Supersedes Director’s Order 122, 05/01/00
Date: May 3, 2007 , as amended 01/07/08
Part 228: Insurance and Annuities
3.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter explains:
A. Who we may reimburse for fitness center membership fees, and
B. The reimbursement procedures.
3.2 What is the policy on reimbursement of fitness center membership fees? If you are a permanent Service employee, we will reimburse 50 percent of your individual membership fee for a commercial, non-federally sponsored, fitness center, up to $300.00 per year. Permanent employees include full-time, part-time, and permanent intermittent employees.
3.3 What is the objective of the policy? We developed this program to help employees achieve a healthy lifestyle.
3.4 What is the authority for this chapter? The authority for this chapter is 5 U.S.C., Section 7901, Government Organization and Employees, Health Services Programs.
3.5 What are the requirements and limitations of this policy?
A. We may reimburse you only if you participate in fitness activities at the center an average of two times per week during the period for which you request reimbursement.
B. We only reimburse you for membership fees. We do not reimburse employees for initiation fees.
C. We only reimburse you for individual membership fees. If you have a family membership, you must provide documentation of the cost of an individual membership at the center. We will base your reimbursement on that amount.
D. The membership must be at a commercial fitness center that:
(1) Has a full complement of exercise equipment and programs for cardiovascular and body strengthening, and
(2) Does not restrict membership and access to facilities based on sex, race, national origin, color, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation.
3.6 What are the steps for getting reimbursements?
A. Enroll in the program. You must enroll by completing FWS Form 3-2178 (Fitness Membership Fee Reimbursement Program Application Form). Give the completed form to your supervisor.
B. Annually submit forms to claim reimbursement. To obtain reimbursement for the previous year’s membership fees, you must complete and give the following documents to your supervisor between January 1 and January 31 for each year you are in the program:
(1) FWS Form 3-2178a (Report of Taxable Fringe Benefit (Fitness Center Reimbursement Fees)).
(2) FWS Form 3-2178b (Fitness Membership Fee Reimbursement Program Self-Certification of Usage).
(3) Your paid invoice(s) or other proof of payment (such as bank or credit card statements) for membership fees for the entire calendar year.
C. Reimbursement is through Electronic Funds Transfer. We will pay you using the payroll system, and we will include the entitlement in your salary payment (see section 3.8 for tax implications).
3.7 What do supervisors do with the documents? Supervisors should:
A. Keep the original Form 3-2178 and 3-2178b in the employee’s file. Also keep copies of Form 3-2178a and the proof of payments.
B. Sign and send the original Form 3-2178a and a copy of the proof of payment to the National Business Center at the address on the form.
3.8 What are the tax implications for reimbursement? The amount we reimburse to you is a taxable benefit. We report it as taxable income to the Internal Revenue Service. We also compute associated assessments for Federal, FICA, Medicare, State, and local taxes.
3.9 What happens when employees want to stop participating in the program? You may stop participating in the program at any time by notifying your supervisor in writing. If you stop participating in the middle of a calendar year, you may get partial reimbursement.
(1) You must wait to submit the documentation for reimbursement until January 1 of the following year.
(2) We will reimburse you only for the number of months you actually participated in fitness activities. For example, if you paid your membership fee in advance for a 1-year period, and you stop participating in the program after 1 month, we will reimburse you only for the month you participated.
For information on the content of this chapter, contact the Division of Human Resources. For more information about this Website, contact Krista Holloway in the Division of Policy and Directives Management.