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Employer UC & Tax Services

Important Information

Solvency Fee Notice Alert

Employers using the reimbursable financing method have a yearly option to elect to be able to request relief from charges for individuals that have applied for unemployment benefits. To elect to request relief from charges the employer is required to pay a solvency fee and have all their quarterly tax reports filed through the 2nd quarter of the year prior to the calendar year of the solvency fee election. The solvency fee is due within 30 days of receiving notification from the department.

The Election for Relief from Charges and Notice of Solvency Fee for calendar year 2021 that notify these employers of their solvency fee amount have been generated on 10/29/2020 and are dated 11/2/2020. Reimbursable employers who chose to receive electronic notification of their Unemployment Compensation Tax Services (UCTS) correspondence should have received email notification of the availability of the Reimbursable Employer’s Election and Notice of Solvency Fee by logging into their account in the Unemployment Compensation Management System (UCMS). Reimbursable Employer’s Election and Notice of Solvency Fee were mailed on 10/31/2020 to reimbursable employers that did not choose to receive electronic notification of their UCTS correspondences.

To view the notification online, please login to your account at www.uctax.pa.gov and select the Correspondence option from the menu.

Payments for Solvency fee elections for calendar year 2021 for Election for Relief from Charges and Notice of Solvency Fee dated 11/2/2020 need to be received on or before 12/2/2020. Please refer to the notice for instructions on how to make the solvency fee payment.


Act 9 of 2020 Automatic Relief from Charges Update

Pursuant to Act 9 of 2020 that Governor Wolf signed into law on 3/27/2020, contributory employers and reimbursable employers who have an approved 2020 solvency fee election were to receive automatic relief from charges for those employees whose UC claims are due to the COVID-19 outbreak or public health officials’ efforts to contain and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Contributory employers and reimbursable employers who have paid the solvency fee for calendar year 2020 did not have to apply for relief from these COVID-19 related charges.

The credits from the automatic relief from charges for eligible claims for reimbursable employers that have an approved 2020 solvency fee election were processed on 11/10/2020 and will be included on the Statement of Account dated 11/11/2020 for Article XI reimbursable employers. The credits will appear on the Statement of Account dated 1/11/2021 for Article X and Article XII employers.

Impacted contributory employers should see the updated benefit charge values in their reserve account ledger by the end of November 2020.

COVID-19 Relief from Charges for Employers

We are aware that employers' UC-640 charge statements are indicating that employers are being charged for all benefits.  All charges which are a result of separation due to COVID-19 will receive credits, retroactively. You do NOT need to contact us, and you do NOT need to send in any paper work. The department is working on the programming needed to grant automatic relief from charges and impacted employers will see the updated benefit charge values by the end of November 2020.  Benefit charging will resume after the governor declares an end to the pandemic disaster. The UC-640 charge statement shows you all the individuals you would otherwise be charged for if they continue filing benefits after the disaster is ended.

Protecting Nonprofits from Catastrophic Cash Flow Strain Act (S.4209)

On August 3, 2020, the Protecting Nonprofits from Catastrophic Cash Flow Strain Act was enacted into law. This Act amends the CARES Act and now allows for reimbursable employers that are eligible to receive reimbursement (those that did not pay the Solvency Fee for calendar year 2020) to only pay 50% of the amount due on eligible benefit charges. Previously the CARES Act required that 100% of the benefit charges for the billing period be paid before the 50% reimbursement could be applied. The Department will post the reimbursement to the billing period once the funding for that billing period has been received from the US Treasury. The reimbursement amount will be reflected as a payment/credit on your account and will be applied to the appropriate billing period. If an over-payment exists after the 50% reimbursement is applied, a credit will be created that may be used to pay future benefit charge amounts due.

Questions regarding this information may be directed to the UC Employer Contact Center at 1-866-403-6163 which is staffed weekdays, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

Modernizing the Unemployment Compensation Management System

The Unemployment Compensation Management System (UCMS) has undergone a facelift! On June 13, 2020, the Department replaced the outdated portal technology with a more modern responsive design, making it compatible with most mobile devices.

The new design features Action Icons, which reduce the number of clicks it takes a user to complete an action. If you are not sure what the Action Icon does, simply hover over the icon for information.

The image below highlights the new features and is provided to assist you in navigating the newly designed UCMS. Click on the thumbnail to open a full version.

U C M S placemat

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 and thereafter. 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
$8,000
1.5%
2013
$8,500
1.0%
2014
$8,750
1.0%
2015
$9,000
1.0%
2016
$9,500
1.0%
2017
$9,750
0.85%
2018 and thereafter
$10,000
0.75%

The following solvency measures are in effect for 2021:

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 Contributions. The additional contributions are added to your basic tax rate. The additional contributions do not apply to non-delinquent newly liable and reimbursable employers.

Interest Factor. Under Act 60 of 2012, the interest factor is used to fund the payment of bond obligations and interest on federal loans. It is added to the basic rate. The interest factor does not apply 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. The Interest Factor for 2021 is 0.00% effective January 1st, 2021.

Employee Contributions

A 0.06 percent (.0006) tax on employee gross wages, or 60 cents on each $1,000 paid. Employee withholding contributions are submitted with each quarterly report. Employee withholding applies to the total wages paid in 2021. 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?

Please complete Department 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 and maintain UC payment integrity. Notify the department within seven days of the offer by faxing form UC-1921W to 717-772-0378.

Mandatory Form Helps You Save Money by Providing Accurate Information to Employees Who May File for UC Benefits

Form UC-1609 (Employer Information Form) must be completed and provided to all separating employees and/or employees working reduced hours. It can help 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).