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Unemployment Compensation: Employer Services

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UCMS Electronic Filing FAQs

Did you know that the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry is now on Twitter? Follow us @PALaborIndustry and learn all the latest news and alerts regarding everything UC and more!

Some of the alerts will include:

  • Upcoming webinar announcements
  • Upcoming employer seminars conducted by the Speakers Bureau
  • Important tax information
  • Links to the quarterly newsletter

Electronic Filing

Employers are required to electronically file quarterly UC tax and wage reports through UCMS.

There are several options that employers can use to electronically file UC tax and wage data.

For employers reporting fewer than 100 employees:

  • Key online (Employee information can be pre-populated)
  • File upload through the employer portal
  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP).

For employers reporting 100 or more employees:

  • File upload through the employer portal
  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP).

For information on the file layouts and formats that are necessary for electronic reporting of UC tax and wage data by file upload or FTP, please click on the links below:

UC-2010 handbook

Instructions on how to use UCMS

2018 Unemployment Compensation Contribution Rate Notice Mailing

The department's regular mailing of contribution rate notices for 2018 is planned for December 31, 2017. Employers will be able to access their rate notice information in their UCMS employer portal. The department will continue to issue rate notices for 2018 throughout the year, as necessary, to newly registered employers and as revisions to rates are required.

Taxable Wage Base and State Adjustment Factor

As part of the Act 60 amendments to the Pennsylvania UC Law, the taxable wage base for employer contributions increased each year from 2012 through 2018. At the same time, the maximum state adjustment factor decreased to 1.0% for 2013-2016 and was further reduced for 2017 and 2018. The following chart lists the taxable wage base and state adjustment factor amounts beginning 2012:

Calendar Year
Taxable Wage Base for
Employer Contributions
(per employee per year)
Maximum State
Adjustment Factor
2012 and prior
2018 and thereafter

The following solvency measures are in effect for 2018:

Employer Taxes

A 5.4 percent (.054) Surcharge on employer contributions. The surcharge adjustment is computed by multiplying your basic rate by the 5.4 percent surcharge. The result is added to the basic rate. The surcharge adjustment does not apply to reimbursable employers.

A 0.50 percent (.0050) Additional Contribution. The additional contribution is added to your basic tax rate. The additional contribution is not applicable to non-delinquent newly liable and reimbursable employers.

A 1.1 percent (.011) Interest Factor. Under Act 60 of 2012, the interest factor is used to fund the payment of bond obligations. It may also be used to fund payment of interest on federal loans, although Pennsylvania does not currently have a federal loan balance. It is added to the basic rate. The interest factor is not applicable to non-delinquent newly liable employers and reimbursable employers. Also, it is neither credited to the employer's reserve account nor considered for federal certifications.

Employee Contributions

A 0.06 percent (.0006) tax on employee gross wages, or 60 cents on each $1,000 paid, this was decreased from 2017. Employee withholding contributions are submitted with each quarterly report. Employee withholding applies to the total wages paid in 2018. It is not limited to the $10,000 taxable wage base for employer contributions. Failure to withhold or remit this employee tax could result in interest charges and may affect your contribution rate for subsequent years.

Benefit Reduction

A 2.4 percent (.024) Benefit Reduction. With few exceptions, the weekly UC benefit amount for all claimants will be reduced by 2.4 percent.

UC Taxation of Limited Liability Companies

For Pennsylvania unemployment compensation (UC) tax purposes, a limited liability company (LLC) may be an employing entity like any other form of business entity. An LLC must pay UC contributions on wages paid to its employees. Additional information is available here.

What Employers Need to Know:

 Has your business offered a job to an applicant who is receiving UC benefits, and the applicant refused the offer?

The department has created a new form, UC-1921W Employer Questionnaire Refuse Suitable Work, to assist employers to provide the required notification that suitable work was refused.

Be an active partner in helping to improve UC payment integrity. Notify the department within seven days of the offer by faxing form UC-1921W to 717-772-0378.

Employers: Save Money by Providing Accurate Information to Employees Who May File for UC Benefits

Form UC-1609 (Employer Information Form) can help your company save money by reducing inaccurate claims, and subsequently, inaccurate charges to your account associated with employees that leave your organization and file for unemployment compensation benefits. Complete the form, and provide a copy to every employee who leaves your organization. This simple step could save your company time and money by providing accurate information for use when unemployment claims are filed by one of your employees. If wrong information is given on a claim, it can create delays that can lead to a wrong financial determination which could increase your tax rate and/or require extra time and energy on your part to correct.

*There is also a form available for your Spanish speaking employees Form UC-1609(ESP).