Author Topic: Relocation Package  (Read 722 times)

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Offline Happy9799

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

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  :) :)
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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:

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.


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.