BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--California’s Governor has signed into law SB 1128, making permanent a pilot that provides employees in the Bay Area with tax-free transit benefits. Under the program, employers in the Bay Area with at least 50 full-time employees must provide their workers with the option of tax-free transit and vanpool benefits.
The legislation defines a “full-time employee” as one who performed an average of at least 30 hours of work per week during the previous calendar month. The number of full-time employees is the average number of full-time employees per week, on payroll, during the most recent 3-month period.
Transit benefits stem from a Federal law which allows employees to be provided, or withhold, up to $255/month for transit or vanpool expenses so long those funds are provided or withheld by employer. Employers that do not currently have a commuter benefit program in place will be pleasantly surprised at how easy this benefit is to provide to employees. There are no required plan documents and no defined open enrollment periods. By offering commuter benefits, employers can save up to 7.65% on average in payroll taxes, and employees can save up to 40% on their commuting costs by using pre-tax money.
The pilot program has been incredibly successful expanding commuting options to those in the Bay Area and this legislation had a wide-range of support.
Meltem Korkmazel, COO of Edenred Commuter Benefit Solutions, states: “The results of the pilot were incredible and now that this pilot has been made permanent, the results will become more and more visible: Higher transit and vanpool participation, less roadway congestion and cleaner air.”
Under the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program, all public, private, and non-profit employers with 50 or more full-time employees in the covered counties are required to do the following:
- Register through www.511.org;
- Designate a Commuter Benefits Coordinator;
- Provide one of three pre-approved commuter benefits options or an alternative commuter benefit option, approved by the Air District;
- Notify covered employees of the commuter benefit option selected and provide instructions on how to utilize this benefit;
- Maintain records documenting compliance, for 3 years.
Once covered by the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program, an employer must provide commuter benefits to any “covered employee,” not just full-time employees. Covered employees are employees who performed an average of at least 20 hours of work per week during the previous calendar month.
Information on implementing a transit benefit program can be found at www.commuterbenefits.com, or by contacting us at 1-800-531-2828.
About Commuter Benefit Solutions, by Edenred
Edenred Commuter Benefit Solutions is the nation’s only comprehensive commuter benefit solutions provider and number one resource for commuter savings. Since 1985, Edenred has served Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies, top third party benefit administrators and the nation’s largest metropolitan area transit authorities. With its premier solution offerings; Commuter Check, a nationwide commuter benefits program for employers; and WiredCommute, a private label program for third party administrators, Edenred is able to provide a one-stop total solution experience. Edenred’s mission is to make tax-free commuter benefits a staple in employee benefits packages nationwide.
Edenred, which invented the Ticket Restaurant® meal voucher and is the world leader in prepaid corporate services, designs and manages solutions that improve the efficiency of organizations and purchasing power to individuals.
By ensuring that allocated funds are used specifically as intended, these solutions enable companies to more effectively manage their:
- Employee benefits (Ticket Restaurant®, Ticket Alimentación, Ticket CESU, Childcare Vouchers, etc.)
- Expense management process (Ticket Car, Ticket Clean Way, Repom, etc.)
- Incentive and rewards programs (Ticket Compliments, Ticket Kadéos, etc.)
The Group also supports public institutions in managing their social programs.
Listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange, Edenred operates in 42 countries, with more than 6,000 employees, nearly 660,000 companies and public sector clients, 1.4 million affiliated merchants and 41 million beneficiaries. In 2014, total issue volume amounted to €17.7 billion, of which almost 60% was generated in emerging markets.
Ticket Restaurant® and all other tradenames of Edenred products and services are registered trademarks of Edenred SA.