"To exercise or engage in any form of fitness makes us feel better and prevent illness," says University Director Caroline Sjöberg. "Umeå University has long given priority to and invested in the area, both with fitness cards and the ability to exercise during working hours. The goal, of course, is that more employees will start exercising and become more active, and hopefully this new widespread reimbursement benefit will make it easier to find a desirable activity."
For more than ten years, Umeå University has offered discounted fitness cards as a health benefit. In comparison with the peak year in 2014, the total number of employees with active cards has decreased. Therefore, as of 1 September 2018, the University has decided to offer a fitness reimbursement instead of a discounted fitness card.
"The new fitness reimbursement is offered to all employees, and there are a variety of activities to choose from because we – as well as several other universities – will follow the Swedish Tax Agency's tax agency's list for tax-free fitness and health benefits," says Lars Nordlander, Director of the Office of Human Resources.
Amount of the fitness reimbursement
The University's fitness reimbursement is a maximum of SEK 150 per month, and a maximum of SEK 1800 per year – that will take effect on 1 September. The initiative is funded by the University's common funds, and reimbursements are given for term cards, annual cards or recurring activities, but are not approved, for example, for equipment and rental fees for rooms/premises.
Transitional period and payment
For employees that currently have a fitness card at USM with an expiration date after 31 August 2018, Ann-Christin Edlund, Deputy Director of the Office of Human Resources, explains what applies:
"As before, a salary deduction of SEK 145 per month to continue be drawn as long as the fitness card is valid. If you are using this benefit, you may not, however, receive the fitness reimbursement during the same period when the subsidized fitness card is active."
She explains that the administration of this new reimbursement benefit will be similar to expenses for travel:
"Request for fitness reimbursement will be made through the PASS, and as well as for other expenses, original receipts should scanned and sent to the salary department. Payment is made after the receipt has been received."
For more information:
Read more about the fitness reimbursement
Frequently asked questions
If you have any questions, please send an e-mail to:
Text: David Meyers