Author Topic: Relocation Package  (Read 1042 times)

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Offline Happy9799

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Relocation Package
« on: March 12, 2012, 08:37:28 PM »
Hello,

My husband works for a large multi-national corporation that has offices in the UK, and he has the possibility of a transfer.  He works in IT and his current salary is $105,000 USD. This is already very high for a non-manager position, and probably equivalent to an IT manager salary. He would be moving into management in the UK. He has accepted the job pending discussions of salary and relocation expenses. The person who is hiring him still doesn't know "how it will fit in to the budget." Discussions are to be picked up next week. We don't know for sure whether this will be workable, and they could make a decision not to bring him over.

When I look at salaries in the UK, and try to figure out what we would need to live on, I'm not sure we would be able to make it without a cost of living adjustment.  We don't need anything elaborate, but we do need to bring our dog, and we have two teenagers, so schools are a concern. Because the location of the job is about 30 miles from London, we might choose to live there to reduce commuting costs, however, this would mean we would need a car. We have two kids in braces and some debt.

I do not know how much negotiating power we have. I wonder if they will change their minds after they look at the numbers. On the other hand, I think it might be hard to get someone for this position because it is so far away from the city. Also, the team my husband would be managing is a broken team.

If we go for two to three years, we want to be able to visit other European Countries. We don't have lavish tastes, but would need have some cash to do it. No matter how inexpensive we try to make travel, it always seems to cost a lot.

1. What kind of salary can we expect from a large multinational corporation for a low level manager job in which my husband already makes about the amount they would pay? Is there anyone out here who is receiving cost of living adjustments?

2. How can we utilize relocation dollars in the best way? For example, what's the cheapest way to deal with the fact that we need furniture and a house? Moving our stuff? Storing our stuff?

3. We would like to visit the US once a year while gone, and plane tickets are expensive. Should we ask for this?

4. Any suggestions for how to approach negotiating the relocation package?

Offline phatbeetle

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Re: Relocation Package
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2012, 10:11:30 PM »
Hi Happy
 I'm hoping Dennis the Menice pops onto this thread, as he's the best at these kind of topics!  Most of the people on UKY are spouses, but there are a few of us worker bees.  

I can't say much on London and schools, but hopefully people who live in those areas can comment.

You may have negotiation power if your company is the one bringing on the move. However, if its you/your family initiated, you may have to be on their terms.  

I can tell you, I make far less (and really far less than I would 4 years on) as an Engineer in Scotland than I did in the US. I had no negotiation power, as it was me accepting a job and I was just grateful for the offer!

1.) You should expect a salary in line with what someone in the UK with the same level of experience, etc.  Obviously, if its a true expat contract, then yeah, you probably have wiggle room, so check it out with what the company will offer This thread lists a few sites you can review.

2.) If you're only going for a few years, store your stuff and rent furnished!  

3.) Never hurts to ask. I know lots of expats have home visits included and that can reduce a huge burden, so you don't know unless you ask.  

4.) Like I said above, it all depends on if its company initiated or your own.  In your own terms, you have to negotiate like any other job.  

Good luck and how exciting to experience London for a few years  :) :)
I've never gotten food on my underpants!
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Offline geeta

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Re: Relocation Package
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2012, 10:21:28 PM »
Ask for anything and everything you want. This is your only chance to negotiate and you don't want to miss out. That being said, until you get some actual figures down on paper for the company, it's hard to know what to do. The company has to release the first arrow, you look at it and return one back. I was sorely disappointed when I got my offer from my UK company, because I had done some research and figured I should be paid £X. The company didn't come close to that, but I realized that pay scales are very different. So don't be overly shocked if the proposed salary is less than you thought it should be.

Offline Hobnob

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Re: Relocation Package
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2012, 11:49:20 PM »
If he is on an intracompany transfer, then I would expect he would be on a similar payscale to the US? 

I like this website for comparing cost of living: http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/

Are you wanting to put your teenagers into private schools?  I believe there are a couple of American private schools in London.  Just something to think about if you wanted to ask the company about that too.  Also, consider what time of year you move, because it may be difficult to enroll during the school year (at least for popular comprehensive schools).

I wouldn't assume that because you are 30 miles outside London that there are not enough people around to do the job.  I'm not sure how you made that assumption actually.

Offline Sara Smile

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Re: Relocation Package
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2012, 12:16:20 AM »
As others have said, it is really about negotiating power and you haven't given solid indications on how much you have.  Given the current market, I would absolutely not assume no one else can do the job. 

You also need to consider the company's way of doing things.  You might stay on your US salary, you might get a US salary with COLA, you might get a UK peer salary.  Companies tend to have a set policy and you have to operate within the confines of that policy.   For example, if you company does a UK peer salary then you may have no option to negotiate a COLA.  If you had more ideas about what type of policies your company had, it would go a long way to confirming your strategy.

Finally, if you can suss out your negotiating power and your company policies, then I would focus on the items you are more likely about to gain.  Getting education paid is actually easy if your company considers you a true expat, home leave is often provided and you move down the scale to things that an employer won't be likely to give you.  Honestly, how they react to education, IME, is the single biggest indicator to how much they consider you an expat vs just a local who happens to be from the US.  Then you may know how receptive they will be to other issues. 

You probably already know this but I would refrain from any references to your personal expenses -- your desire to travel and your kids braces.  This is the single biggest thing that irritates me when we are negotiating expat packages, since you are likely already getting more than a normal UK hire. 

Finally ask for tax preparation assistance.  This is an easy win and takes a big stress off your plate.  Also for everything you are get extra, remember you will probably have to pay tax either to the US or UK.  You will want to know up front if the company intends to pay the tax/compensate you for the tax or if this is your responsibility.  If you get £15k in education costs and then have to pay $7.5k in tax, the benefit you receive is all of a sudden a whole lot less.


Offline aimlesstraveler

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Re: Relocation Package
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2012, 03:49:12 PM »


You probably already know this but I would refrain from any references to your personal expenses -- your desire to travel and your kids braces.  This is the single biggest thing that irritates me when we are negotiating expat packages, since you are likely already getting more than a normal UK hire. 


Also, braces on the NHS are likely to be much cheaper than paying for them in the US. And traveling in Europe isn't that expensive when you factor out the transatlantic flight.

How old are your kids and how long are you potentially staying? Given the differences between the US and UK secondary education systems, you might have little choice but to go private if your kids are a certain age. Also, where in the US are you coming from and whereabouts are you potentially moving (more specifically than 30 miles from London)? If you're used to living on $100k in New York City that's a much different standard of living than $100k in Phoenix.

Offline ksand24

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Re: Relocation Package
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2012, 04:08:22 PM »
Also, braces on the NHS are likely to be much cheaper than paying for them in the US.
Orthodontic treatment and braces are free of charge on the NHS for children under 18.

If you're over 18 and need braces, you can get them on the NHS for about £200 (standard dental charge, as for crowns/root canals etc.) as long as you are eligible. The NHS won't pay for elective cosmetic treatment, just necessary orthodontal treatment.

If you decided to go for private orthodontic treatment (children or adults), you'd be looking at about £2,000-2,500 per person.

See: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/dentalhealth/Pages/braces.aspx

Offline ArtsyChar

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Re: Relocation Package
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2017, 06:08:15 PM »
I am in a very similar position as the original poster. I am wondering how it panned out.

My DH is getting promoted from Manager to General Manager/Director. CEO of North America picked my DH to be sent to Global in Birmingham area. They approved and are putting together an ISE pkg to present to him next week.

We were discussing the negotiation for salary and ISE pkg. I think he should negotiate separately since Salary relates to value to the company and is a permanent increase. ISE pkg only covers those 3-5 years of relocation and while that is a huge plus, it is temporary.

ISE as HR has explained it:  We will get a stipend for a house in SuA or Warwick/LS area. We have 3 kids to put in primary school. We will get cars to drive and some trips back the US.

What else should we consider in this negotiation? Are there any 'hidden' costs that we likely aren't considering that you wish you had asked/planned for?

Thank you for reading all this & for any advice you can give. Genuinely appreciated.

Offline KFdancer

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Re: Relocation Package
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2017, 06:53:55 PM »
Costs will ALWAYS be higher than you think.  Are you moving pets?  I'd budget that it'll cost each of you about £600 to obtain your UK licenses after lessons and such (one example of things you might not be thinking about).

I'd also insist on private school tuition for the kids as it'll be easier for them to move between the two school systems (though will likely be included at your husbands level).  Tax assistance for both US and UK of course.

Offline ArtsyChar

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Re: Relocation Package
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2017, 05:20:51 PM »
Costs will ALWAYS be higher than you think.  Are you moving pets?  I'd budget that it'll cost each of you about £600 to obtain your UK licenses after lessons and such (one example of things you might not be thinking about).

I'd also insist on private school tuition for the kids as it'll be easier for them to move between the two school systems (though will likely be included at your husbands level).  Tax assistance for both US and UK of course.

Well, after a very long process of getting signatures on his ISE, we finally had our call from the company relo rep so I know a bit more about what they automatically offer.

Up to 2 pets shipping & inoculation
Kids independent schooling
Rental subsidy
Tax prep home & host
5day family visit for house & school selection
Any medical or visa expenses
Cultural classes
Council taxes
Private medical family policy

Sounds like they aim to ensure we have nothing OOP that we wouldn't have had here in the states. I was so worried. Still don't have salary negotiated. They keep that all US based, so negotiated in dollars since we will continue to pay into taxes, healthcare, our 401k, etc.

Offline KFdancer

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Re: Relocation Package
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2017, 05:43:07 PM »
Sounds like a pretty solid package.

I'd also ensure it includes:
Shipping of belongings to the UK and back
A job to return to
One or two trips home per year for the family
A few extra days holiday to account for travel back home

USD payment is great right now since the GBP tanked.

Offline ArtsyChar

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Re: Relocation Package
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2017, 06:33:08 PM »
Sounds like a pretty solid package.

I'd also ensure it includes:
Shipping of belongings to the UK and back
A job to return to
One or two trips home per year for the family
A few extra days holiday to account for travel back home

USD payment is great right now since the GBP tanked.

Sorry, didn't include all points.

Yes, it includes shipping belongings there & back
A travel fund pain in lump sum 6 months in & then every 12 months for 5 people
The job to return home to is assumed, but since HR director will return to U.K. By end of our assignment, will check on LOA once we have it
Don't think it includes travel days.

It does also include:
About a month of temp housing while getting settled with rental furniture kit and per diem
2 cars (not sure about help with driving tests)
Insurance on goods while in shipment
Rental car during transfer home & host

So many details to consider.

I am humbled to read how many here juggle all these details on their own without relo assistance and with a spouse already abroad. 


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Offline KFdancer

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Re: Relocation Package
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2017, 06:39:40 PM »
Really does sound like a solid package.  Fantastic!

I don't know how people do it with kids!  When I moved it was me and my two cats.  Now I'm married with a toddler (and baby on the way).  I can't even fathom figuring out schools, keeping a spouse happy, and everything else.  But these things have a way of working out!

I suspect we will move to the US in time for my daughter to start middle school, so I'll be eating my words in a few years!

Offline ArtsyChar

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Re: Relocation Package
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2017, 06:58:40 PM »
And it seems they open a UK bank account for us.


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Offline Dennis the Menace!!

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Re: Relocation Package
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2017, 11:32:07 PM »
Hi

Only a few years late Phatbeetle!

Not sure if the OP is here!

ArtsyChar, That does sound like a decent enough package and given the potential bigger economic and all the intrinsically linked aspects of the UK, Brexit, Jobs, immigration, Scotland wanting another independence vote, Northern Ireland wanting a referendum and Wales wanting one too, be glad you've got through with all the aspects of the package the employer is offering !

I used to work for 3 US IT/Consulting/Software Houses here in their respective London offices and met many, many staff who came over on transfers etc. Always a mixed bag, some absolutely loved it here for the short'ish period here, other's loved it for the longer term they were here, other's hated it within a few days/weeks, others hated it after a bit longer of a period. If I was pushed for a percentage, I'd say perhaps 60-70% of the ones here 'longer term' headed back 'relatively' quickly. I still know a few who've been here years!

I think nowadays, to get given a package like you have, you would need to be at very senior exec level and/or board level - which it seems you and your other/better half are.  In the midlands, those benefits are going to be of more value given the lower costs of your household expenses. A similar family I  met independently to my career contacts was in a rented house, sorry, mansion in the Wentworth Estate near Ascot, Surrey. Back in around 2007/8 ish, the rent for the property was around £20,000/month and they had all the schooling for the kids, cars, fuel, council taxes, food, bills and more all paid for! I think the salary paid didn't need to cover any of the mandatory outgoings !

There's some lovely places around Warwickshire and I think you'd have no problems really in finding an executive 5/6/7 bedroom property in a good/decent area. There's a lot of good info on this site for things to look out for and given a lot of your mandatory expenses will be covered, these will mainly be down to your family's personal lifestyle choices.

I'll also extrapolate a little more and say that the bank account they help with, will be a higher level or executive type account with specific benefits so do check those out etc.

Other than that, welcome to the UK!

KFDancer - look on the bright side, petrol is nice and cheap in the USA, you'll be able to get another M car ;)

Cheers, DtM! West London & Slough UK!