Q1: What is the Harvard Chan School – Fitness Benefit Program?
A: The Harvard Chan School Fitness Benefit Program provides financial assistance to faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows who wish to enhance their well being through physical activity at a health club, gym, fitness center, or facility that provides cardio or weight equipment for independent use.
Q2: Who is eligible?
A: Benefits-eligible faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows on the regular Harvard Chan School payroll who work at least 17.5 hours per week are eligible after one year of employment at the school.
If you are not sure if you are eligible, send an email to Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm before submitting an application for reimbursement.
Q3: What is the amount of reimbursement I am eligible for?
A: The maximum reimbursement for the fiscal year is dependent on your years of service at Harvard, according to the following schedule:
- Less than 1 year: not eligible
- Between 1 – 5 years: $350.00
- 5 or more years: $550.00
PLEASE NOTE: If you have prior years at the Harvard Chan School, or another school at Harvard, those years of services will be considered once you have completed a full year of service from your most recent Harvard Chan School start date.
Q4: How many times can I submit a fitness reimbursement form per fiscal year?
A: Effective FY24, you are allowed to submit only ONE (1) fitness reimbursement request per fiscal year.
Q5: What items are eligible for reimbursement under the fitness benefit?
A: Individual or family memberships to a health club/gym such as the Harvard Recreation, Harvard Longwood Vanderbilt Gym, Crunch, Planet Fitness, YMCA, etc. Membership fees to more specialized clubs (i.e. tennis/swimming clubs) may be eligible if the club membership provides access to cardiovascular equipment and weights that can be used independently outside of a class or personal training.. The benefit does NOT apply to in-class/online memberships, studio memberships, or tennis/swimming clubs. For example: ClassPass, OrangeTheory, SweatApp, Peloton, Crossfit pilates/yoga studios, boxing gyms, climbing gyms, personal/group training etc. do not qualify.
Q6: Is the fitness benefit based on a calendar year or fiscal year?
A: The fitness benefit is based on a fiscal year basis. When submitting the appropriate materials for reimbursement, all proof of payments must have The name of the health club/gym, your name as the active member, and the date of payments made within the current fiscal year.
Q7: How do I apply for the fitness reimbursement?
A: Complete the online Fitness Reimbursement Form for the current fiscal year and upload a proof of payment to the form.
Q8: I lost my receipt for gym membership, what can I provide as proof of payment?
A: You can request a letter on letterhead from a representative at the health club/gym you joined and have them provide the following information: your name and address, confirm you are an active member, the frequency of the payment (bi-weekly/monthly basis), and the total amount paid in the current fiscal year.
Q9 (a): I just joined a gym and will be paying for my membership on a monthly basis through payroll deduction. What do I need for reimbursement?
A: Once you have paid the total amount you are requesting on the reimbursement form, you can then request a letter on letterhead from a representative at the health club/gym and have them provide the following information: your name and address, confirm you are an active member, the frequency of the payment (bi-weekly/monthly basis), and the total amount paid in the current fiscal year. (See Q&A 3 to confirm the maximum amount you are eligible for reimbursement per fiscal year).
Q9 (b): Can I provide a copy of my bank statement as my proof of payment?
A: Yes you can; however, you must also include a letter on letterhead or an email from a representative confirming you have an active membership at their health club/gym in the current fiscal year.
Q10: I submitted a fitness reimbursement form, but I have not yet received it. What do I do?
A: First log on to “PeopleSoft Employee Self Service”, then click on “View Paychecks”. The fitness benefit reimbursement will appear in a separate line with its own separate paystub. If you have multiple direct deposit accounts set up in PeopleSoft, your fitness reimbursement amount will be allocated accordingly. If you have not received your reimbursement within the 4-6 weeks timeframe, please follow up by sending an email to email@example.com and an HR representative can look into it. PLEASE NOTE: Reimbursements can take up to 6-8 weeks during high peak months.
Q11: If I paid for a membership in a prior fiscal year, may I get reimbursed for it in the current fiscal year?
A: No. You can only be reimbursed for membership payments made in the current fiscal year.
Q12: Once I’ve completed my 1 year of benefits-eligible service at the Harvard Chan School, can I be reimbursed for a gym membership paid for in the prior to my 1 year of service?
A: No. You can only be reimbursed for payments that were made after your one year of service at the Harvard Chan School.
Q13: I was unable to take advantage of the fitness benefit last year and the year before that. Can my benefit be accrued and carried over to this year?
A: No. The benefit is not carried over from fiscal year to fiscal year.
Q14: I (the benefits-eligible employee) bought a family membership to the YMCA. Can I be reimbursed for total cost of the membership or am I just authorized for reimbursements for individual memberships under my name and for my own use?
A: You can be reimbursed for the total cost of the family gym membership you paid for, so long as the membership is under your name and you, the employee, also benefit from the membership.
Q15: My spouse bought a family membership to a gym and I am able to benefit from the family membership. Can I submit reimbursement although the membership and proof of purchase is under my spouse’s name?
A: Yes! So long as the benefits-eligible employee is able to benefit from the family gym membership, the employee can request for a fitness benefit reimbursement. PLEASE NOTE: The proof of payment must show it is a family membership (i.e. family membership; 2-adult membership) and it must include your name as one of the members that can benefit from the family membership.
Q16: How are fitness reimbursement forms reviewed and by whom?
A: The submitted fitness reimbursement forms are reviewed by Human Resources. After approval, they are sent to Payroll for processing. Payments are processed as additional pay compensation. The reimbursement takes approximately 4-6 weeks (can take up to 6-8 weeks during peak months).
Q17: I am a Harvard Chan School employee who transferred from another school at Harvard. I had five years of service at the other Harvard School, and I have been employed with the Harvard Chan School for one year. What is my maximum benefit for the year?
A: Once you have completed the one year at the Harvard Chan School, your maximum benefit for the year will be based on your benefits-eligible service at Harvard.
Q18: My last day is next week. Can I still submit a fitness reimbursement?
A: Yes, you can still submit a request for your fitness benefit prior to your last day. Payroll will request an off-cycle check and you will send it to you by mail.