Commuter Benefits

Allow your employees to commute to work tax-free!

How does a commuter account work?

A commuter account is an employer-sponsored benefit program that allows your employees to set aside pre-tax funds in separate accounts to pay for qualified mass transit and parking expenses associated with their commute to work.

What is a qualified Mass Transit expense? Qualified expenses include transit passes, tokens,fare cards, vouchers, or similar items entitling you to ride a mass transit vehicle to or from work. The mass transit vehicle may be publicly or privately operated and includes bus, rail, or ferry.

What is a qualified parking expense? Get reimbursed for parking expenses incurred at or near your work location or a location from which you continue your commute to work by car pool, vanpool or mass transit. Out-of-pocket parking fees for parking meters, garages and lots qualify. Parking at or near your home is not an eligible expense.

How does the NJ commuter ordinance impact your company?

Every employer in the state of New Jersey that employs at least 20 persons shall offer to all of their employee’s the opportunity to utilize a pre-tax transportation benefit. Any employer found to be in violation of the requirement shall be liable to a civil penalty. To read the full NJ Commuter Ordinance, please click here.

OCA will be waiving its Commuter administrative fees through January 2021. This waiver is for existing New Jersey based HRA/FSA clients only. We value our relationships and intend to support our broker partners and clients in making this requirement as easy as possible. In addition, we are providing discounted rates for non-existing clients through the end of 2019.

Your employee’s commute just got easier!

You can now use your OCA commuter benefit and pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible uberPOOL, Lyft Line, and Via rides associated with your daily commute. No longer will you have to be at the mercy of public transit schedules. Simply request a ride via the appropriate app, select your benefit debit card as your payment method, and start saving.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is a commuter account?

 
A commuter account is an employer-sponsored benefit program that allows you to set aside pre-tax (and in some cases if your employer allows, post-tax) funds in separate accounts to pay for qualified mass transit and parking expenses associated with your commute to work.
 

Why should employees participate?

Contributions to a commuter account are deducted from the employees paycheck on a pre-tax basis, reducing their taxable income. Employees can save an average of 30% on eligible transit and parking expenses.

What is a qualified mass transit expense?

Qualified expenses include transit passes, tokens, fare cards, vouchers, or similar items entitling the employee to ride a mass transit vehicle to or from work. The mass transit vehicle may be publicly or privately operated and includes bus, rail, or ferry.

What qualifies as van-pooling?

Van-pooling is not to be confused with carpooling. Vanpooling requires a commuter highway vehicle with a seating capacity of at least 7 adults, including the driver. At least 80 percent of the vehicle mileage must be for transporting employees between their homes and workplace with employees occupying at least one-half of the vehicle’s seats (not including the driver’s seat).

What is a qualified parking expense?

Employees can get reimbursed for parking expenses incurred at or near their work location or a location from which they continue their commute to work by car pool, van- pool or mass transit. Out-of-pocket parking fees for parking meters, garages and lots qualify. Parking at or
near your home is not an eligible expense.
 

Can employees use their commuter account for commuting expenses like tolls and gas?

No. Benefits may not be used for tolls, gas, mileage or other personal commuting expenses.

Is there a limit to how much I can contribute or spend each month?

Yes. Monthly limits are set by the IRS. Currently, contributions as well as monthly spending for transit and van-pooling are limited to $265 per month. Parking contributions as well as monthly spending are limited to $265 per month. Any monthly expenses above these limits cannot be exempt from taxes and cannot be applied to future months.

How does an employee access their commuter account to pay for mass transit and parking expenses?

They can use their OCA Debit Card to pay for commuting expenses, or vouchers can be used to pay for transit tickets, passes, or to pay parking vendors.

Still have questions?

Ready to Make a Change?

We’d love the opportunity to showcase how we can help with your commuter benefits program!

NJ Passes Commuter Benefit Law

 

This new ordinance would require employers with more than 20 employees to offer commuter benefits. OCA is offering reduced admin fees through December 31st, 2019. If signed up by December 31st, 2019 clients will receive our special pricing of just $1.50 per enrolled per month! Avoid the headaches and potential penalties! Sign up today.