By Jim Bongiorno
With Metro’s Silver Line servicing customers all the way to Wiehle-Reston East, and construction of the Phase 2 extension into Loudoun County more than 75 percent complete, now is the perfect time to start learning about Metro’s SmartBenefits® commuter benefits program.
SmartBenefits® is Metro’s free commuter benefits program, which offers an easy way for employees to save on commuting costs and employers to save on payroll taxes. The program allows employees to save thousands annually by paying for transit with pre-tax dollars. Think of it like a healthcare flexible spending account (FSA), but for transit.
Cut your tax bill with Metroís SmartBenefits®
For employers, SmartBenefits® is a simple, no-fee way to reduce your payroll taxes while allowing your employees to commute tax-free. You can offer SmartBenefits® as a direct employee benefit, a pre-tax deduction, or a combination of both.
Whether you have one employee or thousands, every company in the National Capital Region can benefit from SmartBenefits®. It’s a powerful tool for helping you recruit, retain and motivate employees. Plus, you can save hundreds per employee each year on payroll taxes. That means the more employees that sign up, the more you save! Over 260,000 commuters receive SmartBenefits every month.
For employees, SmartBenefits® is an easy way to save on commuting costs. Employees can use SmartBenefits® to pay for transit and parking anywhere Metro’s SmarTrip® card is accepted, including Fairfax Connector, Loudoun County Transit and Metrorail parking lots. With SmartBenefits®, they’ll have the option to set aside up to $260 for transit and $260 for parking at Metro lots each month using pre-tax funds from their paycheck. If an employee maxes out these benefits, they could save more than $1,600 in income tax each year!
Using SmartBenefits® is simple. Employees that already ride transit just keep on riding like they currently do – they can even keep their same SmarTrip card. You just need to enter their card and benefit amount into Metro’s SmartBenefits® system. At the beginning of each month, the SmartBenefits® will automatically activate. It’s that easy! And for employees that have never ridden transit, SmartBenefits® provides the perfect opportunity to start. All they have to do is purchase and register a SmarTrip® card and they are ready to ride.
If you’d like to learn more about SmartBenefits® or are interested in opening an employer account, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or apply at wmata.com/SmartBenefits and a Metro representative will get in touch with you shortly.
Metro’s dedicated SmartBenefits® account representatives are prepared to answer all your questions and guide you each step of the way.
Enrolling is easy, and remember, Metro doesn’t charge a fee to participate in SmartBenefits® so there’s no risk to signing up!
Jim is Director of SmartBenefits® & Business Sales for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority – Metro.