Massachusetts PFML Updates

There’s been a several developments with the Massachusetts PFML program over the last few weeks.  I’ll capture some of them here.

  • Private insured PFML plan exemptions were extended to December 31, 2020.
  • The renewal process for private insured plans will begin on November 30, 2020.  You will renew the exemption in MassTaxConnect by providing a policy form number via an insurance declaration document signed by the insurance company.
  • Self-insured private plans still need to be renewed by September 30, 2020.
  • Employers can use an existing HR policy for other leaves to determine the minimum increment for intermittent leave.
  • If an employee has multiple employers, leave does not have to be taken from multiple employers at once.
  • The insurance companies are beginning to finalize their “illustrative” insured private PFML quotes now.  We’ve seen those that quoted 0.75% of payroll are generally sticking with that price, matching the state rate.  I did have one carrier quote a number below 0.75% of payroll, and they are now telling me the number was a “mistake.”  Nothing’s easy…
  • We are slowly (too slowly I’d argue) beginning to get firm integrated STD – PFML – LTD quotes from carriers for January 1.  Some of the STD rates are incredibly low.  I saw one yesterday for 0.03 per $10.  That’s almost free.
  • We’ve had a couple of clients decide to increase the maximum benefit on their STD plans ($1000/week to $2000/week for example).  The pricing is attractive, and the increased benefit gives a bit more room between the PFML maximum and the STD maximum, making the STD more meaningful for employees with higher incomes.
  • A couple of clients have gone with a “dovetail” plan, having the STD mirror the 7 day wait and 20 week maximum duration for PFML.  For most, it’s made sense to keep the STD elimination period and duration unchanged with a possible increase to the maximum benefit as noted above.
  • It’s not too late to get a PFML private plan exemption.  The “sizzle” of not having to contribute to the state plan for 15 months is almost gone, but some employers are able to get firm private PFML rates less than .75% of payroll.  That will still allow the employer and employees to save a bit of money.
  • I do a podcast with Allison Ebner from The Employer’s Association of the Northeast called “Talking HR With Allison and Pete.”  Our latest show is an interview with Abigail O’Connell from Sun Life, an expert in MA PFML.  You can find it wherever you get your podcasts, or you can click this link:

We’ve had a lot of questions about the PFML plan and how it integrates with STD and LTD plans, so we’ve decided to hold an open round table discussion about this topic.  It will take place on September 23 at 9:00.  You can register by sending me an email (, or you can click the link below.


Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.