New regulations regarding wellness allowance
In the decision by the President from April 9, the wellness benefits have been clarified and regulated. The new rules, which came into force 1st of May 2019, include regulations regarding the wellness allowance (Friskvårdsbidraget), health promotion hour (Friskvårdstimmen), access to the campus gyms and physical activity on prescription (FaR).
KI aims to promote wellness and health among students and employees, by creating opportunities for physical activity and active recovery. A supporting work and study environment that facilitates active breaks may enhance learning as well as health in a life long perspective.
The primary purpose of the wellness allowance is to stimulate and inspire to regular physical activity. The maximum amount is 1500 SEK per employee and calendar year. You will receive the allowance in proportion to your working hours, i e if you work 20 % on an annual basis, you will receive 20 % of 1500 SEK/year.
Who is entitled to the reimbursement?
The benefit is offered to employees at KI, including those employed for a limited period. Affiliated researchers, grant-funded jobs or those on leave of absence or retirement pension are not entitled to the health promotion reimbursement. There are, however, a few limitations: you have to work at least 20% to be offered this benefit. A condition for receiving reimbursement is to be employed during the validity period of the exercise membership.
Gym cards (gym passes, punch tickets and single-entry tickets) are reimbursed with a maximum of SEK 1 500 per calendar year.
Examples of tax-free activities include calisthenics, strength training, climbing, swimming, racket sports and team sports such as volleyball and football. Other examples are dance, yoga and qi gong.
Rental of equipment e g badminton racket will be approved.
In the decision from May 1, golf, sailing and horseback riding are now approved activities.
Karolinska Institutet follows the rules of the Swedish Tax Agency with some exceptions:
How do I get the reimbursement?
To receive the fitness reimbursement you will have to register your expense in the PA-web (PRIMULA) as ”preventive health care”. Fill in and print the form, attach the receipt to the form and send it to the administrator at your department no later than 30th November the present year. The original receipt must show your name, the amount paid, the date, duration period and type of activity. If you have paid by autogiro, you must send in a copy of the bank statement and a receipt from the health club showing all the items detailed above.
May I use the wellness allowance for massage?
No. Treatments and passive therapies are not reimbursable activities. KI has chosen to subsidize physical activity based on WHO guidelines and on FYSS in order to prevent sedentary work day and increase physical activity. We understand the notion that massage should be considered as a health promoting activity, but have decided to draw the line between passive and active types of activity. Regular physical training is the key to staying healthy as well as an important part in the prevention and treatment for shoulder, neck and back pain. Moreover, we believe that a gym card or equivalent will give you the most benefits of regularity.
Is it possible for the employer to subsidise competition and membership fees?
No. Competition and membership fees will not be subsidized.
I have bought a pair of running shoes. Is this expense reimbursable?
No. Expenses for clothes and shoes are taxable and thus not reimbursable.
What are the rules regarding golf?
You may use your wellness allowance for golf lessons and range balls. Membership fees, rental of equipment will not be subsidized.
Can I use my wellness allowance for horseback riding lessons?
Yes, but not for membership fees, rental of equipment or facilities.
Which amount do I get if I am employed 80% of full-time for 6 months?
You will get 80 % oif half of the amount, i e 1500/2 x 0,8 = 600 SEK.
What information should the receipt contain?
The receipt should contain the date of transaction showing date, month and year. It should contain the type of activity and it should be clear that it is personal.
Is personal training reimbursable?
You may use your wellness allowance for personal training session if they do not exceed 1000 SEK/session.
I have saved receipts from horse riding lessons, while awaiting for the new rules to apply. Do I get reimbursment for my expenses before January 1st 2019?
Unfortunately not. The new rules entered into force May 1st 2019.