Pre-tax payroll deduction for commuter, parking, vanpool expenses

By Niki Jones, Human Resource Services

PULLMAN, Wash. – WSU employees can now participate in a pre-tax commuter benefit program to address commuter, parking and vanpool expenses.

The program, which could begin as soon as Aug. 1, is designed for employees who do not have access to payroll deduction for the WSU Transportation Services parking permits.

In response to inquiries from employees around the state asking about commuter benefits, WSU and Human Resource Services have partnered with WageWorks to provide a pre-tax benefit account that can be used to pay for public transportation and parking expenses, including train, subway, bus, ferry, qualified parking and vanpool expenses.

Employees already able to purchase their WSU Transportation Services parking passes via payroll deduction are not able to participate in this program. For information on current pre-tax parking programs visit your WSU Campus’ Transportation/Parking Services website. This program is primarily for employees who work at WSU locations on the west side of the state, as well as throughout the state in our various extension and other WSU work locations.

Those who elect to set up a WageWorks account will be able to benefit from up to a $255 a month pre-tax transit expense benefit, and/or a $255 per month pre-tax parking expense benefit. If additional funds are needed for these expenses, additional deductions can be made on a post-tax basis.  Individuals could save up to 30 percent on commuter expenses.

To participate in the plan beginning Aug. 1, employees are asked to complete and return a Commuter Benefit Account form to HRS-Pullman and then create a WageWorks account to purchase their transit passes, pay for non-WSU parking or pay for their vanpool expenses. This is a flexible benefit where deductions can be started, stopped or changed at any time.

To learn more about this program, including enrollment instructions, visit the HRS commuter benefit website.