Despite the occurrence of budget increases, the Great Recession appears to have fundamentally changed the way relocation dollars are allocated. Even as volumes increased and reimbursement methods for current employees remained similar to recent years, full reimbursement for new hires (38%) is now at historical lows, falling out of favor in comparison to lump sum payments (51%) and partial reimbursement (41%). Full reimbursement for transferees actually moved up (66% vs. 59%). It is significantly above levels seen in 2006-2007 and 2011 (55%+) and more on par with historical levels of nearly two-thirds of firms that have offered this benefit over the past decade. Use of other reimbursement methods are at similar levels, regardless of relocating employee type: around half use lump sum payments and roughly four out of ten use partial reimbursement. One-sixth occasionally do not reimburse transferees and one-fifth sometimes do not reimburse new hires.
Companies estimate that roughly half of their relocations were either partially reimbursed by the company or were paid by lump sum only. Prior to the new millennium, full reimbursement was by far the most frequent method for covering relocation costs for both transferees and new hires. Firms appear to now be differentiating between employee types for full reimbursement: 38% use this option for new hires and 66% use it for transferees. This is a major shift as the frequency of using other reimbursement methods have grown more similar.