her employment by Ohio University, or is terminated for cause, then repayment of funds to Ohio University by the employee will be based on the number of calendar days employed (i.e., number of continuous days on employed status, not number of days physically present for work), as determined by using the chart below:

Days EmployedRepayment
0 - 365100 %
366 - 48575 %
486 - 60550 %
606 - 73025 %

If it is found that the Employee obtained employment fraudulently (e.g., under falsified credentials), then repayment will be for 100% of relocation costs previously paid by the university, regardless of the number of days employed.

At the university's discretion, the repayment may be paid, in whole or in part, by deduction from amounts otherwise owed by the university to the employee (e.g., final pay). See the Relocation Expense Repayment Agreement text for complete details. The agreement should be completed and returned with the Employee's acceptance letter.


Reviewers

Proposed revisions of this policy should be reviewed by:

  1. President

  2. Executive Vice President and Provost

  3. Executive Staff

  4. Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration

  5. Chief Procurement Officer

  6. Chief Audit Executive

  7. Planning Unit Heads

  8. Tax Compliance Manager

  9. Chairs and Directors Council

  10. Faculty Senate

  11. Administrative Senate

  12. Classified Senate

  13. Policy and Procedure Review Committee


Forms

The following forms are specific to this policy:

  1. The Direct Payment form is available online, linked from http://www.ohio.edu/finance/procuretopay/forms.cfm.

  2. The Relocation Expense Repayment Agreement form is available online, linked from http://www.ohio.edu/hr/forms/index.cfm#r.


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Dick Piccard revised this file (http://www.ohio.edu/policy/41-111.html) on May 15, 2013.
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