Employee Benefits Blog

Massachusetts Announces 2024 Paid Family Medical Leave Rates

10/03/2023 Written by: George Thompson, Esq.

Introduction

Massachusetts employers who are enrolled in the state Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) program are responsible for sending family and medical leave contributions to the Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) on behalf of their covered individuals.

To do this, employers must withhold PFML contributions from employees’ paychecks. Employers are only required to send an employer contribution if they have 25 or more covered individuals in their workforce. If the employer has fewer than 25 employees, they must remit the employee’s mandatory contribution.

By October 1st of every year, the DFML must announce the contribution rates for the coming year. Contribution rates are on a January 1-December 31 calendar year basis. The new contribution rates apply to wages earned on or after January 1 of each year. Individual contributions are capped by the Social Security taxable maximum.

What follows is recent guidance just announced by the DFML. These changes will go into effect as of January 1, 2024:

1. Increase in the employer contribution rate for employers with 25 or more employees from 0.63% to 0.88%.

Employers with 25 or more covered individuals must send to DFML a contribution of 0.88% of eligible wages.

This contribution can be split between covered individuals’ payroll or wage withholdings and an employer contribution. The 0.88% is an increase over the 0.63% 2023 rate. The primary drivers behind the 2024 increase is in the medical contribution to 0.70% from 0.52% (2023) and an increase in the family contribution from 0.18% up from 0.11% (2023).

Action Item

In light of the increase discussed above, employers who currently participate in the state PFML program may want to consider whether the state program increase warrants consideration of leaving the state program to join a private fully insured or self-funded plan instead. Please note that doing so would require application to and approval by the DFMLA, but that those plans would not have to make PFML contributions.

2024 Rate for Employers With 25 Employees or More


Family leave

Up to 100% of the family leave contribution can be withheld from a covered individual's wages (0.18% of eligible wages).

Medical leave

Up to 40% of the medical leave contribution can be withheld from a covered individual's wages (0.28% of eligible wages). Employers are responsible for contributing the remaining 60% (0.42% of eligible wages).

2. For employers with fewer than 25 employees, the employee contribution has increased

Employers with fewer than 25 covered individuals must send an effective contribution rate of 0.46% of eligible wages. This is an increase over the 2023 employee contribution rate of 0.318% This contribution rate is less than the rate for employers with 25 or more employees because small employers are not required to pay the employer share of the medical leave contribution.

Family leave

Up to 100% of the family leave contribution can be withheld from a covered individual's wages (0.18% of eligible wages).

Medical leave

Up to 100% of the medical leave contribution can be withheld from a covered individual's wages (0.28% of eligible wages). There is no employer share for employers with fewer than 25 covered individuals.

3. Increase in the Maximum Weekly Benefit

The maximum weekly benefit amount that an employee can receive in PFML benefits in 2024 will be $1,144.90 per week which is an increase over 2023’s maximum weekly benefit of $1,129.82.

4. Release of Annual Report Regarding 2023

The Department of Paid Family and Medical Leave of Massachusetts has published its FY2023 Annual report which can be found here.

5. Additional Link

For additional information on how PFML weekly benefit amounts are calculated and/or changed please consult the guidance here.


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