Changes to the Contribution Rates, weekly wage and maximum weekly benefit amount.
The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) announced new employer contribution rates and benefit amounts for the Commonwealth’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA), effective January 1, 2022.
The following are the changes to the PFMLA effective January 1, 2022:
- The maximum weekly amount of benefits available to eligible individuals effective 01-01-2022 will increase to $1,084.31 per week. Current weekly maximum is $850.
- The amount of benefits one is eligible to receive for PFML is based on one’s average weekly wage and the average weekly wage for workers throughout Massachusetts. For calendar year 2022, the new average weekly wage for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is $1,694.24
- The part of one’s average weekly wage that is less than or equal to 50% of the average weekly wage for Commonwealth workers will be covered at a rate of 80%
- If part of one’s average weekly wage is greater than 50% of the average weekly wage for Commonwealth workers, it will be covered at a rate of 50%, up to the maximum allowed benefit amount
- The benefit contribution rate for employers has been reduced to .0.68% of eligible wages. Currently, the benefit contribution rate is 0.75% of eligible wages (which are wages up to the Social Security contribution limit). The specific benefit contribution rates are as follows:
- For employers with 25 or more covered individuals, for the family leave contribution, the employer can withhold .12% of eligible wages. As for the medical leave contribution, the employer can withhold .224% of eligible wages and is responsible for paying .336% of eligible wages directly.
- For employers with 24 or fewer covered individuals, for the family leave contribution, the employer can withhold .12% of eligible wages. As for the medical leave contribution, the employer can withhold .224% of eligible wages. For these smaller employers, the employer has no obligation to pay the employer share for medical leave.
The new maximum weekly benefit amounts and contribution rates apply equally to employers that have private plans.
Therefore, all employers must review and update their private plans and contribution rates for January 1, 2022 to ensure the plans meet the new benchmarks. In addition, when hiring new employees, employers are required to provide new employees with notice of the PFMLA and the deductions from pay. These notices must be revised to reflect the new contribution rates.
Renewing your private plan exemption:
- With January 1, 2022 fast approaching, you will need to renew your MA PFML exemption with the Massachusetts DFML. As part of that process, you will need a current Confirmation of Insurance from your private plan carrier (previously known as a “Declaration of Insurance”). Please contact your Sentinel Insurance Client Manager to secure your carrier’s Confirmation of Insurance.
To renew your MA PFML private plan exemption, please log in to MassTaxConnect
- Once logged into your account, locate your paid family and medical leave account panel.
- Follow the steps to renew your exemption. The policy form number is included on your Carrier’s confirmation of Insurance.
- Attach the MA PFML Confirmation of Insurance. Ensure you have signed the document prior to uploading.
For additional details and guidance on the changes and the exemption process and types you may visit the Mass.gov website