41.111: Relocation Expenses
|Status:||Approved on September 28, 2015||Signatures and dates
on archival copy
|Effective:||30 days after approval||
|Initiated by:||Colleen Bendl|
Chief Human Resource Officer
|Endorsed by:||Stephen Golding|
Vice President for Finance and Administration
|Approved by:||Roderick J. McDavis|
- A. Overview
This policy provides for consistent compensation to employees for certain expenses of their relocation for employment at Ohio university.
- 1. Eligibility
Benefits eligible faculty and staff include:
- Regular appointments with FTE level of 0.75 or greater (as defined in policy 40.106).
- Term appointments with a duration of one year or greater and with FTE level of 0.75 or greater (as defined in policy 40.106).
- "Group I," "Group II," "Group IV," and "Clinical" faculty (as defined by the "Faculty Handbook").
- 2. Summary
Ohio university provides relocation assistance to facilitate the movement of eligible 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 eligible 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. The hiring department will notify UHR immediately following the offer to start the relocation process.
- B. 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 https://www.ohio.edu/hr/employment/.
- C. Relocation allowance table
|Service or benefit||Maximum reimbursement||Method of payment
|Shipping of household goods||$5,000||$10,000||Direct payment to vendor
(direct payment to employee for self-move)
|House hunting trip||$1,800||$1,800||Direct payment to employee
|Travel and lodging at
time of move||$1,200||$1,200
|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.
- D. Methods for payment of relocation expenses
- 1. 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 five thousand dollars for renters and ten thousand dollars for homeowners) for the movement of personal belongings, furniture, clothing, etc.
- 2. Payment to the new employee prior to the move
Payment of up to eight thousand dollars may be made directly to the employee. 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 payment to the employee may be issued for the full amount of the relocation award as stated in the letter of offer.
All applicable taxes (approximately two thousand five hundred dollars 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.
- E. 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 state the appropriate option based upon part (C) of this policy that defines the maximum amount for the service or benefit selected. Total amount reimbursed must not exceed the amount stated in the table.
- 1. Temporary housing
Temporary housing is included in the relocation offer in amounts not to exceed those specified in part (C) of this policy. For information about university-owned housing, the employee should be directed to policy 03.007. A list of the accommodations is published online linked through https://www.ohio.edu/housing/ (scroll down to "Guest and Interim Housing" for details). All inquires may be made by calling the residential housing office. Use of university accommodations is not without cost. An employee in transition is expected to pay for his or her accommodations, 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.
- 2. Real estate and other options
UHR will maintain information online, linked through https://www.ohio.edu/hr/employment/relocation.cfm, related to the optional relocation services that are available through the university-designated moving services agent. 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.
- F. Exceptions
Policy 01.003 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 in this policy; or that involve reducing the amount of repayment called for by part (C) of this policy.
- 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.
- G. 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 shall be in effect for two years or until the end of the appointment, whichever comes first. If, during the agreement, the employee is terminated for cause or chooses to terminate his or her employment with Ohio University, then repayment of funds to Ohio University by the employee shall 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), according to the chart below:
|0 - 365||100 %
|366 - 485||75 %
|486 - 605||50 %
|606 - 730||25 %
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.
Proposed revisions of this policy should be reviewed by:
- Chief Procurement Officer
- Chief Audit Executive
- Planning Unit Heads
- Tax Compliance Manager
- Chairs and Directors Council
- Faculty Senate
- Administrative Senate
- Classified Senate
- Forms, References, and History
- 1. Forms
The following forms are specific to this policy:
- The Direct Payment form is available online, linked from https://www.ohio.edu/finance/procuretopay/forms.cfm.
- The Relocation Expense Repayment Agreement form is available online, linked from https://www.ohio.edu/hr/forms/index.cfm#r.
- 2. References
The following items are relevant to this policy:
- Policy 01.003, "Exceptions to or Restrictions of University Policies."
- Policy 03.007, "Guest and Temporary Housing."
- Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
- 3. History
Draft versions of this policy that were circulated for review, their cover memos, their forms, and Reviewers' comments on them are available on the password-protected Review site, at https://www.ohio.edu/policy2/41-111/.
Prior versions of this policy were approved on:
- November 4, 2009
- January 6, 2004
- May 15, 1998
- April 3, 1986
- March 1, 1977
- January 9, 1974
- September 20, 1971
- November 7, 1969