University of Washington Policy Directory

Print This Page
*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Administrative Policy Statement
34.2



Lump Sum Relocation Payment

(Approved by the President by delegations of authority Executive Order No. 4 and Executive Order No. 9)



1.  Purpose

State law (RCW 43.03.125) provides that an agency may, within existing resources, authorize lump sum relocation payment when it determines it is necessary to successfully recruit and retain qualified candidates who will have to make a domiciliary move in order to accept the position. This policy outlines the conditions for authorizing a lump sum relocation payment to a qualified candidate for a position at the University of Washington.

2.  Scope

This policy applies to candidates for regular classified and professional staff positions, faculty, and other academic personnel.

3.  Definitions

Lump sum relocation incentive payment: A payment, made within the University's existing resources, necessary to recruit and retain a candidate who will have to make a domiciliary move in order to accept a University position.

4.  Delegated Approval Authority and Considerations When Determining a Relocation Incentive Payment

Other than the approval for exceptional payments outlined in Section 5, the appropriate administrative officials with the delegated authority to authorize a lump sum relocation payment are as follows:

  • For faculty and academic personnel appointees the delegated authority is the dean or chancellor.

  • For professional staff and contract classified staff, the delegated authority is the dean, chancellor, vice president, medical centers associate administrator, or other position with equivalent administrative authority.

  • For classified non-union staff, the President has final approval authority for lump sum relocation incentive payments (WAC 357-28-310).

In determining the appropriate relocation compensation amount, the delegated authority will consider such factors as the availability of qualified candidates, the skills and qualifications of the candidate, and the difficulty of recruitment. Officials with delegated relocation incentive payment approval authority may require that specific unit implementation guidelines be established and followed before relocation incentive payments may be made.

Payment of the relocation incentive payment must be within the University’s existing resources (RCW 43.03.125). The relocation incentive may be in addition to the payment for moving expenses made in accordance with Administrative Policy Statement 34.1, "Payment of Moving Expenses Incurred by New or Transferred Employees."

5.  Approval for Exceptional Payments

The following administrative officials must approve any relocation payments in excess of $50,000 or 25% of the employee's first year full-time annualized salary, whichever is greater:

  • For faculty and academic personnel appointees, the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

  • For professional staff and contract classified staff, the Vice President for Human Resources or designee.

  • For classified non-union staff, the President has final approval authority for lump sum relocation incentive payments (WAC 357-28-310).

6.  Circumstances for Repayment by the Employee

If within one year of the date of appointment or transfer the employee voluntarily terminates employment or engages in behavior that makes termination of employment necessary, the full amount of the relocation incentive payment must be repaid to the University. Employment offer letters must include notification of the repayment provision.

Termination of employment as a result of layoff, disability separation, or other good cause as determined by the Provost or Vice President for Human Resources, or their respective designees, will not require repayment of the relocation compensation (WAC 357-28-315).

7.  Lump Sum Payments Are Taxable to the Employee

With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, effective January 1, 2018, all payments made by the institution for an employee move are taxable to the employee.

8.  Responsible Office

For information on how to obtain a Relocation Incentive Payment approval, see the Lump Sum Relocation Incentive Payment web page.

9.  History

October 8, 2003; February 26, 2019; September 3, 2019.