October 4, 2022 – As most of you are aware, the Union negotiated a Flex Spending Account into your new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The amount is $750 annually and will come into effect on January 1, 2023.
A flexible spending account is a voluntary benefit for employees in which they receive a fixed amount of funds each year to allocate to health and wellness expenses. There are two types of subaccounts.
  1. A Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) is a non-taxable benefit that can be used for eligible health and dental expenses that are traditionally not covered by your current benefits, or to supplement your existing benefits. Some examples are hearing aids, dentures, Lasik eye surgery, insulin pens, massage therapy, etc. 
  2. A Personal Spending Account (PSA) is a taxable benefit that can be used for personal well-being related expenses not traditionally covered. Some examples are gym and club memberships at city facilities, volleyball, golf memberships and green fees. Instructed classes like aerobics, cycling classes, self-defence courses, fees for sports activities, including those of dependants. Home fitness equipment and apps, such as treadmills, weights, dumbells. Sports equipment such as skates, skis, helmets, hocky and football equipment. Equipment and technology like office chairs, desks, laptops, monitors, smartphones, tablets. Alternative Heath Therapies. Pet care. Financial and legal services. Household services such as housekeeping and snow removal. Commuting, education, childcare etc. 
You must fill out a form by October 15th to determine which fund you want to allocate your $750 to. You can put them all in one or split it up between the two however you choose. However, once you do, these funds are locked in for the year and will show up in your Benefits Now app on January 1. You will not be able to change this once it’s locked in. If you don’t fill out the forms before October 15, your funds will default to the Heath Spending Account.
You can also carry over the amount for one year, meaning if you don’t access your fund in 2023, it will carry over into 2024. It only carries over for one year. 
If you have any further questions, please reach out. For assistance in accessing the forms to allocate funds, please ask your Supervisor or HR Advisor. These forms are also available on the Hub or the UFCW Local 649 website under the “Forms” tab.
Brant Palko,
President UFCW Local 649


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