COMPTROLLER'S SEAL STATE OF CONNECTICUT

STATE OF CONNECTICUT

NANCY WYMAN
COMPTROLLER
OFFICE OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER
55 ELM STREET
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT 06106-1775
MARK OJAKIAN
DEPUTY COMPTROLLER

COMPTROLLER'S MEMORANDUM NO. 2008-43

December 3, 2008

TO THE HEADS OF ALL STATE AGENCIES

Attention: Personnel and Payroll Officers, Chief Administrative and Fiscal Officers, and Business Managers
Subject: Qualified Transportation Account


I. INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this Memorandum is to (1) introduce the new program administrator; (2) discuss program components; and (3) advise of the contribution limits applicable to Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 132.

II. BACKGROUND

Comptroller's Memorandum 2003-14 announced the commencement of the Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit Program now known as the Qualified Transportation Account (QTA). Consistent with IRC Section 132 and pursuant to the provisions of Connecticut General Statutes 5-141e, the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) is authorized to offer to qualified State employees the option to exclude from taxable wages and compensation, employee commuting costs incurred through the use of transportation in a commuter highway vehicle, transit passes or qualified parking.

III. DISCUSSION

Progressive Benefit Solutions (PBS) is the new administrative services provider for the QTA. Agencies are requested to display the attached QTA flyer on your agency bulletin board for employee informational purposes.

For calendar year 2009, pursuant to IRS Section 132, employees who commute to work by mass transit (passes, commuter highway vehicle, railroads, suburban & local commuter passenger expenses, including ferries, buses, and other transportation services) may deduct up to $120 a month on a pre-tax basis. Employees who pay for qualified parking expenses (automobile parking lots & garages) may deduct up to $230 a month on a pre-tax basis.

To facilitate reimbursement of qualified transportation expenses, participants now have the option of electing a Prepaid Benefits Card issued by PBS through the Benny™ Prepaid Benefits Card Program to pay for qualified parking and transit expenses anywhere a Mastercard™ credit card is accepted. Payroll deductions will be automatically loaded to a participants' card and available for reimbursement based on their contribution elections. Through the use of the Prepaid Benefits Card, funds will be automatically withdrawn from the participant account with the swipe of the card. The card contains separate fund reservoirs or "purses" for parking and transit expenses from which incurred expenses will automatically be deducted for each account.

Employees choosing to participate with the Prepaid Benefits Card must complete the Pre-paid Benefits Card Election section on the QTA Compensation Reduction Agreement Form. Forms must be received by the first of the previous month in which an employee wishes to participate with the card otherwise card activation will begin during the next month.

In those cases where employees are unable to use their Prepaid Benefits Card or if they chose not to participate with the Prepaid Benefits Card option, the employee must first pay for their QTA expenses, then submit a QTA Claim Reimbursement Form to PBS for processing. QTA Claim Reimbursement Forms can be downloaded through the PBS web site and must be submitted directly to PBS for reimbursement by mail or through the use of the on-line facility at www.ctpbs.com. Participants will be reimbursed up to the amount in their QTA at the time of claim processing. If the claim exceeds the amount in their QTA, the participant will be reimbursed for the amount of their balance. As the account is replenished, reimbursements will be issued until the entire claim is paid out to the participant. Participants choosing the manual reimbursement method can request that their QTA reimbursements be paid via direct deposit into their account.

Employees interested in participating in the program are responsible for obtaining the necessary enrollment applications and meeting all associated submission deadlines. Enrollment and further program information is available via the OSC web site: www.osc.state.ct.us, the PBS web site: www.ctpbs.com, or by contacting PBS at 1-866-906-8023.

IV. PROCEDURES

A. Enrollment Procedures

PBS is responsible for the enrollment of eligible employees who wish to participate in the QTA. Employees are allowed to enroll in the program on a monthly basis. To enroll with the QTA employees must complete a QTA Compensation Reduction Agreement Form by the first of the previous month in which they wish to enroll. For example, if a participant wants their enrollment to be effective for the month of February 2009, their QTA Compensation Reduction Agreement Form must be received by January 1, 2009.

B. Payroll Procedures

The payroll processing of the program is performed by PBS. Agencies are not responsible for processing enrollment or change applications for payroll purposes.

C. Election Changes

Once enrolled, changes in election can be made on a monthly basis during the calendar year. To make a change or terminate participation with the QTA, participants must complete a QTA Compensation Reduction Agreement Form by the first of the previous month in which they wish the change or termination to be effective. For example, if a participant wants their change or termination to be effective for the month of February 2009, their QTA Compensation Reduction Agreement Form must be received by January 1, 2009.

Employees may obtain enrollment/change forms and claim forms by download via the OSC web site: www.osc.state.ct.us, the PBS web site: www.ctpbs.com, or by contacting PBS at 1-866-906-8023.

V. CONCLUSION

Enrollment and benefit questions relating to the QTA may be directed to PBS at 1-866-906-8023. Questions pertaining to this Memorandum may be addressed to the Retirement & Benefit Services Division, Employee Benefits Unit at (860) 702-3543.

Thank you in advance for your assistance in making this benefit accessible to your agency's employees.

Very truly yours,

Nancy Wyman
State Comptroller

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