On September 20, 2018, Corporate mobility leaders in Dallas area representing Atmos Energy, Brinks, Inc, and Toyota shared relocation change perspective with approximately 100 North Texas Relocation Professionals attending in Dallas, Texas. Attendees represented different areas in employee relocation from Relocation Management Companies, Real Estate Directors, Mortgage Professionals, Appraisers, Corporate Mobility Leaders, Household Goods Professionals, and more…
The program was facilitated by Rob Johnson, Altair Global as he discussed several topics… These topics included GDPR, which is the new global data protection regulations which was created to protect European citizens and addresses the export of personal data outside the EU. Some of the key elements included Consent, Data Security, the right to be forgotten, Data breach, and Liability beyond Relocation Management Companies…
Rob also talked about Brexit, which is slated to occur in March 2019 which would likely impact mobility between UK and EU… The biggest change we have seen comes from tax reform which has eliminated the tax deduction from the household goods move, storage and final move trip. However, it has not changed the tax favored home sale programs at this time. This has created additional costs to companies when grossing up expenses to make the transferee’s whole on a relocation assignment. Most companies continue to leave the language around time and distance in the policy, but removed IRS requirement so they can continue to have guidelines to keep their talent moving as quickly as possible. All panelist agreed, but have made exceptions when relocating hard to find talent. Example, one company recently moved an employee under 40 miles as an exception because they needed them closer to the new location.
Others items discussed included…Policy Exceptions, which most agree are reviewed on a case by case situation for approval. One company have developed an “exception committee” to closely look at exceptions and decide as a team if it makes sense to approve the requests. One of the most common exceptions seem to be crating taxidermy for the household goods move. Some companies have looked at this from the population and where they are moving from. One of the companies decided to move this from an exception to a cap of not to exceed $2500 since most of the population had many taxidermy items to crate for the move. Other common exceptions included wine collections, and extending temp housing time.
Rotational assignments, developmental programs and COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) were also discussed. Everyone seems to be addressing each of these challenges with different approaches. As for COLA, Runzheimer is a tool that was mentioned to use to calculate for higher cost areas for alignment. Each company talked about the importance of bringing in the best talent and taking care of their employees when relocating to a different area.
As for policy, everyone seems to have different tiers depending on employee level, which included a lump sum to help offset relocation costs not covered. A core flex was also mentioned as a possible solution for future policy change… At the end of the day, it is about taking care of the employees and getting them moved to the new location seamlessly, and with best experience possible. Some companies include a “loss on sale” for their employees that own a home, as well as possible capital improvements to get the home sold quickly as possible for best price for the employee.
Overall, companies agree we are seeing change in relocation, and will continue to see change as we review tax reform impact in Q1 of 2019. It’s also very important to get buy-in for any potential changes from all of the stakeholders in the company, as well as buy-in from the “boots on the ground” employees that are impacted by any type of change as well.
Special Thanks to our panelists: Ray Kallas, Allison Willis, and Joy Pugliese. We appreciate you investing time to share your wisdom and perspective to help us drive mobility with purpose for our members and guests. Also, special thanks to our moderator, Rob Johnson, as well as all of our NTRP Sponsors! You made a difference!
Our next NTRP event will be our annual Holiday Breakfast hosted by our partners at Texas Relocation Network on Friday December 7, 2018. For more information on NTRP, visit our website at www.northtexasrelocationprofessionals.org. The meeting pictures have been posted too!
Call to Action: Did you attend the meeting? What was your takeaway(s)? Share with your network and drop us a note… We would enjoy hearing from you!
This has been “A Relocation Minute” featuring the NTRP Corporate Mobility Panel” with Bruce Waller, for questions, contact Bruce Waller @ 972-389-5673, or email firstname.lastname@example.org We hope to see you at our next event!