Flexible Spending Account (UGFA Unit 2)

Note: This program will replace the Professional Development Reimbursement for UGFA Unit 2 Members effective January 1, 2020. For claims prior to January 1, 2020, please refer to the information on PDR.

In the event of a discrepancy between this page and the Collective Agreement, the Collective Agreement shall be considered the final authority

Effective January 1, 2019, the University will provide Flexible Spending Credits (Flex Credits) to all regular full-time (including reduced workload) Members as well as temporary full-time Members who have completed twelve months of service. Each eligible Member will be provided with Flex Credits in the amount of:

Effective Date Amount
January 1, 2020 $1,200
January 1, 2021 $1,200

Allocation Options

Eligible Members elect to allocate their Flex Credits to any one (1) of the following three (3) accounts:

Professional Development Reimbursement (PDR)

Professional Development Reimbursement (PDR) can be used by Members for professional expenses including:

  1. books, manuscripts, subscriptions, equipment, software, instruments or materials, all of which become the property of the University;
  2. tuition or fees for professional training courses;
  3. travel and costs for meetings or professional activities such as conferences;
  4. membership dues in professional associations or learned societies; or,
  5. scholarly assistance such as computer time.

Health Care Spending Account (HCSA)

The Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) can be used to pay for eligible Member and/or eligible spouses/dependants qualifying medical and dental expenses under the Income Tax Act (Canada), incurred after the deposit date, that are not covered or are only partially covered by the University’s group benefits plan.

Taxable Wellness Spending Account (TWSA)

Supports health and wellness for eligible Members only (i.e. spouses/dependents are not eligible).  This account can be used to pay for items including but not limited to fitness club membership fees, fitness or sporting equipment, personal training sessions, nutritional counselling, weight loss programs, smoking cessation programs, legal advice and/or financial advice.  Wellness spending account reimbursements are taxable benefits and will be reported on annual T4 statements of the employee.

Operation of the Flex Credit Program

Allocation of Flex Credits

  • All allocations of Flex Credits must be made in twenty-five-dollar ($25) increments.
  • This election must be made by November 30 of the year prior to the Calendar Year in which the credits will be allocated to the various accounts. Only one election made be made in any year.
  • The election as to the allocation of Flex Credits is irrevocable.
  • Where an eligible Member fails to make an election for the Flex Credits, as an automatic default fifty percent (50%) of the employees Flex Credits will automatically be credited to the PDR account, and fifty (50%) will be automatically credited to the employee’s HCSA, with no allocation to the Taxable Wellness Account.


  • Participation in the Flex Credit arrangement is restricted to active Members who hold a regular full-time position as well as Members who are employed in a temporary full-time position and who have completed twelve months of service with the University of Guelph as at January 1 of each calendar year. For the purpose of this agreement active employees shall include those employees on Research/Study leave, any statutory protected leave (i.e. maternity or parental leave, family medical leave, etc), short term disability, long term disability, drawing WSIB benefits, on vacation or an otherwise approved paid leave of absence.   Active Member does not include Members who are on a leave of absence without pay or those on a salary continuance arrangement.   
  • Retirees are not eligible to participate in this Flex Credit arrangement.
  • Newly hired eligible Members shall have access to 100% of Flex Credits for the calendar year, provided their employment commences on or before July 1 of the same calendar year.
  • All eligible Members whose employment commences after July 1, with the exception of those hired after November 30, as detailed below, will see their Flex Credits prorated by fifty (50%) for the balance of that calendar year. 
  • Those Members hired after November 30th will not be eligible to participate in the flex spending program until the following calendar year.
  • All Members hired during a calendar year and who are eligible to receive Flex Credits will be required to direct the allocation of their Flex Credits to HCSA, PDR or TWA within thirty (30) days of the commencement of their employment, failing which the default allocation shall apply. 

Account Balance Carry Forward Provisions

  • The same carry forward provisions will apply to all three (3) accounts. 
  • Unused account balances can be carried forward and combined with new Flex Credit allocations for the following calendar year.
  • At the end of the second calendar year, any balances remaining in the HCSA and TWA from the previous year will be forfeited. (i.e., spending in any one year must exceed funds carry-forward from year immediate preceding.) Balances remaining in the PDR will be transferred to the library acquisitions budget.
  • Carry-forward balances must remain in the original accounts – i.e., no inter account transfers are permitted once the allocation election has been made.

Payment of Claims

  • The claim year is January 1st to December 31st
  • HCSA and TWSA: Members can submit claims at any time throughout the year, however all claims must be received by the carrier no later than March 31st following the year in which the expenses have been incurred.  Members retiring or terminating must have all claims incurred prior to their termination or retirement date submitted within thirty (30) calendar days of their last day of employment.
  • PDR: Annual PDR expenses claimed must be incurred and paid by the Member by December 31 of each calendar year.  Members can submit authorized claims, in accordance with University policies, at any time during the calendar year. The University’s Financial Services (Payment Services) will issue instructions regarding claim submission deadlines for each calendar year.   Members retiring or terminating must have all PDR claims submitted prior to their last day of employment.