The Commuter Spending Account, administered by WageWorks, allows you to set aside a portion of your annual earnings on a before-tax basis to pay for eligible commuter expenses. The Commuter Spending Account offers flexibility and convenience by allowing you to enroll or change your plan elections via the WageWorks portal as often as once a month throughout the year. For temporary and part-time employees this benefit is limited to employees at the locations listed below.
How the Commuter Spending Account Works
You can use the commuter benefit for bus, train, subway, ferry, streetcar, and vanpool expenses. For a list of some eligible expenses, click here. You can purchase the transit pass through the transit agency or via the WageWorks’ website. WageWorks will mail your pass to your home address before the beginning of the month.
The amount of before-tax dollars that you can use to pay for qualified transportation expenses is subject to monthly limits, which are set by the IRS. For 2016, the maximum monthly before-tax contribution limit is $255 for transit and vanpool expenses. Up to $255 will be withheld from your paycheck before-tax.
The balance of your Commuter Spending Account contributions will be deducted from your paycheck on an after-tax basis. As a result, participating in Commuter Spending Account can help you reduce the amount you pay in federal income taxes, Social Security taxes and, where applicable, state and local income taxes.
All U.S. regular, full-time employees are eligible to participate in the Commuter Spending Account.
All temporary and part-time employees at the following locations are also eligible to participate in the Commuter Spending Account:
|Location Number||City, State|
|1019||San Bruno, CA|
|1132||Union City, CA|
|1583||Staten Island, NY|
|1597||Staten Island, NY|
|1674||2nd Ave Brooklyn, NY|
|1756||San Jose, CA|
|2284||Kings Plaza Brooklyn, NY|
|2664||Rosedale (Queens) NY|
|2790||San Jose, CA|
|2842||San Jose, CA|
|3095||San Francisco, CA|
|3292||New York City, NY|
|3293||New York City, NY|
Enrolling in the Commuter Spending Account
With WageWorks, enrolling in the Commuter Spending Account is easy. Eligible employees can enroll, check, or change their Commuter Spending Account benefits via WageWorks or by calling WageWorks at 1-877-924-3967.
With the Commuter Spending Account, you are not required to make annual elections. You can enroll at any time. You can choose commuter benefits for only one month, subscribe to receive a pass on a regular basis, or change your election each month. Although you are not limited to a single annual enrollment, you must make sure that any elections or changes are made by 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time on the 10th of the month PRIOR to the month in which you expect to incur your transportation expense. For example, if you wish to use the plan in the month of September, you must make your elections by August 10.
If you do not make any changes, your election will continue from month to month.
Payroll deductions will be withheld on the paycheck for the month in which expenses are expected to incur.
Commuter forfeitures result from situations where an employee has been terminated and has unused credits on their account. Unclaimed Pay Me Back balances are not automatically forfeited at the time of termination. Employees have 6 months after the end of the applicable benefit month to make a claim. Employees may make claims for services after their termination date as long as the services or benefits were during their period of employment. If an employee does not make a claim against a Pay Me Back election, the election will be forfeited.