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Princeton University
Office of the Dean of the Faculty

Domestic and International Moving Policy

October 2001 (last revised July 2013)

Definition of policy

This policy defines the moving and relocation expenses that are reimbursable for newly hired members of the faculty. Specific eligibility criteria must be met under the policy and all expenses must have a valid business purpose. In addition, expenses incurred on behalf of the University must be necessary, reasonable and appropriate under this policy. This policy describes eligibility guidelines and criteria for faculty allowances approved by the Office of the Dean of the Faculty. Should you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact the department in which you are appointed. Moving allowances are provided and approved as follows:

  • Faculty allowances are approved by the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.
  • Professional researcher and professional specialist allowances are set by the individual hiring department and approved by the Office of the Dean of the Faculty or the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Contact the department in which you were hired or PPPL (609) 243.2220.
  • Monthly-paid staff appointed through the Office of Human Resources are approved by the vice president for Human Resources. Contact the Office of Human Resources, 2 New South Building, (609) 258.3300.

Who is eligible under this policy

Under this policy, newly hired full-time members of the faculty including Professors, Associate Professors, Assistant Professors, Instructors, Senior Lecturers and Lecturers.

Allowances for individuals hired as professional researchers, professional specialists, visitors or ranks other than those listed above are set by the individual hiring departments by rank. Allowances for these ranks must be approved by the Office of the Dean of the Faculty or the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Reimbursement as allowed under this policy may be subject to the dollar limit established by the individual’s hiring department. All arrangements and expenses must have prior approval of the appropriate hiring office.

Visiting faculty members are not reimbursed for moving expenses under this policy.

Criteria

To be eligible under this policy the newly hired faculty member must:

  • move a minimum of 50 miles from their present home,
  • move within the first year of hire, and
  • have a reasonable expectation of remaining in their position for longer than one year.

In the case of newly hired Lecturers where the initial appointment is for one year and 100% duty time, it is the Dean of the Faculty’s expectation that the department will be responsible for moving expenses and these expenses should meet the guidelines under this policy. If the appointment is renewed or extended and meets the ‘expectation of remaining in their position for longer than one year’ guideline and the appointment continues at 100% duty time, the department may request reimbursement of eligible moving expenses from the Dean of the Faculty. Upon meeting this guideline, the department may submit an interdepartmental invoice along with the detailed moving invoice. Reimbursement will be subject to the moving policy guidelines and the maximum amount will be based on an equivalent quote from the University’s contract moving vendor.

Pre-Move Expenses

For Dean of the Faculty appointments please be in contact with the Department Manager of your department. Travel arrangements may be made based on departmental guidelines.

Arrangements for Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory employees can be made by calling the PPPL Travel office (609) 243.2658.

Eligible faculty will be reimbursed for one pre-move visit intended to prepare for the relocation of the household and family. Typically, this visit is utilized to secure housing. Under this policy, eligible expenses for the new faculty member and his or her spouse or partner include up to a maximum of three nights of lodging expense, transportation to and from Princeton, meals and rental car. Expenses reimbursed for the pre-move visit are includable in taxable income as described in the Relocation of Household Goods section below.

Pre-move travel arrangements may be made by the department manager, appropriate departmental assistant or directly by the new faculty member. Reimbursement of pre-move expenses should be processed by the department and charged to a departmental account. The department should then submit a single interdepartmental invoice to the Office of the Dean of the Faculty upon completion of the pre-move visit and relocation to Princeton. Copies of detailed backup documentation must be included with the request.

Relocation of Household Goods

Domestic and international moves follow the same guidelines. Please refer to the most recent Numbered Memo “Domestic and International Moving Policy” for additional information related to moves from outside the United States and Canada.

Reimbursement is provided for transportation charges for one continuous move of household items and personal effects from the faculty member’s current home to the Princeton area.

Please note that amounts the University pays to reimburse employees or to vendors on behalf of an employee may be subject to income tax. Some expenses incurred in connection with the move are excludable from taxable income, while other expenses are includable in taxable income. If an amount is includable in taxable income, federal law requires that the University withhold on and report such amounts to the Internal Revenue Service. The Internal Revenue Service provides guidance related to moving expenses. Please refer to IRS publication 521 for specific questions about deductible and nondeductible moving expenses (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p521.pdf).

Expenses reimbursed under this policy include:

  • Transportation costs for one continuous move of household items and personal effects from the faculty member’s current home to the Princeton area.
  • Container costs for household items, including book cartons, wardrobes, linen cartons, dish packs, mattress cartons, corrugated cartons for mirrors and pictures and packing materials.
  • Full packing charges for household items and personal effects.
  • Pre- and post servicing of appliances following normal thrift regulations.
  • If the distance of the move is over 500 miles, the cost of shipping one vehicle.
  • Unpacking of mattresses only.
  • Shuttle services, as required, for difficult access locations.
  • Parking permits for the moving truck(s) at the origin and/or destination, as required.
  • Crating and uncrating of one flat screen television (hanging cost is not reimbursable).
  • International relocations subject to the policy guidelines and allowance.
  • Insurance for household items and personal effects at a rate of $7.00 per pound up to $100,000 total insured valuation. Should your value exceed $7.00 per pound of your shipment’s actual weight and/or $100,000, an additional charge of $5.00 per $1,000 in value will be incurred. Those faculty members who require that items not covered under this policy be moved, or who need additional insurance coverage, are responsible for those expenses.

For moves through Whalen’s, claims related to loss or damage incurred during a household move must be filed within 9 months of the date of delivery. Please contact Whalen’s directly to file a claim.

For moves coordinated with vendors other than Whalen’s please refer to their claims policy for guidance with filing claims.

Expenses not reimbursed under this policy:
  • Office moves
  • Laboratory moves
  • Temporary storage and charges for moving household items into and out of temporary storage locations
  • Charges for moving laboratory equipment, office equipment, houseplants, perishable food, firewood, boats, building materials and domestic and non-domestic animals
  • Expedited services unless requested by the University
  • Costs for replacing household goods not transported to the Princeton area
  • Unpacking of normal household goods, except mattresses
  • Items of extraordinary value, including artwork and antiques
  • Temporary living expenses (not to be confused with those employees away on University assignments)
  • Costs beyond those covered under this policy are the responsibility of the new faculty member
  • Extra stops at any location other than the origin and destination

You have three options for coordinating your household move.

  • You may choose to contact the University contract vendor, Whalen’s Moving and Storage Co., LLC (800) 759.4253. Please contact Whalen’s directly to make arrangements for the move. Whalen’s will survey your property and provide an estimate to you and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty. Approved moves are billed directly to the University for costs related to moving your household items covered under this policy. The option of using Whalen’s means that there is no cash outlay by the faculty member for expenses covered under the policy. There is no weight minimum or maximum attached to moving your household items. We strongly encourage new faculty members to coordinate their international move with Whalen’s. We do not require that Whalen’s be utilized for any household move.
  • You may choose your own moving company, pay for the move directly and request reimbursement of eligible expenses upon your arrival in Princeton. Eligible expenses are reimbursed based on an equivalent quote from the University contract vendor or the allowance, whichever is less. Employees who require that items not covered by this policy be moved or who need additional insurance coverage, will be responsible for those expenses. Detailed receipts must accompany the request for reimbursement. PPPL Travel Office policies may supersede this option. Please contact the PPPL Travel office for confirmation (609) 243.2658.
  • You may choose your own moving company and request that the billing be directed to the University. The faculty member must provide a copy of this policy to the moving company prior to obtaining an estimate. This option requires pre-approval by the Office of the Dean of the Faculty and must be initiated a minimum of 30 days prior to the move. With proper approval, this option gives the new faculty member the flexibility of selecting the moving company of their choice as well as alleviates the need for an upfront cash outlay by the new employee. This option is only available for moving companies that will direct bill the University and those that do not require a deposit. The faculty member is responsible for insuring that the proper type of insurance coverage and valuation is provided by the vendor for all household items and personal effects. The University assumes no responsibility for damage or loss related to household moves. Any claim for loss or damage must be initiated by the faculty member and coordinated directly with the vendor.& PPPL Travel Office policies may supersede this option. Please contact the PPPL Travel office for confirmation (609) 243.2658.

Relocation of Family members

For Dean of the Faculty appointments please be in contact with the Department Manager of your department. Travel arrangements are made based on departmental and University guidelines.

Arrangements for Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory employees can be made by calling the PPPL Travel office (609) 243.2658.

For the new faculty member and immediate family members, reasonable and customary expenses for transportation to the new home, including lodging not to exceed three calendar days are included in this policy. Airline travel should be booked in coach/economy class, utilizing the “lowest logical available fare”. All travelers should accept flights that meet University travel policy criteria. The flight costs should result in the lowest possible fare and be booked far enough in advance of the travel to guarantee the lowest possible fare. Where the cost of a one-way ticket exceeds the cost of a round trip ticket, the lowest possible fare should be obtained.

Relocation travel arrangements may be made by the department manager, appropriate departmental assistant or directly by the new faculty member. Reimbursement of relocation expenses should be processed by the department and charged to a departmental account. The department should then submit a single interdepartmental invoice to the Office of the Dean of the Faculty upon completion of the pre-move visit and relocation to Princeton. The transfer request must include a summary of the faculty member's travel expenses.  This can be a copy of the travel expense report or a summary spreadsheet. 

The reimbursement of relocation expenses is excludable from taxable income.

International moves

International moves follow the same guidelines and criteria as domestic moves. Moves from outside of the continental United States and Canada may be subject to additional guidelines. Newly hired faculty relocating from outside the US and Canada will be reimbursed for eligible expenses incurred for one continuous move of household items and personal effects from the faculty member’s current home to the Princeton area subject to a maximum allowance. The maximum allowance for the current year may be found in the Domestic and International Moving Policy numbered memorandum or you may call the Office of the Dean of the Faculty (ext. 3023) for this information. The allowance is provided for relocating the household items and personal effects and is a fixed amount depending on the rank of the new faculty member, marital status and number of dependent children. The new faculty member may choose any of the options listed above for coordinating an international household move. We strongly encourage new faculty members to coordinate their international move with Whalen’s however we do not require that Whalen’s be utilized for any household move.

Costs associated with relocation of the new faculty member and immediate family members are provided separately and are not subject to the allowance.

Reimbursement

To request reimbursement for any out of pocket expenses incurred in connection with a pre-move visit, the relocation of family members or the household move, submit a business expense report, an employee moving expense report and the original receipts to your department manager or assistant as appropriate. Reimbursement of expenses will be subject to this policy. Actual miles driven will be subject to the rate in effect at the time of travel as published under the Travel Policy. In addition, the reimbursement may be subject to the University Travel Policy or Business Expense Policy where required.

Responsible Office

Office of the Dean of the Faculty

Contact

Kuete Gayibor, 302 Nassau Hall, (609) 258.3023