The number of job opportunities in a given community varies based on many factors. While many applicants would like a job close to home, they may need to consider relocating. Relocating to a new area can be both exciting and stressful. Companies may offer settlement allowances as a way to entice out-of-state applicants and make the move easier.
Settlement allowances are also known as relocation expenses. Often, the settlement allowance is a lump sum payment. The English Program in Korea, a program sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Education to draw native-English speakers to the country, includes a settlement allowance as a signing bonus: The money helps the newly arrived teacher settle in and buy necessities.
Eligibility varies depending on the organization offering the allowance. For example, the University of Western Australia offers relocation expenses but only if the applicant holds an administrative, professional, technical or academic position with the college and must relocate from a locale farther than 62 miles from the university. Payment terms and the total allowance amount also vary. The English Program in Korea offers applicants about $284 upon arrival, while the University of California Davis offers an allowance that cannot exceed 25 percent of the employee’s annual salary, payable in monthly increments.
The settlement allowance may only be one part of a relocation package. Companies may offer other incentives, including free housing, education and vacation time. According to Monster.com, relocating outside of the U.S. is often complicated, so relocation packages may offer to help with matters such as obtaining visas, work permits and other necessary documents.
Prior to accepting a new job that requires you to relocate, try to negotiate with the company concerning the relocation package. Cost-of-living expenses vary widely, and the standard relocation package may not be enough to meet your needs. The settlement allowance may be a useful bargaining chip with regard to other necessary benefits. For example, you could offer to take less settlement allowance in return for other benefits, such as better health insurance. The specifics depend on your unique situation, but you should know the details about the relocation package before accepting the job to avoid any problems.