New York's Paid Family Leave (PFL) program became mandatory on 1 January 2018, providing paid leave for employees to care for newborns, seriously ill family members, or military exigencies. PFL is a rider to statutory short-term disability (DBL) policies, and is mandatory for employers with employees working in New York for 30 or more days in a calendar year.
As we enter 2024, it's important to stay up to date with the latest regulatory updates to ensure you understand the changes and how they may impact you. The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) recently published the PFL premium rate for 2024, along with other important information.
New York PFL Eligibility
The New York Paid Family Leave (PFL) program is designed to provide employees with a range of benefits to support them during various personal circumstances. These benefits include financial assistance, job security, and the continuation of health insurance coverage, if applicable.
A. Care for Newborns. The PFL program supports employees seeking leave within 12 months of their child's birth or placement for adoption or foster care, emphasizing the significance of parent-child bonding.
B. Care for Seriously Ill Family Members. The PFL program aids employees who require time off to care for a family member with a severe health condition, including spouses, children, parents, grandparents, and siblings.
C. Care for Military Exigencies. The PFL program acknowledges military sacrifices, allowing employees to use PFL benefits for activities related to their spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent's active duty or impending call.
Things to Know About the New PFL Mandate
1. PFL Rate will Decrease. This may sound unreal… but NYS approved a rate decrease…. Yes I said a rate decrease. Starting January 1, 2024, the premium rate for PFL benefits will decrease by 18.0% from 2023, reducing contributions from 0.455% to 0.373% of an employee's gross annualized wages to $89,343.80. As a result, the maximum annual premium contribution that employers can deduct from their employees' wages will be $333.25, down from $399.43 this year.
2. Time Off Allowance. The PFL coverage is available to employees working 20 hours or more per week after 26 consecutive weeks, and those working less than 20 hours after 175 days.
3. COVID-19 Pandemic. The 0.005% COVID-19 Surcharge included in the rates for 2021 and 2022 to cover COVID-19 claims paid under Chapter 25 of the Laws of 2020 was not included in the 2023 rate, and will not be included in the 2024 rate.
4. Proper Implementation. Employers must not discriminate against employees for taking or inquiring about Paid Family Leave. They must include PFL information in the employee handbook and display a poster starting January 1, 2018, similar to Workers' Compensation or Disability Benefits coverage.
How much will you have to pay as an employer?
You (the employers) will pay the bill annually, then deduct 1/52 from your employees paychecks every week. So if the annual premium is $52, you will deduct $1 per week from the employee to reimburse the business for the insurance premium. The business gets to keep that $1 in their bank account.
How do you calculate the PFL?
For every $1000 in payroll, you owe $3.73 in premium. No insurance premium will be charged on any income over $89,343.80 that is earned by one individual employee. In other words, the maximum premium for each employee will be $333.25.
To all insurers in New York, submit Paid Family Leave policy forms and rate submissions by October 2, 2023, using the SERFF filing process and DFS website instructions.
Staying updated with regulatory changes is crucial when it comes to New York's Paid Family Leave program. By understanding these changes, individuals can better navigate the PFL program and avail of its benefits when needed.