Pre-tax commuter transit benefits for employees

CSU is offering benefits-eligible employees a new way to save on commuting to work.

The Commuter Transit Benefit allows employees to contribute to a pre-tax transit account, similar to a flexible spending account for medical costs.  Under IRS rules, an employee may contribute up to $130 pre-tax each month to pay for transit expenses like a bus pass or vanpool costs. A transit account puts money in the bank and allows you to save on federal income taxes for qualified transportation expenses. CSU will pay the monthly administrative fees for a pre-tax transit account, and each participating employee will receive a debit card, pre-loaded with his or her payroll contributions. Discovery Benefits will administer this program for employees.

“We understand that commuting to work in a means other than your own personal car is sometimes not feasible,” said Teri Suhr, Human Resources Chief Total Rewards Officer. “But if it works for you, this is a great program to help reduce your commuting costs, and it’s convenient and easy to manage.”

Here’s what qualifies as commuter expenses, according to the IRS:

Transit Passes

  • Expenses incurred or paid for a pass, token, fare card, voucher or similar item for transportation

Mass Transit Facilities

  • Such as train, bus or subway, whether or not publicly owned

Commuter Highway Vehicles

  • Expenses incurred or paid for transportation in a commuter highway vehicle if the transportation is in connection with travel between your residence and place of employment
  • Any highway vehicle with a seating capacity of at least six adults (not including the driver) and at least 80 percent of the mileage for a year is for purposes of transporting you in connection with travel between your residence and place of employment, and on trips during which the number of individuals transported for this purpose is at least half of the adult seating capacity of the vehicle (not including the driver)

The signup period kicks off this week for payroll contributions beginning in January.  All benefits-eligible employees may take advantage of this program. For more information, go to the HR Website to enroll online at the Campus Administrative Portal (CAP).

W-2 Photo

HR also offering employees option to receive W-2s, other information electronically

Human Resources is kicking off a new green initiative this month in an effort to help reduce the need to mail more than 19,000 W-2 forms and, more importantly, to help reduce CSU’s carbon footprint.

HR is offering employees the option of going paperless by consenting to obtain their W-2 and other payroll and benefits-related information electronically, made accessible online via your secured eID login or general notices via email.

Employees who do not consent to receive their W-2 electronically will still be mailed a paper copy. And employees who do consent to receive their W-2 electronically will find the form for the previous tax year on CAP no later than February 1.

General documents and information posted on the HR Website will remain public and not require a login to view.