Cost Coverage – Overall & Specialized Assistance for Homeowners/Renters

As companies continue to customize relocation packages, combined with assistance tiers most commonly based on job/grade level or position/job title, for the third year we looked into how this affects individual cost coverage. We asked about the composition of relocations over the past year – what percentages organizations considered to be executive/top level, mid-level, and entry-level positions. Firms continue to estimate that around half of relocations were mid-level jobs and roughly a fifth were entry-level, across company size. Across company size, percentages for top level/executive relocations tick upward to around a third after trending a little more than a fourth over the past two years. While mid-size and large firms see more relocation volume than small firms do, their employee-level compositions remain similar, with mid-level moves happening more than twice as often as entry-level moves.

 
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Employee Level Impacts Offerings

As was expected and discovered over the last two years, cost coverage for specific items overall is more likely for mid-level and executive/top level employees than for entry-level positions. Overall, firms report the likelihood of a lump sum or no reimbursement did not vary significantly across employee levels, except for large firms who indicate entry-level employees were much more likely to see this than mid-level employees or executives (23% vs. 11% & 6%). The biggest differences occur when company size and employee level are analyzed together: small and mid-size firms are more likely than large firms to only use lump sum only or not reimburse costs above entry-level relocations (41% and 22% vs. 11%, mid-level; 39% and 17% vs. 6%, executive). This year, small firms are far more likely to use this option for entry level employees than mid-size or large firms are (45% vs. 24% and 23%). Also worth noting, the percentages of small firms using this option nearly doubled since last year, at every level (45% vs. 21% entry level, 41% vs. 22% mid-level, and 39% vs. 20% executive).

  • Individual cost-coverage levels vary little among all firms for most categories in regard to entry level relocations, uniformly showing lesser coverage for such employees across company size. However, mid-size and large firms are more likely to cover packing of all items (43% and 57% vs. 27%), moving unlimited weight (26% and 32% vs. 13%), and partial/custom unpacking (30% & 29% vs. 18%). Large firms are more likely than small firms to cover moving an automobile (47% vs. 31%) and moving exercise equipment (38% vs. 24%).
  • Variance in offerings for mid-level relocations is much more pronounced. Mid-size and large firms are more likely than small firms to offer cost coverage for moving an automobile (61% & 73% vs. 36%), packing all items (54% & 75% vs. 35%), unpacking all items (42% & 43% vs. 24%), partial/custom unpacking (39% & 42% vs. 23%), moving a second automobile (35% & 43% vs. 20%), and moving pets (37% & 38% vs. 24%). Additionally, large firms are more likely than small firms to cover a move via containerized shipment (39% vs. 26%), although similar to mid-size firms (35%). Large firms are more likely than mid-size or small firms to cover moving of exercise equipment (51% vs. 35% & 30%), carrying items down from the attic (43% vs. 31% & 25%), and moving unlimited weight (44% vs. 31% & 21%). For mid-level employees, coverage is similar across company size for moving recreation and lawn equipment, offering permanent/extended storage, moving highly valuable objects, picking up belongings from a secondary residence, and moving boats.
  • At the executive/top level, differences continue to be pronounced according to company size. However, the overarching trend shows large and mid-size firms are much more likely than small firms to cover individual items for most categories. However, mid-size and small firms have lower, somewhat similar levels of cost coverage than do large firms for: moving exercise equipment (44% & 34% vs. 61%), moving unlimited weight (39% & 30% vs. 58%), carrying items down from attic (37% & 31% vs. 48%), and moving recreation and lawn equipment (36% & 30% vs. 48%).
 
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Specialized Assistance for Homeowners/Renters

The majority of firms continues to offer assistance to homeowners/renters, but this year sees some changes worth noting. For the third year we’ve asked firms what types of assistance they offered across employee levels, regardless of transferee or new hire status. While the vast majority of mid-size and large firms are offering specialized assistance, roughly half of small firms across employee levels indicate they only offer lump sums or no specialized cost assistance at all, roughly double levels seen the previous two years.

Homeowners

Generally, homeowner assistance for specific items trends more likely for mid-level and executive/top level relocations than for entry-level positions. Additionally, the overall likelihood of firms simply offering a lump sum or no homeowner assistance is higher for entry-level employees than for mid-levels or executives (38% vs. 27% & 24%). However, the biggest differences occur by company size. Small firms are the most likely across levels to use a lump sum or to not offer assistance, with roughly half or more doing so, regardless of employee level.

  • With the shift among far more small firms to lump sum or no assistance, offerings to entry-level employees at mid-size and large firms for specific categories of assistance trend higher than small firms for most categories. However, mid-size and small firms see similar, lower likelihoods of coverage compared to large firms for these categories: reimburse/pay for home sale costs (19% & 12% vs. 30%), reimburse/pay for federal tax liability (18% & 10% vs. 27%), and offer qualified home sale program (11% & 9% vs. 21%).
  • For mid-level employees, mid-size and large firms are much more willing to provide homeowner assistance across categories compared to small firms, with large firms even more likely than mid-size firms to offer assistance across most categories as well. The two exceptions are guaranteed buyout/appraised value option for origin homes and mortgage subsidies or allowances, which are offered by about 21%-24% of mid-size and large firms. Overall, mid-size or large firms are roughly two to three times as likely as small firms this year to offer most types of homeowner assistance.
  • Trends in assistance for executive/top level homeowners and midlevel homeowners are similar. Mid-size and large firms are the most likely to offer individual types of assistance across every category, and large firms are even more likely than mid-size firms to offer specific assistance types. The only exception: assistance levels are similar for mortgage subsidies or allowances (22% mid-size & 30% large). Similar to mid-level homeowner assistance, mid-size or large firms are roughly two to three times as likely as small firms to offer most types of homeowner assistance to highest-level employees.
 
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Renters

Generally, renter assistance for specific items is more likely for mid-level and executive/top level relocations than for entry-level positions. However, the overall likelihood of firms simply offering a lump sum or no renter assistance varied little across employee levels at similar size firms. The biggest differences occur by company size. Small firms are the most likely across levels to offer only lump sum or no assistance, with close to half doing so regardless of employee level, essentially twice that of previous years.

  • For entry-level relocations, mid-size and large firms are much more likely than small firms are to offer more than half of the specific renter-assistance types: temporary housing allowance (42% & 55% vs. 25%), reimburse/pay for lease cancellation (40% & 50% vs. 25%), homefinding trips (44% & 42% vs. 30%), storage (36% & 43% vs. 23%) and reimburse/pay apartment search fees (26% & 33% vs. 7%). However, the remaining types of assistance are offered at similar levels across firm size.
  • For mid-level relocations, mid-size and large firms are more likely than small firms are, by a wide margin, to offer nearly all renter-assistance types. Two exceptions: reimburse/pay security deposits (27% mid-size & 20% large vs. 17% small) and reimburse/pay for hook-up fees (21% large vs. 13% small), although mid-size firms are more likely than small firms are to cover hook-up fees (27%).
  • For executive/top level employees, the trend is the same, with far more mid-size and large firms than small firms offering nearly all the renter-assistance types by a sizable gap. The exceptions are: reimburse/pay security deposits (29% large vs. 23% small), although mid-size firms are more likely to cover security deposits (35%) than small firms are, and rental subsidy or allowance (22% mid-size & 24% large vs. 14% small).
 
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