Again this year, the survey asked about which relocation costs were covered with lump sums and to whom lump sums are applied. The biggest shift from last year is that fewer firms offered to cover the entire relocation cost (42% vs. 51%). The percentage of firms offering to cover miscellaneous expenses also dipped (55% vs. 63%). However, the percentages of firms offering other lump sum types increased slightly. Using lump sums for miscellaneous allowances is most popular among both mid-size (53%) and large firms (68%). Among small firms, the primary use is travel expenses (55%), but nearly half also use them for household goods shipping/storage, temporary housing, and miscellaneous allowances. Overall, small and mid-size firms remain much more likely to offer lump sum payments for household goods shipping/storage expenses than large firms (49% and 33% vs. 14%).
In 2011, about half or more of firms reported that their employees, with the exception of homeowners, commonly received lump sum payments. In 2012, gaps widened between employee types receiving lump sums. For 2013, new hires remain more likely than transferees (61% vs. 46%) to receive a lump sum, and renters are more likely than homeowners (42% vs. 25%). However, slightly more firms now offer lump sums to executives (40% vs. 32%), indicating that employee "level" is less of a factor. However, "new hire" remains the greatest determinant.
A new question probed the typical ranges offered for the variety of lump sum categories. Findings show lump sums are not typically offered for real estate and rental assistance/transactions. However, across company size, the median amount for an entire relocation is $5,000 to $9,999. Large firms appear more generous than small firms with the application of lump sums for travel expenses, temporary housing, and miscellaneous allowances. However, costs for household goods shipping/storage are not typically covered via lump sum at large firms.