Printed on: 12/14/2019. Please go to http://policy.umn.edu for the most current version of the Policy or related document.
University of Minnisota  Administrative Policy

Relocating Employees

Responsible University Officer(s):
  • Controller
Policy Owner(s):
  • Director of Purchasing Services
Policy contact(s):
  • Beth Tapp
Date Revised:
Aug 10, 2019
Effective Date:
Dec 1, 1995

Policy Statement

All offer letters dated October 15, 2019, or later must comply with this new policy.

The University may provide a moving allowance when relocation is necessary for employees, who are hired on a continuing full-time basis for the period of at least one academic year and who accept employment with the University.  Moving allowance for the relocation of an existing employee is allowable in cases where the employee is reassigned and the relocation is in the best interest of the campus, college, or administrative unit.

Moving allowances must be negotiated at the time a position is offered and must be included in the signed offer letter.  Department heads may approve amounts up to one month’s salary; amounts in excess of one month’s salary must be approved by the dean or vice president.

Employees who are terminated or resign within their first 12 months of employment may be required to reimburse the University up to the full amount of their moving allowance at department’s discretion.

The University complies with the Internal Revenue Code for proper taxation and reporting of household relocation expenses.  Moving allowance payments must be made as a lump sum payment through Payroll, subject to federal, state, and FICA tax withholdings, after the new employee is on payroll.  See Administrative Policy: Budget Development and Oversight for Current Non-Sponsored Funds for a listing of current fringe rates by employee class.  Once the employee is on payroll, the department enters the relocation lump sum (earnings code: MRL) in either PeopleSoft pay entry or additional pay.

Lump sum payments prior to an employee being on payroll should be rare and must be approved by the unit’s Chief Financial Manager.  Departments must set up the new employee as Temp/Casual and complete required I9 paperwork before making the lump sum payment.  In instances where the department cannot set up the individual as a new employee, the Chief Financial Managers must contact the Director of Purchasing Services to request an exception and discuss alternate payment method.

If funding to pay for the relocation is coming from sponsored research sources, Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) may require additional approvals to ensure allowability of these costs to the sponsored project.

The Relocation Assistance Program, through the Office of Human Resources, can provide relocation assistance for new hired individuals.  

Newly hired individuals may use the University contract suppliers and benefit from the negotiated rates but must pay the supplier directly. The move itself is solely the responsibility of the new employee.  The contract for the move, along with any problems that may result from the move, is between the employee and the moving company.  The University’s only involvement is payment of the moving allowance to the employee.  The employee must handle any and all claims.

Certain expenses related to recruitment and relocation are not considered household moving expenses and would not need to be included in the moving allowance.  These are considered Business Expenses and must follow the Administrative Policy: Business Expenses.  For example, the initial trip of the candidate to interview for the position or expenses for moving a lab.

Reason for Policy

To ensure that the University pays for moving allowances for employees where this benefit would serve as a significant recruiting tool.

Procedures

Forms/Instructions

Appendices

Frequently Asked Questions

Contacts

SubjectContactPhoneEmail
Primary Contact Beth Tapp 612-624-5255 bethtapp@umn.edu
General Questions & Special Situations Purchasing Services Travel Services Coordinator 612-624-2828 travel@umn.edu
Tax Questions Payroll Services/ HR Call Center 612-625-2016 payroll@umn.edu
Policy/Procedure Questions Purchasing Services 612-624-2828 purchase@umn.edu
Relocation Assistance Program Director of Relocation Assistance Program (Human Resources) 612-626-0775 rapland@umn.edu
Sponsored Account SPA 612-624-5599  

Definitions

Chief Financial Manager
The finance person who has the primary accountability for the financial activities in a Resource Responsibility Center. The CFM has a dotted-line reporting relationship to the University's Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and is the primary point of contact at the Resource Responsibility Center level on financial matters for the CFO (and the office of the CFO).
Fringe Rate Detail
Moving allowance payments are subject to federal, state, and FICA tax withholdings. The amount of those withholdings is calculated by the University on an annual basis and available in the Fringe Benefit Rate Matrix.
Moving Allowance
Lump sum payment to apply towards expenses incurred in the process of relocating. 
Relocation
The process of assigning, establishing and/or settling in a particular place for employment purposes.

Responsibilities

Chief Financial Manager
Provide Oversight and management of the financial activities and financial management practices within their Resource Responsibility Center. Review, approve, or deny lump sum payments prior to an employee being on payroll.
Dean or equivalent
Approve a “not to exceed” moving allowance over one month’s salary.
Department Head
Request advance approval from Dean or Vice President if moving allowance will exceed one month’s salary. Inform employee that moving allowance will be paid as a lump sum. 
Purchasing Services
Maintain policy and procedures. Negotiate moving contracts. Communicate policy information.
Payroll Services
Capture information for IRS reporting.

Related Information

History

Amended:
Comprehensive Review:
  • Employees must be hired and work for more than 12 months
  • Moving allowances are negotiated at time the position is being offered
    • Must be included in the offer letter
    • Should not exceed one month’s salary
  • Employees who are terminated or resign within their first 12 months may have to reimburse the University for the moving allowance
  • Moving allowances must be paid as a lump sum, by the department through payroll, once the new employee is on payroll
Amended:
January 2018 - The Tax Cuts and Job Act eliminates deduction for qualified (non-taxable) relocation expense effective January 1, 2018. All relocation expenses, whether previously deductible or not, are now taxable to the employees if reimbursed or paid on their behalf.
Amended:
January 2011 - Comprehensive Review: Change to policy to reduce administrative processing costs by offering and promoting a lump sum payment; clarifies potential tax implications to new employees. 30 Day Review.
Amended:
January 2010 - Updated Policy Statement language to show that Dean or equivalent officer may approve and must authorize relocation payments.
Amended:
July 2008 - Policy and procedure updated to reflect rollout of Enterprise Financial System.
Amended:
January 2006: Modified the Moving Expense Reimbursement Form (BA 1357) to be consistent with the IRS 2006 rulings.
Amended:
January 2005: Modified the Moving Expense Reimbursement Form (BA 1357) to change the Qualified Mileage Reimbursement & Excess Mileage Reimbursements rates to be consistent with IRS 2005 rulings.
Amended:
July 1997: Modified the Moving Expense Reimbursement Form (BA 1357) to clearly distinguish taxable and nontaxable moving expenses. Updated payroll address in BA 1357.
Amended:
November 1996 - Modified policy statement to state that payment of moving expenses is not limited to 1 month's salary.
Supercedes:
Was part of the Employee Business Related Expenses Policy
Effective:
December 1995

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