Rethinking Commuter Benefits for a Hybrid-Work World
May 27, 2021
Rethinking Commuter Benefits for a Hybrid-Work World

The benefits implications of the shift to remote work last year, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, caught even experts off guard.

David Speier, managing director of benefits accounts at consultancy Willis Towers Watson, blogged that he realized "even though I had not been in the office for several months, I was still using my pretax commuter benefit to pay for my parking space."

In a recent interview, he said he does not intend to eliminate his parking payments. "I'll go back to the office, probably on a less-frequent basis," he said. "But I'll still be a commuter, and I'll still want that preferred tax benefit. Maybe not to the same level, however, and I may want to adjust that monthly."

Speier's experience in forgetting to shut off contributions to his pretax commuter benefits was not unique, and neither is his desire for greater flexibility in how to use these benefits. Employers are re-evaluating how commuting benefits should be offered to a workforce that isn't reporting to the workplace as often as it once did.

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