What is a Commuter Benefit?

Commuter benefits help you to pay for the public transportation, vanpool, or parking that you need to get to and from work with pre-tax money – money you deduct from your paycheck before you pay taxes. Vanpool applies to transit with more than five passengers and parking benefits must be used for parking at or near work, or at or near a place where you take public transportation to work (such as at a Park and Ride).

Commuter Benefits

Cost Savings
Setting aside pre-tax dollars helps cover commuting costs and increase your actual take home pay. The following example illustrates these savings.

Without Commuter Savings Account With Commuter Savings Account
Monthly Gross $3,750.00 $3,750.00
Pre-tax Contribution for Parking – $0.00 $280.00
Pre-tax Contribution for Transit – $0.00 $280.00
Adjusted Gross $3,750.00 $3,190.00
Taxes (28%) $1,050.00 $893.20
Take Home Pay $2,700.00 $2,296.80
Less Parking Costs $280.00 – $0.00
Less Transit Costs $280.00 – $0.00
Income After Commuting Costs $2,140.00 $2,296.80

Savings: $156.80 per month or $1,881.60 a year

Who Is Eligible

For employee eligibility: as with the Flexible Spending Accounts, eligibility in the Commuter Savings Accounts (CSA), only requires that you are an otherwise eligible employee of an employer that offers these accounts as part of their benefits program. A unique feature of the CSA is that there is not an “annual enrollment period” for the program. Eligible employees may enroll in or make changes to their contributions at any time throughout the year.

Contribution Limits


Transit Expenses $315
Parking Expenses $315


What designates an IRS “Change in Status”?

  • Change in legal marital status (marriage, death of spouse, divorce, legal separation, annulment)
  • Change in number of tax dependents (birth, death of dependent, adoption or placement for adoption)
  • Change in dependent’s eligibility
  • Change in employment status of employee, spouse or dependents
  • Other changes that may permit an election change under the Dependent Care FSA are:
    • Change of dependent care provider
    • Change of rate charged by unrelated dependent care provider
    • Child attaining age 13
  • Election changes must be consistent with the event. If you experience a Change in Status, please review your Summary Plan Description, as it will provide you with important information on the deadline for reporting this event.

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