Academic Expense Guidelines

The Society of Actuaries will reimburse academics who meet the eligibility requirements for reasonable travel expenses incurred in connection with Society business, in accordance with normal business practice, upon completion of an Academic Expense Report Form and submission of supporting receipts. Only actual expenses incurred will be reimbursed. Original receipts should accompany all expenses over $25 or more. In order to expedite the processing of an expense report, please provide any additional information that would help to explain expenses. Personal and/or business expenses not directly related to Society business are not reimbursable. If noted clearly on the Academic Expense Report Form, the SOA can divide the reimbursement between yourself and your employer.

Academic Expense Form Required Documentation:

  • Airfare receipt
  • Ground transport receipts
  • Hotel receipts
  • Meal receipts (for meals over $25)
  • Group meal receipts (including committee name and names of persons in group)
  • Telephone documentation (including to whom calls were made
  • Receipts for any item over $25


Only coach airfare is reimbursable. Fees for extended legroom will not be compensated. Other transportation modes, including train, bus and private automobile, are reimbursed to the maximum of discounted coach airfares. The airfare receipt must be submitted with the Academic Expense Report Form.

The SOA expects eligible academics to book travel at least 30 days in advance. The cost of life or flight cancellation insurance is not reimbursable. The charge for changing flight plans is reimbursable. Baggage fees for one bag each way will be reimbursed.

Ground Transportation

The SOA encourages the use of complimentary hotel transportation (or a hotel-recommended shuttle service) when provided. Documentation must be provided if alternate transportation was required. Ground transportation (shuttle, limousine, taxi, etc.) must be itemized on the Academic Expense Report Form.

Automobile rentals are reimbursed up to the cost of round-trip taxi fare in the destination city. Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) should be taken; all other insurance coverage should be declined.


Single rooms, booked at the contracted group rate are fully reimbursable. If a spouse/guest shares a room and the double rate is higher than the single rate, reimbursement will be at the single room rate. For meetings beginning in the morning, hotel nights are covered the night before a meeting starts through the night a meeting ends. For meetings beginning in the afternoon or evening, hotel nights are covered on the day the meeting starts through the night a meeting ends. If available travel options will not allow for arrival the day of a meeting beginning in the afternoon or evening, one hotel night the evening before the meeting starts may be covered. In this instance, approval is required for reimbursement. Any other hotel needs should also be approved with the SOA. Approval requests and inquiries should be sent to Tiffany Tatsumi at ttatsumi@soa.orgprior to the meeting.

Alternate lodging is reimbursed up to the single room meeting site rate for the number of nights called for. In most cases, strict attrition clauses will warrant the use of the host hotel. If the clause is specified, the SOA will not reimburse lodging expenses at a property other than the host property. Eligible academics can contact the SOA to see what attrition clauses are in effect for a particular meeting.

Note: Travel agents booking hotel rooms may earn commission if they do not use the SOA's rate. Please confirm all reservations to ensure that the SOA rate has been issued.

The SOA will not reimburse a higher room rate if an eligible academic fails to reserve by the stated cut-off date. Exceptions are instances when an academic is asked to attend and event on short notice or if the room block is completely full, prior to the cut-off date.


Meal expenses for the duration of the meeting (including those associated with travel) are reimbursed up to the established maximum. The maximum is not a per diem allowance. Only actual expenses incurred, accompanied by original receipts for all meals of $25 or more will be reimbursed. When meal service (including Continental breakfasts) is provided as part of the meeting agenda, this expense is charged against the reimbursement limits. There is no reimbursement for meals purchased.

Note: Eligible Academics paying the bill for a group must provide a list of persons present. Spouse/Guest meals are not reimbursable and must be paid by the academic. Appropriate deductions should be shown on the Academic Expense Report Form.

Maximum Reimbursable Expenses (in USD, including beverages, taxes, and tips):

  • Breakfast: $28
  • Lunch: $45
  • Dinner: $80


The SOA reimburses eligible academics for reasonable expenses associated with academic or SOA business (e.g., phone calls, Internet connections, faxes, photocopies and other meeting related expenses).

Telephone calls

The SOA encourages eligible academics to use the most cost effective means of telecommunication. An Academic Expense Report Form may be filed for those members choosing to use personal phone cards in lieu of direct dialing from the hotel for business calls. Please include the individual call(s) were made to and the original hotel or phone bill. Other calls will not be reimbursed, unless valid supporting evidence is provided.

  • Telephone calls directly associated with the eligible academics work will be reimbursed in full.
  • Calls to place of employment or home are reimbursed provided the calls do not exceed ten minutes and are not more frequent than once a day.

Tipping Guidelines (US Dollars)

Restaurants: 15–20% based on quality of service

Bellman: $2 for one bag, $1 per bag thereafter

Doorman: Should only be tipped if they obtain a taxi for you $1 (up to $3 for inclement weather conditions)

Garage attendants: $1

Housekeeping service: For stays of one night or more $2 per night per person in the room, paid daily

Room service: $2 or 15% of the room service bill, whichever is greater (this tip is in addition to the room service fee charged by the hotel)

Skycaps: $1 per bag for loading or unloading

Curbside check-in: $2 per bag

Concierge: $5 to $10–depending on the service

Taxi Rides: 20% of the fare. For taxi rides under $5.00, a tip of no less than $1 should be given

Private Car and Limousine Service: 20% in larger cities and 15% in smaller cities

Academic Expense Report Form