2.12 Relocation Expenses Policy
Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to define and standardize Berklee’s payment of relocation stipend amounts to new eligible employees and to assist with the cost of relocation of their personal residence. This policy is also intended to ensure that Berklee funds allocated toward relocation are appropriately approved by the hiring manager and Human Resources, consistently applied, and processed in compliance with Berklee policy and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements.
Policy: A stipend will only be provided for a relocation of 50 miles or more from a permanent home address to the Boston area. The relocation amount, as indicated below, will be determined by the hiring manager and Human Resources. This amount will be clearly stipulated in the initial offer letter of employment. Once approved, stipends will be provided to the employee on the first regularly scheduled payroll date following the start of employment. Advance stipends will not be provided prior to the start of employment.
Full-time faculty members, chairs, and exempt level staff at the director level and above may receive a negotiated stipend to assist with the cost of relocation of their personal residence. In rare instances, relocation expenses for other levels of staff may be provided based on availability of funds.
Berklee will provide a total of $5,000 for a permanent relocation for an eligible full-time faculty/staff member who is transitioning from a home address that is more than 1,500 miles from the Boston area. Berklee will provide a total of $3,500 for relocations that are less than 1,500 miles from the Boston area. Any request to provide an amount in excess of these amounts must be approved by the controller and the vice president of Human Resources.
The employee is not required to account to Berklee as to how the money is spent, and the stipend amount is to be included in W-2 Box 1: Wages, Salary, and Other Pay, and is subject to federal, state, FICA, and Medicare withholdings. The employee may choose to file federal form 3903 in order to claim a deduction for moving expenses under Internal Revenue Service guidelines, as set forth in publication 521.
Voluntary resignations of employment within one year of the initial date of hire require repayment of the relocation stipend.
Sample Offer Letter Language
In order to assist you with moving\relocation costs you may incur related to your employment with us, it is agreed that Berklee will provide you a relocation stipend in the amount of $XXXX.
On the first regularly scheduled payroll date after your commencement of employment, you will be provided with this relocation stipend amount, as noted above, in the form of a lump sum payment in the gross amount of $XXXX, less applicable taxes and withholdings. If you elect to voluntarily leave Berklee within 12 months of the initial date of hire, you will be expected to reimburse the institution for the entire relocation stipend amount provided to you.
Berklee does not require an accounting from you as to how the relocation stipend amount is spent. The stipend is considered part of your compensation and is subject to withholdings for federal and state income taxes as well as FICA and Medicare tax under IRS guidelines.
You may choose to claim a deduction for moving expenses on your individual tax return. Please refer to IRS Publication 521 and consult with your tax preparer.
Berklee reserves the right to amend, suspend or cancel this policy at any time, with or without notice.