New DC and NYC Qualified Transportation Fringe Rules; S&D Annual Seminar

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DC and NYC Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit Plan Rules.

The city councils of Washington, DC and New York City have recently adopted rules requiring some employers with operations in those cities to adopt, by January 1, Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit Plans for their employees.

(These city ordinances are not preempted by ERISA, because QTFBPs are not ERISA-governed plans.)

The DC ordinance provides generally that, effective January 1, 2016 employers (including non-profits) with 20 or more employees working in DC must provide one of three commuter benefit options: (1) an employee-paid pre-tax benefit under Internal Revenue Code Sec. 132(f); (2) an employer-paid direct benefit; or (3) an employer-provided van or bus at no cost to employees.  (Beginning January 1, 2017, the Mayor can expand the ordinance to include employers with fewer than 20 employees.)

The NYC ordinance provides generally that, effective January 1, 2016, employers with 20 or more “full-time” non-union employees (defined as employees averaging at least 30 hours per week) working in NYC must offer those full-time employees the opportunity to use pre-tax income to pay for their transportation by public or privately owned mass transit or in a commuter highway vehicle. (The law does not apply to governments, unions or employers exempt by law from federal, state or city payroll taxes.)

Please contact us if we can be of assistance with your compliance with these new local laws.

Annual Smith & Downey Clients and Friends Seminar

We’ll be holding our annual Clients and Friends Seminar at the BWI Marriott on Thursday, May 5, from 8:30 a.m. – noon. As always, we’ll cover recent developments affecting health and welfare benefit plans, retirement plans, executive compensation programs and labor and employment law. Please contact Alison Christian at achristian@smithdowney.com or 410-321-9000 if you’d like to reserve a spot at the Seminar. (As always, there is no charge for the Seminar.)