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Metro Delays SmartBenefits Program Changes

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Metro has asked the IRS for a one-year extension to allow employers to adjust to news SmartBenefits rules.
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Metro has asked the IRS for a one-year extension to allow employers to adjust to news SmartBenefits rules.

By Natalie Neumann

Metro is delaying planned changes to its SmartBenefits program to the relief of many participants.

The program lets employers set aside money for commuting costs on Metro smart cards. In some cases, employers subsidize the costs, while in others, the employee's own pretax payroll dollars are set aside.

Metro had announced that because of an IRS requirement, money for transit and parking would be kept in separate accounts as of January 1. And it said any unused benefits would be credited back to employers at the end of each month, instead of being rolled over. That change upset many riders who feared they would end up losing money.

Now Metro is asking the IRS for a one-year extension to implement the new rules so that employers can adjust.

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