How Commuter Benefits Can Help Your Company’s Bottom Line
June 14, 2018
The transportation habits of Americans have evolved over the last few decades, and so have the perks that come with a Commuter Benefits program. The growing popularity of mass transit, parking and ridesharing make these plans an enticing recruitment and retention tool for your employees. And they can help your employees save money and stress less, ultimately increasing workplace productivity and wellness. Download the white paper below to see the statistics and how Commuter Benefits can help, and keep reading for more.
What expenses are covered by Commuter Benefits?
Your employees can save money on a variety of expenses for their commute to and from work when they’re enrolled in a plan. The 2018 monthly contribution limit is $260 for transit and vanpooling combined and $260 for parking.
Covered expenses include:
- Mass transit (bus, van, commuter rail or subway).
- Vanpooling (including uberPOOL and Lyft Line in select cities).
- Parking near your place of business or near the location where employees commute using mass transit (such as a park-and-ride facility).
How will my employees benefit?
At the heart of a Commuter Benefits program is the ability for your employees to save as much as 40 percent on commuting costs. The financial incentive is a big one, but your employees may benefit in other ways, including:
- Reduced stress. Did you know that the average American spends 26.6 minutes driving to work each day? Encouraging your employees to use a Commuter Benefits program helps your employees get rid of the often stressful drive to work.
- Improved wellness. In addition to the stress factor, one recent study found that people who drive to work have higher body mass indexes and weigh more than people who don’t.
How will I benefit?
There are a number of advantages your company will see when you offer a Commuter Benefits plan to employees. You benefit because you’ll:
- Save money on federal and state payroll taxes (depending on your location).
- Free up valuable parking spaces.
- Reduce the risk of your employees experiencing traffic delays.
- Boost employee productivity, thanks to the reduced stress and improved wellness your employees will experience.
- In a growing number of cities, including New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., you’ll be in compliance with local laws that require you to offer Commuter Benefits (if you employ a specific number of people).
How can my employees spend their Commuter Benefits funds?
The IRS states that a debit card or smart card must be used when spending Commuter Benefits funds on transit expenses. A debit card or smart card can also be used for parking expenses, or your employees may also file parking claims with us manually through their online account.
Discovery Benefits provides one debit card for all of our participants’ benefits plans. Participants in Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., are able to automatically load funds directly onto their Ventra®, Clipper® and SmarTrip® cards through our Discovery SmartCommute™ program. This allows participants to have their funds available on smart cards they already use.
What can I do to encourage participation?
You can offer contributions to employees’ commuter plans as a way to spur participation. Among our clients, employees are nearly five times more likely to participate in a Commuter Benefits plan when their employer contributes to the plan.
Make sure your employees have access to a variety of resources to learn more. We offer tools, materials and videos through our Employee Resource Center, and your employees can use the Discovery Answers™ Participant Knowledgebase to find fast answers to questions directly from their online account.
Would you like to learn more about the value of an effective Commuter Benefits program? Complete the form above to download your free white paper or watch our video.