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Commuter Benefits Rules to Change in January

Claims reimbursement prohibited as a result of IRS Ruling

The IRS released new rules for how Commuter Benefits Plans are managed which takes effect January 1, 2016. There are two important points regarding the changes:

  1. Beniversal and eTRAC cardsBenefits Cards, like the Beniversal Prepaid Mastercard and eTRAC Prepaid Mastercard, have gained mainstream attention with virtually all transit systems accepting debit/card payments.
  2. As a result, participants may no longer use cash reimbursement for mass transit expenses. Claims will continue to be accepted for parking and vanpools.*

What is BRI doing?

BRI is actively reaching out to participants to let them know mass transit claims will no longer be accepted as of January 1, 2016. This will be communicated through a variety of communications, including: email/letter announcements, announcements at BenefitResource.com and BRiWeb.com, and through inserts in claims payments.

What can employers do?

As an employer, you can ensure employees have seamless access to their card by:

  • Sending accurate and timely deduction files based on the agreed upon date and frequency.
  • Submitting new enrollments and election changes in a timely manner.
  • Providing up-to-date US Mail addresses to ensure cards are successfully delivered.
  • Allowing participants to make post-tax deductions, which ensures the full cost of their mass transit expense is available on the card. Contact ae@BenefitResource.com if you are not offering this and would like to.

What do participants need to do?

  • Activate / request a card: Participants should confirm they have a Beniversal or eTRAC Card to use for their commuter benefit plan expenses.  Participants may request a replacement card by contacting us at (800) 473-9595, M-F, 8am-8pm(Eastern Time).
  • Submit any outstanding eligible claims for 2015 prior to January 1, 2016. If participants have any eligible mass transit claims for 2015, these should be submitted prior to January 1, 2016 
  • Begin using card: By January 1, 2016 or sooner, participants should begin using their Beniversal or eTRAC card for all their mass transit expenses.

Where can I find more information?

Frequently Asked Questions
Full Text for Revenue Ruling 2014-32