Commuter survey opens May 20 > Hanscom Air Force Base > Article Display
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Commuter survey opens May 20 > Hanscom Air Force Base > Article Display

A commuter highway vehicle is any vehicle with a seating capacity of at least six adults, not including the driver. Airfares aren’t typically recognized as eligible expenses under this job benefit. The shuttle service offers morning and afternoon runs, with the morning pick up located at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, or MBTA, Concord Commuter Rail Station located at 90 Thoreau St, Concord, Massachusetts. Log In to Your Account on the WMATA (Metro) website to register your new card and verify the name attached to the card matches your CAC name in your Participant Status. You can also add money to your personal “purse” after logging in.

Use your commuter plan to purchase qualified products or services

And, as we addressed in the last section, there is a gap between how employers and employees perceive the commute to work. Once HealthEquity is notified that you have left your employer, all future commuter elections not yet processed are canceled. Pay Me Back elections may be accessed after termination for 180 days after the end of the benefit month in which the expense was incurred. Commuter elections processed prior to your termination may still be fulfilled. Your financial obligation for the benefit is determined by your employer.

Why provide commuter benefits?

Commuter transit and parking accounts allow you to use pre-tax funds to pay for commuting costs. Even with the remote work revolution, plenty of people still travel daily to a job site or office. With transportation prices continuing to rise, commuter benefits are always welcomed.

Maintenance and repair expenses

Link the new card to your benefits in your Participant Status. Click “Link SmarTrip® Card.” You will receive an email confirmation from the MTBP office when your benefits have been reassigned to your new card. Please be advised that it can take 3-5 calendar days for transferred benefits to appear on the new card after the reassignment has been initiated. Employees who misuse the transportation benefit will be subject to criminal prosecution, and/or agency disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Substantiated violations of any of these certifications may impact an employee’s security clearance status. Multiple studies, including this one by Harvard Business Review, show that a healthy, well-aligned company culture improves business outcomes.

What is the advantage of being enrolled in the Commuter Benefits Program?

Commuter benefits are most often used only for travel between home and work—not for expenses related to traveling from an office to another business or client meeting. Fares and passes to ride mass transit vehicles to and from work could be covered. Public transit or mass transit vehicles may include buses, trains, ferries, trolleys, subways, streetcars, and water taxis. Both on-site and remote personnel will be invited to participate in the anonymous and voluntary survey to gain insights into the commuting patterns of Hanscom AFB employees.

Elect a commuter benefit to pay for qualified products and services. Commuters in the U.S. spend around $8,466 on their commute every year, which is about 19% of their annual income.1 That makes commuter benefits all the more essential. The 66th Logistics Readiness Squadron offers a commuter shuttle service for Hanscom AFB military, federal civilian employees, as well as contractor personnel.

Use your commuter benefits to purchase qualified products and services. If you’re doing it alone, think about whether you have time for setup and administration or if you’d rather use an outside service to manage it. This article explains commuter benefits and how employees can use them along with answers to common questions about this valuable job perk. Some companies offer them as part of their employee benefits package to help their employees save on their commutes. The unused benefits have become another headache for many commuters in New York, where more people use public transit than in any other American city and where the pandemic has emptied out subways, trains and buses. Many people working from home or out of a job can’t access the hundreds of dollars deducted from their paychecks for transit expenses.

Employees then submit receipts to get reimbursed for their commuting expenses. Full-time remote employees and government entities are exempt and employers are not required to provide a commuter benefit unless an employee requests one. Once requested, employers have 60 days to provide a commuter benefit. Employers can offer an employee-paid, pre-tax payroll deduction, or provide an employer-paid direct benefit such as a public transit key card or transportation shuttle. Commuter benefits are employer-sponsored plans that help employees save and pay for their commute to and from work.

HR teams must meet employees’ wants and needs while maintaining fidelity to the budget and meeting business goals. So it’s not a surprise that navigating the plethora of flexible benefits a company can offer can be difficult and some benefits, like commuter benefits, get lost in the shuffle. Employees usually can’t use commuter benefits funds to pay for fuel, mileage or other costs related to their vehicle. Generally, you can access the money in your commuter benefits account in a few ways.

  1. A commuter highway vehicle is any vehicle with a seating capacity of at least six adults, not including the driver.
  2. If you change employers, retire, or get terminated, you have a set amount of time after your last day of employment to use the funds before they’re forfeited.
  3. You have six months following the end of the benefit month to file claims to be reimbursed from your Pay Me Back account for expenses incurred prior to your termination.
  4. If you’re doing it alone, think about whether you have time for setup and administration or if you’d rather use an outside service to manage it.
  5. HSAs are subject to eligibility requirements and restrictions on deposits and withdrawals to avoid IRS penalties.
  6. Except you can’t contribute to an HSA and Healthcare FSA at the same time.

If an employee paid for an expense that’s covered by their commuter benefits, they can submit a claim to their commuter benefits administrator for cash reimbursement. A couple of examples of this would be if their card was declined at a parking meter or station, or if they accidentally left their card at home. Under this program, participating employees in the National Capital Region (NCR) receive “transit passes” in amounts equal to their personal commuting costs, commuter transit benefit not to exceed $315 per month (parking costs not included). To receive this benefit, employees must relinquish any federally subsidized parking permit, and may not be listed as part of a DoD carpool for purposes of qualifying for a parking pass. A Health Savings Account (HSA) and Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) provide up to 30% savings on out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. Except you can’t contribute to an HSA and Healthcare FSA at the same time.

These commuter benefits are exempt from federal income and payroll taxes. Commuter benefits are a simple way for both employers and employees to save money. Put in place to encourage the use of public transportation, these programs allow employers and employees to use pre-tax dollars to pay for a variety of commuting expenses. Contributions are transferred from your paycheck and credited to your commuter benefits account with pre-tax dollars. Because you’re not paying taxes on the money you contribute, you’re able to lower your taxable income and have more funds to use on eligible expenses.

According to CE officials, federal employees may be eligible for a $315 stipend to assist with public transportation or vanpooling expenses. Many transit authorities and/or providers offer reduced fare programs for senior citizens and persons with disabilities. As well, veterans with a disability rating of 60% or greater may qualify for some transit provider reduced fare programs.

Requires businesses with 20 or more employees located within the city to provide said employees with a commuter benefits plan. San Francisco requires employers with a San Francisco location and 20 or more nationwide employees to offer said employees a commuter benefits plan. Businesses with 50 or more employees across the Bay Area are required to register for the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program. Seattle requires businesses with 20 or more employees to provide said employees with a pre-tax commuter benefits plan through which they can save and reimburse for qualified transit expenses.

Employees that are financially stressed are more likely to be less productive and less engaged at work than their counterparts. In fact, it’s estimated that employees’ financial stress cost companies $40 billion in lost productivity in 2022. Given that U.S. workers spend an average of 19% of their paychecks on their commute, offering them a way to save money on this expense could go a long way toward relieving this financial stress. Health savings accounts (HSAs) are individual accounts offered through Optum Bank®, Member FDIC, or ConnectYourCare, LLC, an IRS-Designated Non-Bank Custodian of HSAs, each a subsidiary of Optum Financial, Inc. Neither Optum Financial, Inc. nor ConnectYourCare, LLC is a bank or an FDIC insured institution. HSAs are subject to eligibility requirements and restrictions on deposits and withdrawals to avoid IRS penalties.

State you recognize and appreciate the impact commuting to the office has on their personal lives, and their financial, mental and physical health. In providing commuter benefits (perhaps in addition to others like Lifestyle Spending Accounts), your goal is to share in the commuting burden because it benefits everyone to be together in the office (at least part time). Crafting an impactful and economically efficient benefits package for a diverse workforce is a little science, a little art.

Commuter benefits — also known as transportation benefits — are perks or compensation offered to employees to help offset the cost of traveling to and from work. Lively offers a comprehensive suite of flexible benefit options to help you achieve your business and people goals while maintaining fidelity to your budget. We bring our extensive industry knowledge of what’s popular, what’s working (and what’s not) and which benefits pair well together, to our client partnerships so that you can craft the most impactful benefits package possible. Recent studies have shown that employee burnout is expected to reach critical levels in 2024 and one of the things that employees have stated they want most is a flexible work schedule. The more time the employees spend commuting, the less time they have to engage in activities outside of work.

A company with 50 employees can save almost $15,000 a year just by offering a pre-tax commuter benefit. Pre-tax commuter benefits allow employees to save up to 37% on their commuting expenses (depending on their tax bracket) while post tax commuter stipends and perks are a direct way to financially support employees’ commute. For employers and employees, benefits that qualify as transportation fringe benefits are not a part of an employee’s taxable wages.

Members who submit their Commuter Card or Parking pass orders before the order deadline (in many cases, the 10th of the month) will receive the order before the first day of the following benefit month. Please note that members will not receive an order immediately after placing one. Members can view their order deadline by logging into their Commuter account and selecting the Parking or Transit tab. To avoid having to manually place an order every month, members can set up recurring orders for the month(s) that they would like to submit an order for.

These financial institutions are FDIC or NCUA insured and your HSA account may be eligible for pass through insurance. If this is your first order for a HealthEquity Commuter Card, the new card will be mailed to you prior to the first day of your first benefit month. You can pause, change, or cancel contributions to your Commuter Transit or Parking account at any time, although there are deadlines for changes and cancellations for specific benefit months.