Just in time for the holiday weekend, the New York State Department of Financial Services released the updated 2019 Paid Family Leave (PFL) premium rates.

The Department’s full publication is available here. https://www.dfs.ny.gov/insurance/pfl/dec_prem_rate_2019.pdf

For 2019, the premium rate will increase from 0.126% of gross wages (capped at $85.56/year) to 0.153% of gross wages (capped at $107.97/year).

Notably, the Department of Financial Services also announced in this publication that for 2019, the PFL benefit level will increase to 55% of an employee’s wages for 10 weeks (up from 50% for 8 weeks). This increase could have been delayed at the Department’s discretion, but it was announced that they will not implement any delay this year.

This means that the maximum PFL benefit in 2019 will be $746.41/week (up from $652.96/week in 2018). The underlying statewide average weekly wage increased from $1,305.92/week to $1,357.11/week, so that plays into this increase as well. 

COMPARISON OF THE 2018 AND 2019 PFL PROGRAM      
  Weeks of PFL Available Statewide Average Weekly Wage Benefit Rate Maximum Weekly Benefit Premium Rate Maximum Annual Employee Contribution
2018 8 $1,305.92 50% $652.96 0.126% $85.56
2019 10 $1,357.11 55% $746.41 0.153% $107.97

 

To prepare for the 2019 changes, employers will want to coordinate with their payroll providers to make sure that the new premium rate will be applied beginning January 1, 2019.  To the extent any written employment policy documents include the specific PFL benefit or deduction levels, employers will also need to consider updating this information for 2019.

Need more information? Please contact any member of the firm’s Labor and Employment group for more information on these changes or on New York’s Paid Family Leave Benefits Law in general.