Employer-subsidized commuter ticket doubled in popularity in recent years

The employer-subsidized commuter ticket has become one of the key employee benefits in the HSL area. At the moment, over 1,500 employers are offering the benefit to their employees.This is some 200 companies more than in 2012.

According to HSL statistics and the records of the Tax Administration, over 70,000 people used the ticket in 2013, an increase of 10 per cent from 2012. In 2008, some 34,000 people used the ticket.

Most of the employees get the benefit in the form of commuter vouchers. In the HSL area, employer-subsidized commuter tickets are more popular than company cars used by some 35,000 people last year. The number of people using a company car was down by about one thousand from 2012.

The increased popularity is partly due to the tax change in 2010 which made the employer-subsidized commuter ticket tax-free up to EUR 300, including also value loaded on personal Travel Cards. HSL has also campaigned extensively to raise awareness of the benefit.  

Commuter vouchers have been popular in particular among municipal employers but in recent years an increasing number of private companies have adopted them. In 2007 – 2014, HSL delivered in total 3.8 million commuter vouchers to employers.

The vouchers are easy to use for employees and their distribution to employers is relatively easy. The vouchers are a flexible alternative also for companies where staff turnover and the number of short-term contracts are high.

The next step is that the vouchers are replaced by electronic commuter benefits. HSL is cooperating with companies who are developing electronic benefit systems in order to make the daily lives of both employers and employees easier and to ensure that in future the employer-subsidized commuter ticket is used by an increasing number of employees.