How PFL is Funded
New York Paid Family Leave is insurance that may be funded by employees through payroll deductions. Each year, the Department of Financial Services sets the employee contribution rate to match the cost of coverage.
In 2021, the employee contribution is 0.511% of an employee’s gross wages each pay period. The maximum annual contribution is $385.34. Pursuant to the Department of Tax Notice No. N-17-12 [PDF], Paid Family Leave contributions are deducted from employees’ after-tax wages.
Employees earning less than the Statewide Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) of $1,450.17 will contribute less than the annual cap of $385.34, consistent with their actual wages. Commissions are considered wages for PFL purposes.
An employer may choose to pay for the Paid Family Leave benefit on behalf of employees.
To estimate your deduction, use the payroll deduction calculator:
Statewide Average Weekly Wage
Paid Family Leave deductions and benefits are based on the New York Statewide Average Weekly Wage (SAWW). The SAWW is the average weekly wage paid in New York State during the previous calendar year as reported by the Commissioner of Labor to the Superintendent of Financial Services on March 31 of each year.
Paid Family Leave deductions and benefits change on January 1 each year, based on the SAWW reported on March 31 of the previous year. The Statewide Average Weekly Wage for Paid Family Leave in 2020 is $1,450.17.
Employer Responsibilities for Contributions
Employers are responsible for:
- Collecting employee payroll contributions
- Providing a waiver to employees who qualify for one (see below)
- Paying for Paid Family Leave insurance using the employee contributions
- Reporting employee contributions on tax Form W-2 using Box 14 – State disability insurance taxes withheld.
Paid Family Leave is not optional for eligible employees. Coverage can only be waived if:
- the employee is regularly scheduled for less than 20 hours per week and will not work 175 days in a year, or
- the employee is regularly scheduled for 20 or more hours per week, but won’t be in employment 26 consecutive weeks.
Employers should offer the Employee Paid Family Leave Opt-Out and Waiver of Benefits (Form PFL Waiver) to all employees who meet these criteria. If an employee waives coverage, they will not make contributions and will not be eligible for Paid Family Leave benefits.
Employers should keep completed waivers on file. Employee waivers will be automatically revoked if the employee’s schedule changes such that they meet the eligibility requirements, or employees may voluntarily revoke their waivers at any time.
Contact PFL Helpline
For more information, call the Paid Family Leave toll-free helpline Monday-Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm EST.