Employee Transit Expense Account
The TEA is a flexible spending account available only to insurance-eligible employees. By enrolling in the TEA, employees elect to have money deducted untaxed from their pay and then use that money to reimburse themselves for their university parking permits. There is also an account available for bus pass and van pool expenses.
You may enroll in the TEA ANY TIME PRIOR TO AUGUST 24, 2020, the date the permit takes effect. That is considered to be the date you begin incurring the parking expense. Also, even though the parking permit spans two calendar years, you enroll in the TEA for a single calendar year and claim reimbursement for the full expense in 2020. For example, the gold permit will cover August 24, 2020, to sometime in August, 2021, at a cost of $340. If you wish to enroll in the TEA, you would do so for the full $340 and claim the full reimbursement in calendar year 2020.
To enroll in the TEA, complete a Transit Enrollment Form and fax it to Minnesota Management & Budget State Employee Group Insurance Program (MMB-SEGIP).
- The form is available on the 121 Benefits website under Enrollment Forms, “2020 Transit Enrollment”.
- The ‘plan year’ is 2020 (not 2019-20).
- You may select either the annual election or monthly election. With the annual election, deductions will be taken out of your paychecks through the end of December, 2020. For the monthly election, you determine the number of months to take deductions. If you are purchasing a gold permit you will need to split the amount over a minimum of two months to stay within the $260 monthly limit. For example, to cover the $340 cost of the gold permit you could elect $170/month for two months. You are responsible for verifying that the correct deductions are taken from your paychecks and notifying MMB-SEGIP of any errors.
If you are already enrolled in the TEA but wish to change your enrollment amount, complete a Transit Change in Participation Form and fax it to MMB-SEGIP. The Transit Change in Participation Form is located on the 121 Benefits website under Forms, “2020 Transit Change in Participation”.
DO NOT send enrollment or change forms to 121 Benefits. These forms must be submitted directly to:
Minnesota Management & Budget
State Employee Group Insurance Program
658 Cedar Street
St. Paul, MN, 55155
or fax number (651) 296-5445
or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
You must wait until after August 24th and you must verify that payroll deductions have begun before you submit your reimbursement request to 121 Benefits. It is your responsibility to submit the reimbursement claim and documentation within the appropriate time frame.
You are encouraged to read the “2020 Flexible Benefits and Transit Expense Plan” before enrolling in the TEA. The summary is available on the 121 Benefits website in the Plan Summary section. If you elect to enroll in a flexible spending account, you are responsible for being in compliance with the regulations that apply to the plan. You should understand the possibility of forfeiting money if you miss deadlines. In addition, if you use the TEA for your parking permit you may not sell any portion of your permit back to the university because that would violate income tax regulations.
We are often asked how much income tax a person saves by enrolling in the TEA. That will vary from one individual to another depending on taxable income, tax filing status, etc. You would need to consult a tax advisor or review the federal and state income tax tables to determine approximately how much tax savings it will mean for you.
Please note that ENROLLING IN THE TEA IS OPTIONAL; you do not have to enroll in the TEA to buy a parking permit.