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Intercompany transfer to Houston

Intercompany transfer to Houston

Old Apr 4th 2021, 10:31 pm
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Default Intercompany transfer to Houston

I am being offered a move from London to Houston. I am on GBP 55k in the UK, but they are only offering $90 including accommodation allowance in the US. My industry is oil & gas. I have a family of 3 with a young child. Am I being short changed? They offer all the other big company benefits such as relocation allowance of approx $35k & flights etc, but on a salary basis it looks a bit low, and would like to negotiate further. Any advise how much someone in a technical engineering role in London with 55k salary should be getting in Houston with a well known large employer?
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Old Apr 4th 2021, 10:47 pm
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Default Re: Intercompany transfer to Houston

What type of technical engineering job do you have?
How many years of experience?
Will you be in management, have people reporting to you?

You've been given an approx 20% uplift on current salary. Why do you think you might be getting shortchanged? Researching?

If you have been asked to move then you have more chance to negotiate for higher income.
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Old Apr 4th 2021, 11:11 pm
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Default Re: Intercompany transfer to Houston

I believe its shortchanging due to longer working hours (from 35 to 40/week), shorter holidays (from 26 to 15days), and the fact that I get full private health insurance covered in the UK, and looking at the potential costs in the States, I should allocate $5000/yr for this.

The base salary of 83k is roughly a factor of 1.4 on my UK salary (Which is the $-£ conversion rate), add a little bit to compensate for the 40 hour contracts stipulated. Its just my housing allowance i get extra - is this worthwhile moving countries for?

I am moving into technical sales. Company has requested me to move. No one will report to me.

Last edited by Your Math Teacher; Apr 4th 2021 at 11:15 pm.
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Old Apr 4th 2021, 11:25 pm
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Default Re: Intercompany transfer to Houston

If you think you are being short changed due to on working hours and vacation time (people have negotiated to have their UK vacation time transferred over) together with insurance costs, probably not.... although that 35K relocation allowance is good.
You would get more for your buck in Houston than in London probably - especially in housing...... would you be renting?
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Old Apr 4th 2021, 11:34 pm
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Default Re: Intercompany transfer to Houston

Originally Posted by Your Math Teacher View Post
I am being offered a move from London to Houston. I am on GBP 55k in the UK, but they are only offering $90 including accommodation allowance in the US. My industry is oil & gas. I have a family of 3 with a young child. Am I being short changed? They offer all the other big company benefits such as relocation allowance of approx $35k & flights etc, but on a salary basis it looks a bit low, and would like to negotiate further. Any advise how much someone in a technical engineering role in London with 55k salary should be getting in Houston with a well known large employer?
What visa will the company be applying for, this may or may not enable your wife to work? $90K doesn’t seem much to me for a family of 3...but there again neither does £55 in London.
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Old Apr 4th 2021, 11:35 pm
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Default Re: Intercompany transfer to Houston

Hint: compare what your net salary after tax in both places will be.... not much point looking at the gross as this is not what you have to spend, I find once you factor in all the deductions and credits the US is generally lower tax. Remember your relocation allowance will be taxable. Once you know your net salary look at/compare the cost of housing in both places as it likely to be your biggest expense.
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Old Apr 5th 2021, 8:00 am
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Default Re: Intercompany transfer to Houston

Originally Posted by tht View Post
Hint: compare what your net salary after tax in both places will be.... not much point looking at the gross as this is not what you have to spend, I find once you factor in all the deductions and credits the US is generally lower tax. Remember your relocation allowance will be taxable. Once you know your net salary look at/compare the cost of housing in both places as it likely to be your biggest expense.
He will also have to look at his health insurance costs, it’s unlikely the company’s health insurance is going to be free. Also schooling, when we relocated to Houston from the UK the youngest of ours was not quite 5 and public school age was 6 so he was even too young for kindergarten​​​​​​. However he had started and was used to full time school so we paid for 2 pre-schools, morning and afternoon, no school buses for private schools. That also brings up the question of cars. We needed to buy 2 cars when we re-located to Houston and the relocation allowance offered a low interest car loan only good enough to buy 1 decent 2nd hand car.

My starting salary was approximately double. Went from £17k to $49k. This was back in 1987 and I was a EE moving with large Chemical Compnay.

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Old Apr 5th 2021, 3:19 pm
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Default Re: Intercompany transfer to Houston

Salaries are generally significantly higher for comparable jobs in oil and gas in the US. It will depend on which sector within oil and gas you're in, and I don't know too much about technical sales roles, but that does seem low to me.

When I moved to the US on an L1, I was underpaid compared to my peers, though still what I'd consider well paid. I asked for more, but wasn't in a good negotiating position since I wanted to move to Houston to get married. You don't have that problem.
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Old Apr 5th 2021, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: Intercompany transfer to Houston

Originally Posted by Your Math Teacher View Post
Any advise how much someone in a technical engineering role in London with 55k salary should be getting in Houston with a well known large employer?
It depends how much they want you and how keen you are to go. If the rent is say $2k per month, ‘$90k including accommodation allowance’ leaves $66k after rent, which is less than you get in the UK, although you may have rental income or a saving in rent in the UK.

With an L1 visa your spouse will be able to work. If you want to apply for a Green Card it is best to understand the rules for L1A vs L1B and get a commitment from your employer in advance to do what’s necessary.

It is not only a question of money. There is a lot of effort involved in a transfer: visa, UK housing, healthcare, travelling, shipping, US housing, furnishing, taxes, investments, cars, etc. This is likely to be repeated when you travel back. Will you have a job and a home available when you return? While there, you may have the expense of travelling back regularly to see family and friends.
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Old Apr 6th 2021, 1:46 am
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Default Re: Intercompany transfer to Houston

My normal reminder that all of that relocation allowance is now taxable income. So at the very least ensure that they "gross up" that $35k so you are effectively not paying tax on it.
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Old Apr 6th 2021, 2:58 am
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Default Re: Intercompany transfer to Houston

Originally Posted by Your Math Teacher View Post
I believe its shortchanging due to longer working hours (from 35 to 40/week), shorter holidays (from 26 to 15days), and the fact that I get full private health insurance covered in the UK, and looking at the potential costs in the States, I should allocate $5000/yr for this.

The base salary of 83k is roughly a factor of 1.4 on my UK salary (Which is the $-£ conversion rate), add a little bit to compensate for the 40 hour contracts stipulated. Its just my housing allowance i get extra - is this worthwhile moving countries for?

I am moving into technical sales. Company has requested me to move. No one will report to me.

If you are in sales, will you also be getting decent commission maybe?

You can check salaries on Indeed.com, and Glassdoor, for comparison. Also on LinkedIn.
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Old Apr 6th 2021, 4:18 am
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Default Re: Intercompany transfer to Houston

The OP describes his role as technical engineering... in the oil and gas industry.
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Old Apr 6th 2021, 4:04 pm
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Default Re: Intercompany transfer to Houston

On £55k in the UK that puts you in the 40% income tax bracket. With national insurance on top of that your nett is around £40,500. Texas has no state income tax and you won’t be paying anywhere near what you pay in the UK in federal taxes. So you need to compare the net amounts.
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Old Apr 6th 2021, 4:55 pm
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Default Re: Intercompany transfer to Houston

I’m not saying that US taxes are not lower than UK taxes but the comparison is not as simple as it might appear.
  • Contributing £5k of the £55k into a pension would keep the income in the 20% bracket with the advantage, compared to a US retirement account, that 25% of the pension can be taken as a tax free lump sum.
  • UK taxes pay for the NHS. Federal income tax rates are lower but you need to budget for health insurance (plus deductibles and copay).
  • UK employee national insurance rates are 0% up to £797 per month, 12% between £797 and £4189 a month. Above £4189 a month the rate drops to 2%. US employee Social Security and Medicare withholding rates are 6.2% and 1.45%. Social security drops to 0% above $142.8k.
  • Texas has no state income tax but property taxes are high.

Last edited by Aoi; Apr 6th 2021 at 4:57 pm.
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Old Apr 6th 2021, 8:11 pm
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Default Re: Intercompany transfer to Houston

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
The OP describes his role as technical engineering... in the oil and gas industry.

He did. He also said he was moving into technical sales, and mentioned, 'base salary', hence my question. Some commission packages are very advantageous. It's always possible he's not actually selling anything of course so commission would be irrelevant.
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