The County through an agreement with WageWorks, Inc. provides a transportation benefit called the Commuter Benefit Plan (CBP). As a CBP participant, you save money by using pre-tax dollars to pay for these commuting expenses: bus/rail passes, transit vouchers, Metrolink passes, Transit Access Pass cards (TAP cards), vanpool fees, and parking. The CBP also offers automatic payment and delivery features for these purchases.
Through the CBP and according to IRS rules, County employees can contribute up to $270 per month in pre-tax payroll deductions to purchase transit products and up to another $270 per month to pay for parking expenses. Thus, if an employee has qualifying eligible expenses, they could make a pre-tax contribution of up to $540 per month.
You do not have to pay Federal or State taxes or the Hospital Insurance Tax (HIT), if applicable, on the pre-tax money you use to pay for eligible transportation and/or parking expenses under the CBP, thus reducing your overall taxable income. Eligible expenses that exceed the IRS limit are deducted from your paycheck on an after-tax basis. There is a single administrative fee of $3.74 per month, taken as an after-tax deduction, which is paid by employees for plan participation.
An employee can enroll, make changes, or suspend their participation, in the CBP during any month of the year. Just use WageWorks’ online enrollment at www.wageworks.com or by calling WageWorks at (877) 924-3967, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except some holidays). Online chat is also available. Another way to access your account is by logging into your benefits account at www.mylacountybenefits.com and clicking on the Spending Accounts tab (under my resources). The monthly deadline for any changes is the 10th of the month (8:59 pm PST, including weekends and holidays).
Once you enroll in the CBP and place a transit order by the monthly deadline (the 10th of every month at 8:59 pm PST), your payroll deduction will be taken from your end of month paycheck, which is two months prior to the benefit month when it is received. For example, an employee placing an order by September 10th will receive that order by November 1st.
Additional information can be found in the CBP Reference Guide (see link to the right).
Employees represented by SEIU Local 721
If you are represented by SEIU Local 721, you may be eligible to receive a $70 subsidy towards your commuting expenses. You are eligible for the subsidy if you meet the following conditions: (1) spend in the CBP at least $70 monthly on transit passes (one transit pass or the sum total of multiple passes… vanpool expenses do not qualify), and (2) not currently receive the Civic Center monthly transportation allowance.
To enroll in the Commuter Benefit Plan, go to www.wageworks.com or call WageWorks at (877) 924-3967.