MBTA 15% Discount for May

The following notice was sent by the MBTA Corporate Pass Program.  If you are currently participating in your employers pre-tax transit benefit plan you will need to contact your HR Department to make any election changes for the month of May.

To Our Corporate Pass Program Participants,

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has approved a relief plan for commuters after the hardships caused by a series of severe winter storms.

All monthly pass holders will receive a 15% discount on the cost of a May 2015 monthly pass.


Monthly Link Pass

Original Price: $   75.00    May 2015 Discounted Price: $63.00

Commuter Rail Zone 1         

Original Price: $182.00    May 2015 Discounted Price: $154.00

The tariff rates for all monthly passes will be lowered to reflect the 15% discount and will automatically be displayed in your Pass Program account for the May 2015 benefit period.  After the cycle period closes for the May 2015 benefit period, the original tariff rates as published in July 2014 will be restored.

For those Corporate Pass Program participants that are applying pre-tax payroll funding, we suggest that you adjust your specific employee deductions to offset the 15% discount.  This would be the easiest way for your employees to see the immediate effect of the discount for the May 2015 benefit period.

Please note that the 15% discount only applies to monthly pass holders and does not apply to 10 Trip Ticket purchases.   On April 24, 2015, all transit service will be free across each mode of transportation.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation wishes to thank you for your continued participation in the Pass Program and to thank your employees for their patience, understanding, and loyalty during this tumultuous winter.

Thank you,

MBTA Pass Program

Transit Limits Increased Retroactively for 2014!

What changed?

On December 19, President Barack Obama signed into law H.R. 5771, the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014. This legislation made significant impact upon a number of pre-tax benefits including commuter benefit plans. The legislation, passed by Congress earlier in December, will extend retroactively for one year (through the end of 2014) a number of tax relief provisions that expired either at the end of calendar year 2013 or during 2014, thus preventing tax increases when the tax year 2014 filing season begins early in 2015.  As a result of this new legislation transit and parking pre-tax limits will be set to the $250/month limit.  This is an increase for transit benefits from the current $130/month limit while pre-tax parking benefits remain the same at $250/month.

How does this affect our benefits?

If you currently offer post-tax transit benefit plans you will need to adjust any 2014 post-tax deductions to be pre-tax up to $250/month.  Current IRS guidance indicates that pre-tax transit limits will remain at the $130/month level in 2015.  You do not need to contact HRCTS for any additional adjustments to your benefit plans.  This change will only affect your employees W2 statements.


No Changes to Parking and Transit Pretax Contribution Limits

The maximum pretax contribution employees can make to cover qualified transit and parking expenses is not changing. These are the applicable numbers for the 2015 tax year – effective January 1, 2015. Please read the entire IRS Revenue Procedure 2014-61 for more information.

  • Parking: $250

  • Transit: $130

2015 Flexible Spending Account Limits Increased!

The IRS just recently announced that the 2015 employee election limit for medical Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) will be $2,550.  This is a $50 increase from the 2014 limit. You can read the full IRS announcement here. This change applies to plan years starting on or after January 1, 2015.

Employers may chose to set their medical FSA election maximum to $2,550 for the 2015 plan year though not required by law.  Employers will need to amend their plan documents for 2015 no later than December 31, 2014 to indicate that $2,550 will be the new maximum election for their FSA plan offering.

Some important reminders regarding the $2,550 2015 FSA maximum:

  • The limit applies to employee salary reduction FSA contributions only. Employers may choose to contribute to an FSA in excess of the maximum.
  • The limit applies to the FSA plan year vs. calendar year.
  • The limit is on a “per account” basis. If a husband and wife both have access to an FSA through their respective employers, they could each contribute $2,550 in 2015, resulting in a household FSA contribution of $5,100.

Please contact your account management team if you have questions about making this change for your employees in the upcoming year.

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