The County through an agreement with WageWorks, Inc. (also known as HealthEquity) provides a voluntary employee 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. For employee convenience, the CBP also offers automatic payment and delivery.
Per IRS rules, County employees through the CBP can contribute up to $280 per month in pre-tax payroll deductions to purchase transit products and up to another $280 per month to pay for parking expenses. Thus, employees can make a total pre-tax contribution of up to $560 per month for eligible expenses.
Employees do not have to pay Federal or State taxes or the Hospital Insurance Tax (HIT), if applicable, on the pre-tax money used to pay for eligible transportation and/or parking expenses under the CBP, thus reducing overall taxable income. Eligible expenses that exceed the IRS limit are deducted from an employee’s paycheck on an after-tax basis. There is an after-tax monthly administrative fee of $3.74 for plan participation, paid by employees only if there is a current paycheck deduction(s).
An employee can enroll, make changes, or suspend their participation, in the CBP during any month of the year. Online enrollment and chat are available at www.wageworks.com; live operators are also available at (877) 924-3967, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except for some holidays). Employees can also access their account by logging into www.mylacountybenefits.com and selecting the Spending Accounts tab located under my resources. The monthly deadline for any changes is the 10th of the month by 8:59 pm PST (including weekends and holidays).
Once you enroll in the CBP and place a transit order by the monthly deadline, your payroll deduction will appear on the paycheck issued for the 2nd monthly pay period, 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).
SEIU Local 721 Subsidy
Employees represented by SEIU Local 721 may be eligible to receive a $70 subsidy towards commuting expenses if they meet the following conditions: (1) currently are enrolled in the CBP, (2) spend at least $70 each month on transit pass(es), and (3) do not currently receive the Civic Center monthly transportation allowance. Please note that vanpool expenses do not qualify.
To enroll in the CBP, go to www.wageworks.com or call WageWorks at (877) 924-3967.