The expatriate package is the set of material and financial measures implemented by a company to support an expat during his mission abroad.
It facilitates the installation in another country and compensates for the inconveniences.
The preparation of moving abroad is facilitated thanks to this package. But its content is very variable, and more or less negotiable.
We explain it all to you!
Expatriation Package and Remuneration
Expatriate Compensation Package and Taxation
The elements included in the employee’s compensation are one of the key points of the expatriation package.
The salary should be, at least, enough to keep the same standard of living he/she was having in their home country before the departure. It’s necessary to find a balance between the cost of living and the future salary.
The taxes paid must also be approximately the same as if he/she were to remain working in their home country. If they are higher, the employer must be able to include some extra benefits in the expatriate compensation package.
Bonuses to Facilitate Expatriation
The expatriation package can include all kinds of bonuses:
- Hardship bonus for so-called difficult destinations. It’s common in dangerous or politically unstable territories. But also in the ones with difficult climatic conditions or lack of satisfactory educational and medical infrastructure
- Mobility allowance paid at the beginning and end of the mission
- Cost of living allowance for expensive destinations
- Settling-in bonus to finance initial expenses on site.
These bonuses can be paid on a one-time basis or continuously throughout the expatriation. They are generally taxable.
Benefits in Kind
Expatriate Relocation Packages and Installation Assistance
The expatriate relocation packages may also include benefits that help to facilitate the settlement of the employee and his/her family.
Some examples are:
- Housing assistance: provision of company housing, financing or assistance in finding a home, payment of energy or telecommunications bills
- Moving assistance: payment of a storage facility, air freight, or an international moving company
- Transportation assistance: company car, international driver’s license, driver, payment of public transportation passes, etc.
- Assistance with administrative, tax, or immigration procedures.
What Is an Expatriate Package?
Because an expatriation cannot be improvised and can be destabilizing, the expatriation package can also provide measures to facilitate acclimatization to the host country:
- Language courses before departure or on-site
- Cross-cultural training
- Reconnaissance trip for the expatriate and his family.
An Expatriate Package Provides Assistance for the Whole Family
The package must also take into account the fact that a successful expatriation is often a family affair. This is why it includes many benefits for the expatriate’s family:
- For the children’s schooling: taking care of enrollment from kindergarten to high school. Or putting them in touch with certain establishments specially designed for expatriates’ children or renowned for their excellence
- For the spouse’s employment: provision of certain job search assistance in the country (skills assessment, headhunting or recruitment firm), or training assistance
- To maintain personal ties: coverage of an annual number of round trips between the home country and the country of expatriation.
Social Protection: A Key Element of the Expatriate Compensation Package
Social Security Coverage Is Often Insufficient Abroad
Social protection for expatriates during their stay abroad is a priority in the expatriate package.
Seconded workers remain affiliated with their countries’ Social Security system for retirement and health insurance. And they continue to pay contributions there throughout his or her stay abroad.
Other types of expats might be automatically covered by the local social protection system when it exists. In both cases, the coverage and reimbursements provided may be insufficient, particularly for:
- Coverage of repatriation
- In case of frequent expenses (chronic illness, pregnancy, etc.)
- When going to private establishments is made essential by the inadequacies of the local public health system.
International Insurance: the Best Choice for Expatriates
The expatriate can benefit from a local or international insurance policy taken out by his employer. Or from a policy taken out on his initiative. In all cases, the expatriate must verify the coverage offered, as well as the levels and ceilings of reimbursements.
All family members must be covered, and certain benefits must be included:
- Routine health expenses
- Hospitalization expenses.
Additional guarantees such as daily allowances, disability, or civil liability insurance should not be neglected either.
International insurance also adds the possibility of being covered in your host country. But also during temporary stays at home. And in other countries around the world, during your holidays or trips abroad.
It is important to verify that this international coverage is included in the expatriation package or to negotiate it when possible.
What Is the Best International Insurance for an Expatriate Package?
Social Security and Supplementary Policies
In some cases, the expatriated worker can keep affiliated to its Social Security. This will allow him/her to:
- Benefit from health coverage
- Continue to contribute to his/her retirement
- Regain his or her affiliation to the Health Insurance system upon returning home more easily
This membership can also be done directly by the expatriate. And it is advisable to also subscribe to complementary health insurance to be better protected.
Social Security reimbursements follow the same scales as those of your home country’s public health insurance. If the real cost of the services is higher, you would have to pay the difference.
So then, what is an expatriate package if you are covered by Social Security? It’s a supplementary policy that covers the difference between the real cost of care and the Social Security reimbursements.
Supplementary insurance increases the cost of the insurance, but it allows:
- To benefit from better reimbursements
- To add additional guarantees to the basic Social Security coverage, which is rather limited and does not cover repatriation for example.
1st Euro Insurance: A Flexible and Efficient Solution
Another alternative to benefit from good health coverage in your expatriate compensation package are the 1st euro policies. They offer complete and flexible coverage, for a very good quality/price ratio.
- This type of coverage is designed to adapt to all expatriates’ needs. And it’s available in many different formulas, more or less expensive and more or less protective, to fit each profile.
- These contracts are marketed by numerous companies specialized in international insurance. And there are even packages dedicated to certain destinations.
Among the advantages of a 1st euro insurance in the expatriation package, we find that the companies that market them often allow their policyholders to benefit from partnerships with serious and well-established healthcare networks in each country.
This facilitates the coverage, with, for example, the waiver of advance payment in case of hospitalization.
Some practical help is sometimes welcome but is not included in the package. This is why we have created a special section to help you prepare for your expatriation:
- Expatriation: all the administrative procedures
- Preparing your expatriation suitcase
Frequently Asked Questions
The expatriate package is a set of material and financial provisions implemented by a company to support an expatriate during his/her mission abroad.
It facilitates the installation in another country and compensates for the inconveniences. However, the content of these packages varies greatly and is more or less negotiable.
The expatriate must be able to maintain a standard of living at least equal to what he/she had in his/her country at the time of his/her departure. Taxes must also be approximately the same as if they were still working there.
The expatriation package can include all kinds of bonuses:
– Hardship bonus for destinations that are dangerous, unstable, with extreme weather conditions, or with lack of education and medical infrastructures
– Mobility allowance paid at the beginning and end of the mission
– Cost of living allowance for expensive destinations
– Settling-in bonus to finance initial expenses on site.
The expatriation package allows the employee to be eligible for many benefits:
– Moving expenses
– Administrative, tax, or immigration procedures
– Language courses before departure or on-site
– Cross-cultural training
– A recognition trip for the expatriate and his family
– Assistance with children’s registration
– Various assistance in finding a job for the spouse
– Coverage of a yearly number of round trips between France and the country of expatriation.