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2015 Minimum Wage Increase and Transit Benefits

Tuesday December 30th 2014

Many of us ring in the New Year with resolutions to change or improve our life.  Although it’s not a personal resolution,  many states are raising the 2015 minimum wage as a result of either inflation or legislative action, affecting workers nationwide.

New York’s minimum wage will increase to $8.75 per hour on December 31, 2014.  Effective
January 1, 2015, these states will have minimum wage increase:

  • Alaska:  $8.75 per hour
  • Arizona:  $8.05 per hour
  • Arkansas:  $7.50 per hour
  • Colorado:  $8.23 per hour
  • Connecticut:  $9.15 per hour
  • Florida:  $8.05 per hour
  • Hawaii:  $7.75 per hour
  • Maryland:  $8.00 per hour
  • Massachusetts:  $9.00 per hour
  • Missouri:  $7.65 per hour
  • Montana:  $8.05 per hour
  • Nebraska:  $8.00 per hour
  • New Jersey:  $8.38 per hour
  • Ohio:  $8.10 per hour ($7.25 for small employers)
  • Oregon:  $9.25 per hour
  • Rhode Island:  $9.00 per hour
  • South Dakota:  $8.50 per hour
  • Vermont:  $9.15 per hour
  • Washington:  $9.47 per hour and
  • West Virginia:  $8.00 per hour

Two other states, Delaware and Minnesota, will have increases later in 2015.  While these increases should help millions of workers, there are still 29 states whose minimum wage is still below the $7.25 federal minimum.

Transit Benefits

Recently passed legislation, retroactive for 2014, made the monthly transit passes and van pool benefits match the $250 qualified parking benefit. Since this change is retroactive, employers may need to correct the taxable fringe benefits and amend payroll.  Similar to the 2012 retroactive adjustment, the IRS may possibly require employer refunds for excess 2014 FICA taxes and a W-2 correction to the income amount for federal taxes.

On January 1, 2015, the transit limit will reduce to $130 a month, while qualified parking will remain at $250 a month.

The 2015 fringe benefit limits:

  • Transportation limits: $250 parking; $130 transit pass; $20 bicycle
  • Medical mileage: $.23 per mile
  • Health FSA salary reduction limit: $2,550
  • Dependent Care FSA contribution limit: $5,000; $2,500 if married, filing jointly
  • HSA maximum contribution limit: $3,350 single; $6,650 married (an additional $1,000 is available for catch-up contributions, 55 and over)
  • High Deductible Health Plan: $6,450 single; $12,900 married
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