Transportation legislation enables Sarah Lawrence College to offer employees the opportunity to set aside up to $280 a month ($3,360 a year) from their paycheck, on a pre-tax basis, to pay for commuting cost. In effect, the employees reimburse themselves on a tax-free basis for commuting expenses.
How Does It Work?
Employees should notify Human Resources by email of their interest in the program by completing the Commuter Benefits-Employer Compliance Form. HR will add employee to the HealthEquity site, and notify employee once added into the site. Employees may then self-enroll and self-administer transit benefits at Healthequity.com (Employees may elect up to $126 per month in the form of a MetroCard or up to $280 per month as a prepaid Visa Card to purchase mass transit. This amount is exempt from Federal Income, New York State and City Income, Social Security and Medicare Taxes.
TransitChek Policy and Advantages
- Sarah Lawrence College is offering commuter program through Healthequity/Wageworks (Employee Login) as a pre-tax benefit. This program will allow eligible employees to commute tax-free up to $280 per month, $3,360 per year.
- By participation in the pre-tax Healthequity/Wageworks commuter program, employees in effect give themselves a raise in pay. Depending on the tax bracket and the amount set aside, the tax-exemption will be at least 30% of the amount set aside – for example, an employee in a salary range of $20,000 to $40,000 who elects $1,200 a year in pre-tax commuter benefits actually reduces their payroll taxes by over $360.
- This amount is exempt from Federal Income, New York State and City Income, Social Security and Medicare taxes.
- Commuting costs cannot otherwise be “written off” as income tax deductions.
- Commuter prepaid Visa Cards are accepted by providers of mass transit in the New York Metro area, including LIRR, Metro-North, NJ Transit, PATH, MTA subways and buses, suburban buses, van pools and ferry service. For more information please go to the HealthEquity/ WageWorks website.
The following procedures shall apply to Healthequity.com participants:
- Employees may enroll on a monthly basis.
- Employee must notify Human Resources by email of their interest in the program by completing the Commuter Benefits-Employer Compliance Form.
- Employees may review, change, and manage their monthly benefit online at Healthequity/Wageworks (Employee Login).
- Commuter products are paid for by Employee one month in advance.
- Commuter products will be mailed to the employee's home and reloaded monthly thereafter.
- Commuter products can be replaced if they are lost or stolen but a charge may be applied.
- Commuter products will be made available at the end of each month for transportation the following month.
- In the event of separation from the College, per the IRS, the employee is not entitled to a cash refund on pre-tax funds.
- The College reserves the right in its sole discretion to modify, amend, suspend or terminate the HealthEquity/WageWorks Program at any time without notice. No program is intended as a guarantee of benefits or rights.