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Metro Changing SmartBenefits Program For 2010

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The Smart Benefits program allows employers to set aside money on workers' SmarTrip cards. In one change starting in January, Metro will be keeping money designated for riding the train or bus in a separate account from money designated for parking in Metro lots.
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The Smart Benefits program allows employers to set aside money on workers' SmarTrip cards. In one change starting in January, Metro will be keeping money designated for riding the train or bus in a separate account from money designated for parking in Metro lots.

The Smart Benefits program allows employers to set aside money on workers' SmarTrip cards. In one change starting in January, Metro will be keeping money designated for riding the train or bus in a separate account from money designated for parking in Metro lots. The upshot is that commuters will no longer be able to use their parking benefits to pay for transit. The IRS is requiring that change.

Also starting in January, any unused monthly benefits will be credited back to employers at the end of the month. Metro says employers who provide the benefit view the change favorably. But it's not so popular with many riders who contribute through a pre-tax payroll deduction, and with their employers, who say it raises administrative concerns.

Metro says it's holding meetings with federal and private sector employers and third party administrators to provide an overview of the changes.

Matt McCleskey reports...

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