Questions and answers – 1 April 2021 Relocation Policy changes

Glossary of Acronyms

Canadian Armed Forces
Canadian Armed Forces Relocation Directive
Compensation and Benefits Instructions for the Canadian Forces
Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program Directive
COS date
Change of Strength date 
Director Compensation and Benefits Administration
Dependants (if applicable), and Household Goods and Effects
Outside of Canada
Private Motor Vehicle
Treasury Board


Since the introduction of the Integrated Relocation Program in 1999, CAF members have been moved under one of two separate, yet similar, relocation policies:

The majority of CAF relocations have been conducted under the CFIRPD.

The CFIRPD was last published in 2009, and has been amended three times by TB – in 2012, 2014 and 2018.

On 1 April 2021, an update to the relocation policies will enter into force. There are two parts to this update:

Some relocation policy changes included in the CAFRD follow the significant CFIRPD changes made in 2018 in an effort to better align CAF relocation benefits with those available to their RCMP and Public Service counterparts.

There is no change in the application of the two separate, yet similar, relocation policies. Like the CFIRPD, the CAFRD will continue to apply mostly to trained members who are not prohibited from moving their (D)HG&E. Similarly, CBI 208 Section 8 will continue to apply to all other members who are being moved.

These Q&A aim to provide clarity on the benefit changes contained within the CAFRD and CBI Chapters 208 and 209. They are provided for information purposes only; the authoritative provisions are contained within the applicable policy instrument (CAFRD or CBI). 

These Q&A focus solely on CAF relocation policies and benefits; they do not discuss the delivery of services by a contracted agent of DND (e.g. BGRS or the movers).

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1. The new CAFRD

1.1 What is new about the CAFRD?


  • is an end-to-end rewrite of the former CFIRPD, designed to be a clearer and more coherent directive; and
  • includes a number of specific policy and benefit changes that TB has approved effective 1 April 2021.

1.2 To whom does the new CAFRD apply?

The CAFRD applies to an eligible member who moves their HG&E on or after 1 April 2021. This includes members whose COS or release date is before 1 April 2021 with an entitlement to move HG&E, but who moves their HG&E on or after 1 April 2021 (e.g. a member who proceeded unaccompanied on an Imposed Restriction (IR) in 2020 and who moves their family in summer 2021).

A member who moved (D)HG&E before 1 April 2021 may still have access to some unused CFIRPD entitlements (e.g. home purchase), but will not be entitled to any reimbursements under the new CAFRD.

For the purposes of determining the move date, the date that the HG&E are loaded shall be used.

1.3 What are the most noteworthy policy and benefit changes introduced in the CAFRD?

The most noteworthy change included in the CAFRD is related to the funding structure. The “Personalized” funding component available under the former CFIRPD was removed. The significance of this change is further explained in Q&A 1.4 and 1.5.

The CFIRPD’s “Personalized” funds were a fixed amount of funds intended to pay for things that are non-essential, but attributable to the relocation.

1.4 What happened to the funds that used to make up the “Personalized” funding component?

Under the CFIRPD, three funding components existed: the “Core” the “Custom” and the “Personalized” funding.

Under the CAFRD, the “Core” and “Custom” funding were preserved, while the “Personalized” funding was eliminated.

The “Personalized” funding available under the CFIRPD was used to pay for specific moving expenses, such as: connection/disconnection expenses, postal and courier services, pet expenses, supplemental appraisals on a home, etc.  

Under the CAFRD, CAF members will receive the same amount as they used to receive through the “Personalized” funding, without being limited to a list of specific moving expenses. Under the CAFRD, CAF members will now be able to allocate funds where it best meets their needs. Funds will be paid as follows:

  • Both the Posting Allowance (Regular Force) and the Reserve Relocation Allowance (Reserve Force) will continue to be paid directly to the member through the applicable pay system. Of note, the Posting Allowance policy has been removed from the CAFRD and relocated to the CBI 208 Section 10.
  • The Movement Grant ($650) will be paid directly to the member by the contracted relocation service provider (BGRS).
  • When elected, the Real Estate Incentive will be administered by the contracted relocation service provider (BGRS); however the payment will be processed by Director Relocation Business Management (DRBM) directly to the member through the applicable pay system.
1.5 What happened to the benefits that were payable from the former “Personalized” component?

Some of the benefits that were originally payable to members from the “Personalized” component have now been moved to a different funding source, while others have been eliminated:

  • Connection/disconnection expenses – now payable from Core funds.
  • Postal and courier services – now payable from Core funds.
  • Pet expenses – now payable from Custom funds, but will be capped at $1,000 for most domestic moves. The cap will not apply to moves to/from isolated posts or OUTCAN locations.
  • Supplemental appraisals on a home – now payable from Custom funds.
  • Second House Hunting Trip (HHT) – now payable from Custom funds.
  • Specialized preparation/appraisal of HG&E – now payable from Custom funds.
  • Costs related to a third or subsequent PMV – now payable from Custom funds.
  • Home Staging benefit – repealed.
  • Mortgage Interest Buy-down benefit – repealed.
  • New Home Warranty benefit – repealed.
  • Interest on a Home Relocation Loan benefit – repealed.
1.6 What are the “Core” and “Custom” funds?

The “Core” funds are used to pay for specific CAFRD benefits that are considered to be essential to a move (e.g. move of household goods, meals and hotel for a member’s family during the move, etc.).

The “Custom” funds are a fixed amount of funds determined by an individualized formula. These funds are used to pay for specific CAFRD benefits that are considered to be enhancements to a move (e.g. pet-related expenses, expenses for moving a second car, etc.).

1.7 Why were the Home Staging, Mortgage Interest Buy-down, New Home Warranty, and Interest on a Home Relocation Loan benefits repealed?

The Home Staging benefit, Mortgage Interest Buy-down benefit, New Home Warranty benefit and Interest on a Home Relocation Loan benefit were repealed to align with similar changes to other Government of Canada relocations policies.

1.8 Were additional changes made to other benefits?

Yes. They are summarized as follows:

  • General:
    • Costs related to the move of a member’s or a dependant’s service dog were added.  The benefits are the same as those available for pets, but payable from Core funds and not subject to the $1,000 limit for domestic moves.  Of note, “service dog” is defined in Section 1.4 of the CAFRD. Dogs that do not satisfy this definition continue to be considered pets for the purposes of relocation expense reimbursements.
    • For the Professional home cleaning benefit, the Core funds amount was doubled to $200 each for both the old and new residence. Any amount over $200 continues to be payable from the Custom funds.
    • Export declaration fees for PMVs were added to the list of PMV-related sundry expenses.
    • A provision was added to reimburse baggage costs when travelling via commercial airlines for those cases where the airline does not accept the baggage free of charge.
    • The requirement to demonstrate that there are no hotels with adequate cooking facilities within 16km was eliminated for the Interim Meals benefit.
    • The Automated Teller Machine benefit was repealed to align the CAFRD with other Government of Canada relocation policies.
    • Members who conduct their final move to their Intended Place of Residence (IPR) are no longer entitled to the Real Estate Incentive benefit paid to members who choose not to sell their home when they move.
  • For moves to/from OUTCAN locations:
    • Building inspections were added for OUTCAN rental units when there is a legal requirement to do so (currently only in Belgium).
    • For rental vehicle expenses, limited extra days were added to the entitlement period in cases where a member’s PMV cannot be immediately legally operated in the destination country upon delivery.
    • Export declaration fees for PMVs were added to the list of PMV-related sundry expenses. 
  • For a Reserve Force member being moved at public expense for a period of employment:
  • The minimum period of employment required for eligibility to home purchase and home sale benefits at the new place of duty was increased from one year to two years. Reserve Force members whose period of employment is less than two years continue to be entitled to expenses related to securing and vacating a rented residence at the new place of duty.
  • Other time limits were increased to two years to better align with those provided to their Regular Force counterparts, for:
    • sale of residence at previous location;
    • purchase of residence at the new location; and
    • move of (D)HG&E to the new location.
1.9 Regarding the change to the minimum period of employment for a Reserve Force member’s eligibility to the home purchase and sale benefits, how does an extension to the period of employment affect eligibility?

If a Reserve Force member – whose initial period of employment was less than two years – receives an extension to that period of employment that extends the total period to two years or more, the member becomes eligible to the purchase and subsequent sale benefits. The following conditions apply:

  • The two-year window to purchase a home continues to be calculated from the initial start date of the period of employment; it is not extended.
  • On the date of the purchase (i.e. the closing date), the member must have a minimum of one year remaining in their period of employment.
  • There is no entitlement to have HG&E moved at public expense from the rented residence to a purchased residence, nor is there any entitlement to any rent/lease liability for the rented residence being vacated.


Cpl Bloggins is moved to a new place of duty for an 18-month period of employment starting on 1 January 2022. They are not entitled to purchase benefits at the new place of duty due to the short duration of the period of employment.

The following year, on 15 March 2023, they are offered an extension of a further 18 months, amending the end date of their period of employment from 30 June 2023 to 31 December 2024, giving them a total period of employment of three years.

Cpl Bloggins accepts the extension on the same day and is therefore immediately eligible to home purchase benefits. However, they only have until 31 December 2023 (two years from their initial start date of 1 January 2022) to purchase a home.

If Cpl Bloggins does in fact purchase a home before 31 December 2023, they are responsible to move their HG&E from their rented residence to their purchased residence. They are also responsible for any penalties/costs related to the early termination of their existing rent/lease agreement.

2. Transition from CFIRPD to CAFRD

2.1 Which policy applies in respect of a member who is moving HG&E on or after 1 April 2021, but incurs move-related expenses prior to 1 April 2021?

The new CAFRD does not come into effect until 1 April 2021.  Therefore, any expenses incurred before 1 April 2021 continue to be covered under the CFIRPD only.  On 1 April 2021, only those members who will move their HG&E after that date will begin to be covered by the provisions of the new CAFRD.

For the purposes of determining the move date, the date that the HG&E are loaded shall be used.

2.2: Regarding the eliminated or amended benefits, which policy is applicable if members have started their move under the former CFIRPD but will finish their move under the new CAFRD? 

With regards to the eliminated benefits, a transitional provision was included in the new CAFRD, whereby a member who incurred or was reimbursed a benefit prior to 1 April 2021 under the former CFIRPD will remain entitled to that benefit. There will be no recoveries of funds, nor loss of benefits that were incurred prior to 1 April 2021 but not yet reimbursed.

Conversely, members should not expect to retain entitlements to any former CFIRPD benefit if expenses are incurred on or after 1 April 2021 and the benefit is no longer contained in the CAFRD. Unused CFIRPD benefits are forfeited upon transition to the new CAFRD on 1 April 2021.

TB has amended the funding sources for seven benefits effective 1 April 2021.  Therefore, for members who start their move under the CFIRPD and finish it under the CAFRD, the change in funding source for those seven former “Personalized” benefits only applies to an expense that is incurred on or after 1 April 2021.

3. The changes to the CBI

3.1 What is changed in the CBI?

In general terms, minor amendments were made to CBI 208 in order to improve alignment with the CAFRD. Some administrative amendments were also made for clarity and coherence purposes. As a result of the move of existing benefits from other policy instruments, additional CBIs were created in Chapters 208 and 209.  

3.2 Are there any new relocation benefits added to CBI 208?

CBI 208.9913 was added to CBI 208. This CBI provides a basic set of benefits applicable to members who serve OUTCAN and relocate a dependant to Canada in advance of their tour expiry date for reasons not covered under other dependant-related policies.

3.3 What benefits were moved to CBI?

Three benefits were moved to CBI:

  • The two parallel Posting Allowance provisions contained at CFIRPD 3.4.03 and CBI 208.849 were merged into one new CBI 208.992 (Posting Allowance). This new CBI 208.992 resides in Section 10 (Miscellaneous) of CBI 208, which is a section that includes some benefits which may apply to both CBI 208 Section 8 and CAFRD relocations.
  • A new CBI, CBI 208.9964 was created, replacing the legacy CFAO 209-38 (dated 1981). CBI 208.9964 provides reimbursement of some customs, duties and taxes expenses applicable to members returning to Canada in advance of their tour expiry date.
  • The Special Commuting Assistance (SCA) provision was removed from the relocation directive and inserted as a new CBI, CBI 209.29 (Special Commuting Assistance), alongside other commuting benefits. Some changes were also made to the benefit itself.
3.4 What are the details regarding the Special Commuting Assistance (SCA) benefit in the new CBI 209.29?

The key points are as follows:

  • SCA is an available option whereby a member may elect to commute daily in lieu of a short-distance move of (D)HG&E under the CAFRD. A short-distance move is generally considered to be 100 km or less (e.g. between Borden and Toronto). It is a low-use benefit, with only 30-35 new approvals each year. SCA is not available in respect of a member whose entitlement to a short-distance move is under Section 8 of CBI 208 (e.g. untrained members and “prohibited” moves).
  • As noted in the preceding Q&A, SCA has been removed from the relocation directive and added to CBI 209 alongside other commuting benefits.
  • As of 1 April 2021, the deductible distance is increased from 16km to 40km and a 5-year limit is added. For a member already approved to receive SCA under the former CFIRPD, the change in deductible kms does not apply and the 5-year time limit expires on 31 March 2026.
  • Under the new CBI the gaining unit is the approving authority for a Regular Force member to receive SCA, resulting in a quicker approval process.  DCBA will remain the approving authority for all Reserve Force members who request SCA.
3.5 What other benefits have changed?

Two CBIs were amended to align the amount payable with the CAFRD and other Government of Canada relocations policies:

  • CBI 208.83 – the kilometric allowance payable when travelling by PMV was updated. It no longer refers to the “Department of Finance”; and
  • CBI 208.85 – the Movement Grant amount was updated.
3.6 Were any CBIs repealed?

Yes, as part of the alignment and administrative amendments, two obsolete CBIs were repealed:

  • CBI 208.841 (Movement of Mobile Homes) was repealed to align with parallel CAFRD and other Government of Canada relocation policies. The CBI had not been used by the CAF in several years.  
  • CBI 208.991 (Transportation entitlements of non-commissioned members who re-engage while on terminal leave) was repealed as its improved provision was contained in the CFIRPD and continues to be contained in the CAFRD.

4. Questions

4.1 If I have questions regarding my entitlements under the CAFRD after reading the directive, who should I ask?

For any CAFRD questions:

  • If you have an authorized relocation file and have registered with BGRS, your main point of contact is your BGRS consultant. It is advisable for members to take time to become familiar with the new policy; however, effective 1 April 2021, BGRS will be able to respond to questions pertaining to the new CAFRD.
  • In very rare circumstances, your BGRS consultant may not be able to answer your question due to the nature of your case. If this happens, you may seek guidance from your local CAF Relocation Coordinator. If they are unable to answer your question, they have the ability to pass your question up through the applicable administrative support network.
4.2 I am being moved under Section 8 of CBI 208. If I have questions regarding my entitlements for my CBI move after reading the applicable instructions, who should I ask?

For any moves under Section 8 of CBI 208:

  • Your move will be administered by CAF support staff, most likely your local orderly room. They are your main point of contact for any questions related to a move under Section 8 of CBI 208.
  • If they are unable to answer your question, they have the ability to pass your question up through the applicable administrative support network.

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