4 Considerations When You Outsource Commuter Benefits

February 18, 2020

Commuter Benefits can provide your business with a wide-ranging set of perks. They help you and your employees save money. They’re a great way to enhance your employee benefits for recruiting/retention purposes. And, by promoting public transit rather than driving, Commuter Benefits are another way to show your business is environmentally conscious, which can have a positive impact on your bottom line.

Many employers outsource their Commuter Benefits administration, since third-party administrators can provide simplified solutions and innovative technology to you and your employees time and stress. If you’re interested in outsourcing Commuter Benefits, here are three considerations you’ll want to make with your offering.

Simplicity plus flexibility equals participation

When employees understand your benefits offerings, they’re more likely to participate, which helps you and them save money. One of the keys to the employee experience is to have a Commuter Benefits administrator that provide employees with easy-to-use tools and technology that simplify their ability to spend their funds. We offer the Discovery Benefits debit card, which employees can use to pay for transit passes and can be stored as a payment option in vanpooling apps, such as uberPOOL or Lyft Shared.

Plan for employee spending needs

Commuter Benefits are often employee only-funded plans, and funds are typically available to be used after they are contributed. In order for your employees to have funds available when they’re ready to purchase passes or fares, you’ll want a plan ahead when starting your plans.

For example, if you would like your employees to have funds available on January 1, you might start your Commuter Benefits plan year on December 1. That way, your employees will have had a month’s worth of paychecks to set aside pre-tax dollars for their purchase.  

Consider vendor partnerships

Imagine a world where your administrator works directly with your city’s transit authority. That was the inspiration behind our Discovery SmartCommute™ program, which lets participants in select cities load their Commuter Benefits funds directly onto a transit authority’s smart card. For example, our participants in Chicago can access their commuter funds right from their Ventra® cards.

Upcoming Commuter mandates

A growing number of cities, including New York City, Washington, D.C., Seattle, San Francisco and Berkeley/Richmond, Calif., have issued mandates requiring employers of a certain size to offer Commuter Benefits. And, in March, New Jersey will become the first state to mandate Commuter Benefits be offered.

If you’re in one of the places where Commuter Benefits are required, you should should choose an administrator that thoroughly understands the regulations behind these mandates and can provide resources to educate your employees. We have a number of guides, handouts, a blog and podcast that will help you and your employees learn more about the perks of Commuter Benefits and the individual mandates.

Would you like to learn more about designing a Commuter Benefits program that meets the needs of you and your employees? Complete the form below to get your free white paper.

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