For Immediate Release
May 3, 2018
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Workplaces Switch Gears With Bike-to-Work Benefit Offerings
May is National Bike Month
A quick workout, parking problem solver, kindness to the environment, time saver—Many workers across the country are turning to a two-wheeled approach for their daily commutes. With National Bike Month celebrated throughout May, how are employers responding to this growing trend?
According to the Transportation Benefits and Incentives survey report from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, one-third of employers currently offer benefits/incentives to encourage employees to bike, walk, carpool or use mass transportation for traveling to work and, on average, 8.2% of workers take advantage of biking benefits and incentives.
Biking to work is popular among 15% of workers (cars, rapid transit and city bus are more common). Though biking is not the most popular of all commuter choices, the number of people who bike to work increased by 51% from 2000 to 2016, according to the League of American Bicyclists.
Employers are supporting employees who bike to work in a couple different ways. Of those organizations that offer transportation incentives to employees:
- 44% offer on-site bicycle storage
- 39% provide on-site locker rooms and showers
- 19% offer bike-to-work subsidies, allowances or reimbursements
- 19% offer bike/walk paths around the workplace
- 6% provide bike-share memberships.
The law has recently changed for employers offering bicycle commuting benefits. Employers previously were allowed a deduction for the cost of qualified transportation fringe benefits provided to employees, including bike commuting. With the enactment of the 2017 Tax Act, bike commuting reimbursements can no longer be excluded from gross income and wages. This means that employer reimbursements for bike commuting expenses are taxable and subject to payroll taxes and income tax withholding.
While employers may be evaluating their biking to work policies in light of the tax law, attracting and retaining talented workers is the main reason organizations offer incentives for transportation methods like biking. The second most common reason is response to worker requests. Organizations said their workers choose their specific mode of transportation based on convenience, commute length and cost.
To review the findings of this survey, visit www.ifebp.org/transportationbenefits.
The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans is the premier educational organization dedicated to providing the diverse employee benefits community with objective, solution-oriented education, research and information to ensure the health and financial security of plan beneficiaries worldwide. The Foundation has more than 33,000 multiemployer, corporate and public sector members representing over 25 million lives. For additional information, visit www.ifebp.org.