Moving Expense Policy

Moving Expense Policy


Office of Administration


Vice President for Administration or Assistant Vice President for Administration


Human Resources



Effective Date:


Implementation History:


Moving Expense

Background Information:


To establish the relocation expenses to be reimbursed when recruiting qualified candidates.



This policy is established to assist in the recruitment of qualified candidates; it is not expected that every appointee will be authorized payment of relocation expenses.

Empire State College has the authority to reimburse actual and necessary moving and travel expenses to employees. Reimbursement of moving expenses is not mandatory. The college maintains the right to authorize reimbursement of relocation expenses for employees.

The determination of who is to receive such reimbursement and the amounts of such reimbursement is discretionary and determined by the assistant vice president for Administration or designee. No offers of reimbursement should be made prior to such consultation with the vice president/ center dean /assistant vice president in the hiring area.

These guidelines apply to all centers except as noted below for the Center for International Education. Reimbursement of travel and moving expenses shall be payable from the college’s (state-operating, IFR, SUTRA) budget.

Process for Determination of Reimbursement Eligibility

  • The hiring dean /assistant vice president, in consultation with the assistant vice president for Administration, determines the need for moving expense reimbursement. No reimbursement for moving and travel expenses shall be made unless the assistant vice president for Administration approves such reimbursement.
  • Maximum amounts to be reimbursed will be based on the chart below:
    PositionsUp to:
    cabinet level $4,000
    deans, associates deans, assistant vice presidents $3,000
    faculty $2,500
    other* $2,500

* The hiring vice president may recommend moving expense reimbursement up to $2,500 for other high-level, high-demand professional positions. Requests will be in writing to the president; approval of these requests will be at the discretion of the president.

These maximum rates are annually reviewed and revised as appropriate.

Payment is subject to budget availability.

Reimbursement of eligible expenses at a rate higher than noted in the chart requires the president’s authorization.

General Provisions Governing Eligibility for Reimbursement

  • New York State Division of the Budget stipulates that moving expenses may be reimbursed when the distance from the employer’s old workplace to new workplace is at least 35 miles.
  • The federal criteria for determining taxability of reimbursements are different from New York state. Federal guidelines require that if the distance from an employee's old residence to the new workplace is at least 50 miles more than the distance from the old residence to the old workplace, the reimbursement is not taxable. However, if the increase in commuting distance is less than 50 miles, the moving expense reimbursement is taxable, requires withholding of income and employment taxes and must be reported as wages on the employee’s W-2.

Relocation Expenses Eligible for Reimbursement

Appointees eligible for reimbursement shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary moving and travel expenses incurred provided that claim for such payment, including receipts, is made within one year of the effective date of the appointment. An eligible appointee may be reimbursed for:

  • the basic cost of moving household goods and personal effects from the appointee's residence at the time of initial appointment to the residence located near the new place of employment, provided that the mover used a carrier authorized by the New York State Department of Transportation or the Interstate Commerce Commission to perform such service. Household goods are defined as all reasonable items of furniture, furnishing, clothing, appliances, tools and equipment, including necessary expenditures for handling such items as pianos, refrigerators and deep freezers. Not included are such items as automobiles and other motor vehicles; trailers other than house trailers used as appointee's residence; building materials; animals raised for profit, farming equipment, livestock, boats; belongings not the property of the appointee's immediate family; and belongings related to commercial enterprises engaged in by the appointee or his/her family.
  • the cost of additional insurance above the lowest valuation rate charged
  • the cost of packing and/or unpacking of household and personal effects, if such services provided by the carrier are used.
  • No reimbursement shall be provided for household goods and personal effects in excess of 12,000 pounds.
  • the cost of transportation of the appointee and his/her family to the new location, at the rate paid by New York state for the use of personally owned automobiles for official business, the mileage to be measured by the shortest highway route between the two places of residence. Payment shall be made at such rate for one automobile regardless of the number owned, or actual method of transportation used.
  • If an appointee does not use a commercial household goods carrier, he/she shall be reimbursed for the basic cost of moving household goods and personal effects by rental of trailers or trucks from commercial establishments provided the claim is accompanied by three competitive bids. Reimbursement shall be made at the rates proposed in the lowest bid.
  • New York state guidelines allow up to $200 reimbursement if no commercial carrier or rental trucks are used.

Repayment of Monies Advanced

In the event that an appointee resigns or voluntarily separates within one year of the effective date of appointment to the college, the vice president for administration shall arrange to collect from the appointee monies for relocation expenses and transmit such monies to the state treasurer in accordance with the provisions of Section 121 of the State Finance Law. Whenever possible, the college will deduct the relocation expenses from the final vacation paycheck. When the campus is unable to collect such monies, the claim shall be transferred to the New York state attorney general who shall take whatever action is necessary to collect the monies advanced.


The process for requesting reimbursement is initiated through submission of Request for Reimbursement for Moving Expense Agreement (Form AC-1099).

  • Reimbursement is for actual and necessary moving and travel expenses incurred. Total amount to be reimbursed will not exceed the college’s established guidelines. 
  • The reimbursement is limited to the amount noted in the employee’s appointment letter.
  • The reimbursement will be based on costs from a reasonable distance and budget availability.
  • For purposes of the AC-1099 form, the appointing officer is the assistant vice president for Administration. The appointing officer must answer all questions pertaining to the move of the appointee and complete the certification block.
  • The appointee must sign the repayment agreement on the form.
  • A receipted original or carbon copy of the bill of lading or freight bill must be attached. Additionally, if a certified carrier is not used, copies of three competitive bids must be included.
  • A standard voucher (Form AC-92) must be attached providing a summary of the details of allowable expenditures.
  • All completed forms should be submitted to the assistant vice president for Administration or designee.
  • The AVP will forward the completed forms and all documentation to the Office of Business Services for submission to the Office of the State Comptroller for payment to the employee. Payment to the employee takes about 30 days from receipt in the business office.

Guidelines for the Center for International Education

  • The Center for International Education (CIE) is to pay moving expenses from its available IFR or foundation funds consistent with the SUNY policy; no state support is to be provided.
  • Selected high-demand faculty, directors and management/confidential employees may be eligible for moving reimbursement as follows:
    • domestic employees relocating to an international location at the request of the college
    • overseas employees relocating to another international location.
  • A determination should be made that there are no other qualified candidates already located at the area of assignment available for the position.
  • The AVP for Administration (or designee) is consulted in advance, to determine an employee’s eligibility for moving expense reimbursement.
  • Employees who resign their position forfeit reimbursement for return moving expense reimbursement.
  • Employees and independent contractors who resign their assignment early (within the first year), must reimburse the college for moving expenses issued and forfeit the return moving expense reimbursement.
  • Moving expenses are reimbursed up to (all monies in USD) amounts listed below upon submission of paid receipts or other supporting documentation (i.e.: mileage calculations):
    • faculty members hired in the USA and asked to work abroad: $4,000 to cover the move to CIE location and return to USA.
    • employees offered to and from moving expense reimbursements may use any fractional part or the entire amount of moving expense reimbursement offered on the “to” move. Any unused portion of offered moving expense reimbursement amount is available for reimbursement of return moving expenses, subject to changes in SUNY policies.
    • overseas employees moving to another overseas location: $3,000 total covers the move to the new location, with the remainder, if any, available for return to original location.
  • Reimbursement amounts are to be reviewed annually as part of the program’s budget process. CIE should include a budgetary line for anticipated moving reimbursement expenses, including providing justification for reimbursement increases and decreases based upon the exchange rate.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

Standard voucher form

Request for reimbursement of moving expense Form AC-1099