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Pre-Tax Decrease for Penn's SEPTA Commuter Choice Program/COMPASS

January 10, 2012, Volume 58, No. 17

Commuter riders who utilize Penn’s pre-tax payroll deduction, should note that the Federal Stimulus package known as American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) expired December 31, 2011. The ARRA program had temporarily increased the monthly pre-tax payroll deduction cap for transit benefits to $230/month. With its expiration, the pre-tax withholding limit will be reduced to a cap of $125/month.

Commuters who regularly purchase passes for public transportation through payroll deduction will see a decrease in the pre-tax limit for transit purchases. If you already participate in Penn’s Commuter Program through ADP you do not have to make any changes and no credit cards or other payment is needed. All deductions will be automatically calculated.

Below are the specifications:

Maximum pre-tax amount has been decreased to $125 per month or $1,500 per year.

If your commuting costs per month are greater than $125 than your payroll starting in December will reflect a pre-tax and a post-tax deduction. 

The entire cost of Zone 3 ($139.50), Zone 4 ($158.40) and Anywhere ($171.90) passes are no longer covered 100 percent under pre-tax deduction.

The costs of the passes are lower than the new pre-tax threshold for City, Zone 1 and Zone 2, so these pass holders will not be affected.

The decrease also applies to those who use the TransitChek® program for SEPTA, DART, NJ Transit, Amtrak and for PATCO.

The change was applied to non-exempt staff for December 9 payroll; and to exempt staff for December payroll.

If you have questions or would like further explanation please contact the Parking Office at parking@exchange.upenn.edu

Almanac - January 10, 2012, Volume 58, No. 17