Support Staff Personal Spending Account

The Personal Spending Account (PSA) can be used to cover the cost of personal wellness related expenses. Expenses incurred for your dependents are not eligible under this plan; only expenses incurred for the employee are eligible under the PSA.

PSA reimbursements are subject to income tax as required by the Canada Revenue Agency. After your claim is approved and reimbursed to you, SunLife reports the amount of the reimbursement to Payroll Operations who will apply the applicable tax deduction to an upcoming paycheque.

Eligible support staff receive an allocation $1,250 to divide between their Personal Spending Account (PSA) and their Health Spending Account (HSA) during the open enrollment period which occurs within the fall term. If a staff member takes no action, returns from a leave, or is hired after the open enrollment dates, a default amount of $250 for PSA and $1000 for HSA will be allocated between the Spending Account Allocations for the calendar year.

Eligible Expenses

Educational and Personal Development
  • Tuition fees for university, college or continuing education (includes books and supplies)
  • Language training
  • Tutoring
  • Professional membership fees or dues
  • Fees associated with maintaining a professional designation
  • Hobby and general interest classes
  • Personal computer (e.g., desktop or laptop) and accessories, including internet access fees
  • Mobile PDA devices (e.g., cell phone, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry)
Fitness Equipment
  • Durable equipment such as treadmills, exercise bikes and universal gym
  • Skates, roller blades, bicycles, specialized athletic footwear, tennis racquets, golf clubs, safety helmets and specialized sports equipment (excludes running shoes)
  • Fitness club memberships
Fitness-Related Services
  • Registration fees for fitness-related programs or lessons, (e.g., aerobic classes, dance lessons)
  • Sports team memberships and registration fees
  • Annual memberships (e.g., golf)
  • Court fees, green fees, ski passes, lift tickets and race registrations
  • Personal trainers, fitness consultants, lifestyle consultants and exercise physiologists
Green Living
  • Coverage for monthly transit passes
Health-Related Services
  • Weight management programs (excluding food)
  • Smoking cessation programs
  • Nutrition programs and counselling
  • Maternity services (prenatal classes and services of a certified Doula)
  • Services of alternative health practitioners (e.g., reflexologist, iridologist, herbalist, homeopath, athletic therapist, Chinese medical practitioner, Shiatsu therapist)
  • Stress management programs
  • Cholesterol and hypertension screening
  • First aid and CPR training
  • Health assessments
  • Vitamins and supplements, including herbal products
  • Other alternative wellness services:  Reiki, Ayurvedic medicine, touch therapy, Rolfing and light therapy
Insurance Premiums
  • Insurance premiums paid for Critical Illness, Life Insurance and Long Term Care
Work-Life Balance
  • Child Care expenses
  • Elder Care expenses

How to Make a Claim

At this time, claims can only be made by submission of paper forms to Sun Life using the Personal Spending Account Claim Form. You can view the status of your PSA using your Sun Life plan member access ID and password. The policy number for the PSA is 150434 and your employee number is your University ID. You must include your original receipt for services or products being claimed along with your completed form.

The plan year for the PSA is the calendar year. Expenses must be submitted for reimbursement by March 31st of the year following the year the expense was incurred to be eligible for payment.

Unused Amounts Remaining

Unused amounts in your Personal Spending Account at the end of the calendar year are forfeited by the member.

Questions About Your Personal Spending Account

Contact the Sun Life Customer Care Centre for prompt answers to any questions you might have about your PSA at 1-800-361-6212. Further information about the Personal Spending Account is available through Member Services on the Sun Life website.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following information is intended to answer some common questions you may have about your taxable Personal Spending Account. Please contact Sun Life Customer Care Centre 1-800-361-6212 toll-free if you have any additional questions or would like more information.

Can I use my Personal Spending Account (PSA) to claim expenses for my dependents?

Only expenses incurred for the employee are eligible.

What types of medical expenses are eligible through my PSA?

Please see the Eligible Expenses listed above

If I'm a part time employee is the PSA amount prorated?

The annual $250 credit allocation is not prorated. You are eligible for the full amount.

If my term of employment ends prior to the end of the calendar year am I eligible for the full allocation?

You are still eligible to receive the full amount but your expenses must have been incurred during the term of your employment with the University of Alberta.

When can I start submitting PSA claims?

For existing staff, the PSA becomes effective on January 1, 2013. Newly hired staff are eligible on their date of hire. You cannot submit a claim that includes expenses that were incurred before the effective date. Visit Making a Claim to learn more.

Can the service provider be paid directly from my PSA so that I do not have to pay money out of pocket?

This service is not available with our current carrier.

What if I have submitted my original receipts and only have photocopies for claiming under the PSA?

Photocopies of receipts are not acceptable; only original receipts will be considered eligible for reimbursement.

What is the deadline for submitting claims?

You are required to submit your receipts for any expenses within 3 months of the end of the plan's year, which means that you must have your eligible claims into Sun Life by March 31st each year. We strongly recommend sending in receipts immediately after you incur the expense.

Can I carry forward expenses?

Expenses cannot be carried forward. You may only claim expenses incurred during the current calendar year.

How can I check the balance of my Personal Spending Account?

Account balances can be obtained through Sun Life Member's Services, my Sunlife Mobile App. You can also call the Sun Life Customer Care Centre at 1-800-361-6212 at any time to check the balance of your account.

I do not have access to Sun Life Member Services, how do I obtain access?

Information regarding access to the Sun Life web can be obtained at Sun Life Member's Services webpage.