It is sometimes appropriate to assist new employees relocating to the Berkeley area by paying some or all of the related moving expenses. To attract the highest quality faculty and staff, the University of California has developed policies and procedures related to the payment of relocation expenses.
The appointment classification of the new employee (i.e., academic, staff, or senior management group) will determine which policy applies to the relocation assistance.
Paying relocation assistance is always at the discretion of the hiring department. The agreement to pay moving and relocation expenses must be pre-approved by the appropriate authority and is typically documented in the employment offer letter as a maximum (e.g., the University will pay allowable and reasonable costs up to $ x,000).
Payment of allowable and approved expenses is processed as:
- Direct payment to a household moving company on UC’s preferred vendor list with the issuance of a purchase order
- Reimbursement to the new employee for costs paid with personal funds (requests must be submitted within 60 days after the expenses are paid or incurred). The University does not typically provide travel advances for relocation
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97) that was signed into law on December 22, 2017 impacts the taxability of moving expense reimbursements provided by an employer. Reimbursements for moving expenses made to an employee or paid directly to third parties by the employer on and after January 1, 2018 must be included in wage income subject to federal income tax withholding and FICA.
Expenses must be supported with receipts showing proof of payment. Be sure to keep all other related documentation, such as quotes, cost comparisons, invoices, and correspondence in the event more information is needed.
The University does not pay a relocation allowance to offset higher living costs in a new location or as general moving assistance outside the reimbursement process. All payments are based on actual expenses incurred.
Should the new employee voluntarily separate from the position prior to completing one year of service, the University may require repayment of the moving and relocation assistance.
The logistics of moving can be complicated and UC Berkeley strives to welcome our new faculty and staff with a smooth transition. New employees needing assistance with relocation are encouraged to contact their hiring department as early in the process as possible.
To learn more about relocation assistance, select the appropriate appointment classification: