New York Paid Family Leave Benefit Level and Premium Rate Increases Announced for 2021

Just in time for the holiday 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 2021.

For 2021, the employee premium rate will increase significantly, from 0.270% of gross wages (capped at $196.72/year) to 0.511% of gross wages (capped at $385.34/year).

Notably, the DFS also announced that for 2021 the PFL benefit level will increase to 67% of an employee’s wages for up to 12 weeks (up from 60% 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 2021 will be $971.61/week (up from $840.70/week in 2020). The underlying statewide average weekly wage increased from $1,401.17/week to $1,450.17/week, so that plays into this increase as well.

COMPARISON OF PFL PROGRAM BENEFITS AND RATES 2018-2021

 

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

2021 12 $1450.17 67% $971.61 0.511% $385.34


To prepare for the 2021 changes, employers will want to coordinate with their payroll providers to make sure that the new premium rate will be applied beginning January 1, 2021.  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 2021.

The Department of Financial Service’s full publication announcing the premium rate and benefit level increases is available here: https://www.dfs.ny.gov/apps_and_licensing/health_insurers/pfl_rate_decision_2021

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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