MA Paid Family Medical Leave Payroll Deductions to Begin October 1st

MA PFML is a statewide program that gives eligible employees paid time off for family and medical leave beginning January 1, 2021. PFML will provide employees up to 12 weeks of paid family leave and 20 weeks of paid medical leave or up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a family member who is a service member. All Massachusetts employers with one or more employees are subject to the PFML law. Employers must submit contributions on behalf of employees. After a three-month delay in implementation, employer deductions under PFML will begin October 1, 2019 which will represent the first quarter of payroll withholdings. These withholdings, and in some cases employer payments, will be remitted to the Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) via MassTaxConnect 30 days following the conclusion of each calendar quarter and will begin with the first payment made on or after Oct. 1, 2019. Contribution percentages depend on your average number of covered individuals from the last calendar year. Employers with fewer than 25 employees do not have to contribute to the employer portion of PFML. Employers with 25 or more employees must pay an employer contribution amount. 1099-MISC contractors may be considered covered individuals. See the link below for help in determining who is a covered individual for PFML purposes.

The DFML has released the revised allocation of PFML contribution rates beginning October 1, 2019. Employers must begin withholding and paying Massachusetts family and medical leave contributions at an initial rate of 0.75% (up from 0.63%) of each employee’s wages up to the 2019 Social Security wage base of $132,900. Based on the new rate of 0.75%, 0.62% funds medical leave and 0.13% funds family leave. Employers with 25 or more employees may withhold up to 40% of the medical leave portion of the contribution from employees’ wages. Employers with 25 or more employees are required to fund the remaining 60% of the medical leave contribution, however they are not required to contribute to the family leave portion, although they may choice to do so. See the link below to access the DFML’s calculator tool for help in determining your contribution amount.

Important Dates:
September 30, 2019 — Employers and covered business entities are required to post a notice and provide written notice to their current workforce. A sample poster and tips on crafting your written notice can be found here.

October 1, 2019 — Payroll withholdings begin. MA PFML has created a tool to help you estimate the number of your covered individuals. The tool can be accessed here. Help in determining your contribution can be found here.

December 20, 2019 — Deadline to file for a private plan exemption for first quarter contributions.

January 31, 2020 — First quarterly contribution payment due through MassTaxConnect.

The DFML’s website has a lot of valuable information, tools and webinars that you may find helpful in answering most of your questions regarding PFML. A link to the Department’s website can be found here.

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