Working in the benefits world, we understand the sense of pride employers feel in being able to offer a strong benefits program to their employees. With benefit premiums constantly climbing and budgets tight, many scramble to find benefits that add value but don’t break the bank. For some employers, Commuter Benefits are the perfect addition.
Commuter Benefits allow employees to set aside pre-tax dollars on a voluntary basis to pay for expenses related to their daily commute. Gas, tolls and mileage are excluded but mass transit fees, van-pooling and parking fees are all considered eligible expenses. Some examples include:
- Transit passes
- Bus/subway tokens
- Fare cards
- Ferry fares
- Parking lot/garage/meter fees
Commuter Benefits are a win-win for employees and employers. This benefit puts money back in employees’ pockets and saves employers money by lowering payroll taxes. Commuter Benefits are also a great fit for employers of all sizes as the administration is both simple and affordable. On average, this benefit only costs companies about $4 to $6 per employee, per month.
There is a cap to the dollar amount employees can put aside each month. In 2016, the limits for Commuter Benefits are $255 per employee per month for mass transit and $255 per employee per month for qualified parking. Employees can take advantage of both mass transit and parking savings; they do not have to choose one or the other.
There are other intangible advantages to Commuter Benefits. Many people value the “green” aspect of this benefit and enjoy working for companies that encourage traveling in ways that are good for the environment. Commuter Benefits also support healthy habits. Research shows that people who use mass transit walk more and since higher activity levels correlate with better health, this can translate into decreased medical costs.
If you are an employer looking for cost-effective way to boost your benefit offerings, call Creative Benefits at (866) 306-0200. Our staff has the expertise to guide you through the ins and outs of Commuter Benefits or any other aspect of benefits planning and administration.
About the author: Courtney Kehoe has been an account manager at Creative Benefits for 3 years. Courtney works with employers and employees to administer benefit plans and address questions and concerns related to employee benefits. Her goal is to provide the highest level of comprehensive services and she strives to exceed expectations.