New York Paid Family Leave Benefit Level and Premium Rate Increases Announced for 2020

Just in time for Labor Day weekend, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) released its Paid Family Leave (PFL) employee premium rate and benefit level increase information for 2020.

(Drum roll, please … .)

For 2020, the employee premium rate will increase from 0.153% of gross wages (capped at $107.97/year) to 0.270% of gross wages (capped at $196.72/year).

Notably, the DFS also announced that for 2020 the PFL benefit level will increase to 60% of an employee’s wages for up to 10 weeks (up from 55% for 10 weeks). This increase could have been delayed in the DFS’s discretion, but the DFS instead announced that they will not implement any delay this year.

This means that the maximum PFL benefit in 2020 will be $840.70/week (up from $746.41/week in 2019). The underlying statewide average weekly wage increased from $1,357.11/week to $1,401.17/week, so that plays into this increase as well.

COMPARISON OF PFL PROGRAM BENEFITS AND RATES 2018-2020

 

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

2020

10

$1,401.17

60%

$840.70

0.270%

$196.72


To prepare for the 2020 changes, employers will want to coordinate with their payroll providers to make sure that the new premium rate will be applied beginning January 1, 2020.  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 2020.

The Department of Financial Service’s full publication announcing the premium rate and benefit level increases is available here: https://www.dfs.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2019/08/pfl_decision_prem_rate_2020.pdf 

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

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