Unemployment compensation law




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Compiler's Note:  Section 13(2) of Act 5 of 2005, which amended subsection (a)(2), provided that the amendment shall apply to rates of contribution for calendar years beginning on or after January 1, 2006.

  Section 13(3) of Act 5 of 2005, which amended subsection (d), provided that the amendment shall apply to transfers of organization, trade, business or work force occurring on or after July 1, 2005.

  Section 13(4) of Act 5 of 2005, which amended subsection (j), provided that the amendment shall apply to the calculation of interest on additional contributions that are unpaid on or after July 1, 2005.

Section 301.1.  Determination of Contribution Rate; Experience Rating.--

(a)  The rate of contribution payable by an employer eligible for an adjusted rate with respect to the calendar year beginning 1984, and each calendar year thereafter, shall be adjusted between a minimum rate of three-tenths of one per centum (0.3%) and a maximum rate of eight and five-tenths per centum (8.5%) for 1984, eight and eight-tenths per centum (8.8%) for 1985 and nine and two-tenths per centum (9.2%) for 1986 and thereafter which shall be the aggregate of three factors:

(A)  A Reserve Ratio Factor.

(B)  A Benefit Ratio Factor.

(C)  A State Adjustment Factor.

(b)  (1)  For the purpose of determining an employer's eligibility for an adjusted rate employers shall be grouped as follows:

Group 1 shall consist of those employers who have paid contributions under this act for one or more quarters in the twelve-month period ending on the computation date for the year for which the rate is applicable and have also paid contributions under this act for one or more of the four completed calendar quarters immediately preceding such twelve-month period.

Group 2 shall consist of employers who have paid contributions under this act for one or more quarters in each of the two twelve-month periods ending on the computation date for the year for which the rate is applicable and have also paid contributions under this act for one or more of the four completed calendar quarters immediately preceding such two twelve-month periods.

Group 3 shall consist of employers who have paid contributions under this act for one or more quarters in each of the three twelve-month periods ending on the computation date for the year for which the rate is applicable and have also paid contributions under this act for one or more of the four completed calendar quarters immediately preceding such three twelve-month periods.

(2)  In no event shall those employers who have sufficient employer experience to be classified in Group 3 be classified in either Group 1 or Group 2, nor shall those employers who have sufficient employer experience to be classified in Group 2 be classified in Group 1.

(c)  (1)  When, as of the computation date, there is a credit, zero or debit balance in such employer's reserve account, which balance shall include (i) contributions with respect to the period ending on the computation date and paid on or before September fifteenth immediately following such computation date, (ii) benefits paid on or before computation date, and shall also include any voluntary payments made in accordance with subsection (b) of section 302 of this act, his Reserve Ratio Factor for the respective calendar year thereafter shall be as set forth in the table below.

Table


Reserve Ratio Factor - 1984 Rates

Employers Reserve Account as a

Percentage of Taxable Wages



Greater than 25%

Greater than or equal to 22% but less than 25%

Greater than or equal to 19% but less than 22%

Greater than or equal to 16% but less than 19%

Greater than or equal to 13% but less than 16%

Greater than or equal to 10% but less than 13%

Greater than or equal to  7% but less than 10%

Greater than or equal to  4% but less than  7%

Greater than or equal to  3% but less than  4%

Greater than or equal to  2% but less than  3%

Greater than or equal to  0% but less than  2%

Less than 0% but greater than -2%

Less than or equal to  -2% but greater than  -4%

Less than or equal to  -4% but greater than  -6%

Less than or equal to  -6% but greater than  -8%

Less than or equal to  -8% but greater than -10%

Less than or equal to -10% but greater than -12%

Less than or equal to -12% but greater than -14%

Less than or equal to -14% but greater than -16%

Less than or equal to -16% but greater than -18%

Less than or equal to -18% or lower

Table


Reserve Ratio Factor - 1985 Rates

Employers Reserve Account as a

Percentage of Taxable Wages



Greater than 25%

Greater than or equal to 21% but less than 25%

Greater than or equal to 18% but less than 21%

Greater than or equal to 15% but less than 18%

Greater than or equal to 12% but less than 15%

Greater than or equal to  9% but less than 12%

Greater than or equal to  7% but less than  9%

Greater than or equal to  5% but less than  7%

Greater than or equal to  3% but less than  5%

Greater than or equal to  1% but less than  3%

Greater than or equal to  0% but less than  1%

Less than 0% but greater than -1%

Less than or equal to  -1% but greater than  -2%

Less than or equal to  -2% but greater than  -3%

Less than or equal to  -3% but greater than  -4%

Less than or equal to  -4% but greater than  -5%

Less than or equal to  -5% but greater than  -6%

Less than or equal to  -6% but greater than  -7%

Less than or equal to  -7% but greater than  -8%

Less than or equal to  -8% but greater than  -9%

Less than or equal to  -9% but greater than -10%

Less than or equal to -10% but greater than -15%

Less than or equal to -15% but greater than -20%

Less than or equal to -20% or lower

Table


Reserve Ratio Factor - 1986 and thereafter Rates

Employers Reserve Account as a

Percentage of Taxable Wages



Greater than 25%

Greater than or equal to 21% but less than 25%

Greater than or equal to 18% but less than 21%

Greater than or equal to 15% but less than 18%

Greater than or equal to 12% but less than 15%

Greater than or equal to  9% but less than 12%

Greater than or equal to  7% but less than  9%

Greater than or equal to  5% but less than  7%

Greater than or equal to  3% but less than  5%

Greater than or equal to  1% but less than  3%

Greater than or equal to  0% but less than  1%

Less than 0% but greater than -1%

Less than or equal to  -1% but greater than  -2%

Less than or equal to  -2% but greater than  -3%

Less than or equal to  -3% but greater than  -4%

Less than or equal to  -4% but greater than  -5%

Less than or equal to  -5% but greater than  -6%

Less than or equal to  -6% but greater than  -7%

Less than or equal to  -7% but greater than  -8%

Less than or equal to  -8% but greater than  -9%

Less than or equal to  -9% but greater than -10%

Less than or equal to -10% but greater than -11%

Less than or equal to -11% but greater than -12%

Less than or equal to -12% but greater than -16%

Less than or equal to -16% but greater than -20%

Less than or equal to -20% or lower

(2)  Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, any employer subject to section 301.1 who is a Group 1 employer as determined by subsection (b) of this section shall have a Reserve Ratio Factor equal to one-third of the Reserve Ratio Factor as determined by paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(3)  Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, any employer subject to section 301.1 who is a Group 2 employer as determined by subsection (b) of this section shall have a Reserve Ratio Factor equal to two-thirds of the Reserve Ratio Factor as determined by paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(4)  If upon application of paragraph (2) or (3) of this subsection the reduced Reserve Ratio Factor is not a multiple of one-tenth of one per centum (0.1%) it shall be rounded to the next higher multiple of one-tenth of one per centum (0.1%).

As used in the foregoing table, the percentages indicate the ratio of the balance in an employer's reserve account to his average annual payroll. Each percentage group shown includes the fractional percentage between such percentage group and the immediately higher percentage group for employers with a zero or credit balance. For employers with a debit balance, each percentage group includes the fractional percentage between such percentage group and the immediately lower percentage group.

(d)  An employer's Benefit Ratio Factor shall be computed on the basis of the following formula:

Average Annual Benefits

-----------------------  X 100 = Benefit Ratio Factor

Average Annual Payroll

to a tenth of a per centum, rounding all fractional parts of a tenth of a per centum to the nearest tenth of a per centum. No Benefit Ratio Factor shall be more than five per centum (5%) nor less than zero per centum (0%).

(d.1)  (1)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this act, and for purposes of this section only, an employer whose employer account was charged with compensation in each of the five calendar years 1979 through 1983 and whose average annual benefits for the period beginning July 1, 1980 and ending June 30, 1983 would, as provided hereinbefore, equal or exceed five per centum (5%) of the employer's average annual payroll, shall be allowed to elect as an option the alternative benefit ratio provided for in this subsection to be used in determining the employer's Benefit Ratio Factor for the calendar years 1985 and 1986.

(2)  Annual benefits for each of the periods July 1, 1981 through June 30, 1982 and July 1, 1982 through June 30, 1983 shall be arbitrarily adjusted to equal five per centum (5%) of the employer's annual payroll for the same period.

(3)  Such adjusted annual benefits for each of the twelve-month periods shall be added to the actual annual benefits for the period from July 1, 1983 to June 30, 1984 and such sum shall be divided by three (3) to determine the average annual benefits used to calculate the employer's benefit ratio factor for calendar year 1985.

(4)  Such adjusted annual benefits for the twelve-month period ending June 30, 1983 shall be added to the actual annual benefits for the period from July 1, 1983 to June 30, 1985 and such sum shall be divided by three (3) to determine the average annual benefits used to calculate the employer's benefit ratio factor for calendar year 1986.

(5)  In addition to the other provisions of this subsection, an employer shall not be entitled to elect the alternative benefit ratio of this subsection unless such employer has no pending appeals of benefit charges and agrees to waive all right to appeal any benefit charges, applicable to the period July 1, 1980 through June 30, 1983.

(e)  (1)  Except as provided in paragraph (2), the State Adjustment Factor for a calendar year shall be computed as of the computation date for such year to a tenth of a per centum, rounding all fractional parts of a tenth of a per centum to the nearest tenth of a per centum, but in no event less than zero, according to the following formula:

Bdr - Dcr

-----------------------  X 100 = State Adjustment Factor

Wt

in which factor "Bdr" equals the aggregate of (1) all benefits paid but not charged to employers' accounts, plus, (2) all benefits paid and charged to inactive and terminated employers' accounts, plus, (3) all benefits paid and charged to accounts of active employers for the preceding year to the extent such benefits exceed the combined amount of contributions payable by such employers on the basis of the Benefit Ratio Factor and the Reserve Ratio Factor. Factor "Dcr" equals the aggregate of (1) interest credited to the Unemployment Compensation Fund, plus, (2) amounts transferred from the Special Administration Fund and the Debt Service Fund to the Unemployment Compensation Fund, plus, (3) refunds of benefits unlawfully paid, plus, (4) amounts credited to the Unemployment Compensation Fund by the Federal Government other than by loan, except that any amount credited to this Commonwealth's account under section 903 of the Federal Social Security Act which has been appropriated for expenses of administration shall be excluded from the amount in the Unemployment Compensation Fund in the computation of the "Dcr" factor. Factor "Wt" equals all wages subject to the law up to the limitation described in section 4(x)(1) paid by all employers. Each item in each factor shall be computed with respect to the twelve-month period ending on the computation date: Provided, That should the computed State Adjustment Factor for any year exceed the maximum rate allowed under this section, such excess over the maximum rate shall be added to the computed State Adjustment Factor for the following year or years.



(2)  The maximum State Adjustment Factor shall be one per centum (1.0%) for calendar years 2013 through 2016, eighty-five one-hundredths of one per centum (.85%) for calendar year 2017 and seventy-five one-hundredths of one per centum (.75%) for calendar year 2018 and thereafter.

((e) amended June 12, 2012, P.L.577, No.60)

(f)  An employer whose reserve account balance is adjusted after January 1, 1980 in accordance with the provisions of section 302(c) of this act shall not be eligible for a reduced rate of contributions under the provisions of this act for the three consecutive calendar years following the computation date with respect to which the application for adjustment was made and shall pay contributions at the maximum rate specified under subsection (a) of this section and sections 301.2 and 301.6 for three years. In the event an employer shall file one or more subsequent applications for adjustment, the provisions of this subsection shall apply to each such application.

(f.1)  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this act, employers who elected to have their negative reserve account balance adjusted for taxable years 1978, 1979 or 1980 will be liable for contributions at the maximum rate specified in section 301.1 and as determined under sections 301.2 and 301.3.

(g)  Wages paid to employes of construction contractors pursuant to a contract or subcontract entered into before July 1, 1983 for the construction, reconstruction or remodeling of structures where the contract or subcontract is either at a fixed price not subject to change or modification or entered into pursuant to the obligation of a formal written bid which cannot be altered or withdrawn shall continue to be subject to the employer's assigned tax rate and the taxable wage base for 1983. This subsection shall not apply to any year following calendar year 1984. No rate assigned any employer who receives a rate on the basis of employment and wages to which this subsection applies shall be less than two and seven-tenths per centum (2.7%) for calendar year 1983 or 1984 and no rate shall be less than five and four-tenths per centum (5.4%) for calendar year 1985 and thereafter.

(301.1 amended July 21, 1983, P.L.68, No.30)

Section 301.2.  Additional Contributions.--Notwithstanding any other provision of this act, all employers required to pay contributions under section 301 or 301.1, except those subject to the provisions of section 301(a)(3) and (4) or 301.1(g), shall pay additional contributions at a rate of zero per centum (0.0%) for calendar year 1989 and at a rate as set forth in section 301.7 for each calendar year thereafter on wages paid with regard to the limitation specified under section 4(x)(1) of this act.

(301.2 amended Oct. 19, 1988, P.L.818, No.109)

Section 301.3.  Additional Contributions.--(301.3 repealed July 21, 1983, P.L.68, No.30)

Section 301.4.  Contributions by Employes.--(a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this act, each employe shall pay contributions at a rate of zero per centum (0.0%) for calendar year 1989 and at a rate as set forth in section 301.7 for each calendar year thereafter of all wages paid for "employment" as defined by the act without regard to the limitation specified in section 4(x)(1) of this act.

(b)  Each employer subject to this act shall be responsible for withholding and shall withhold, in trust, such contributions from the wages of his employes at the time such wages are paid and shall report and transmit such deductions to the department for deposit into the Unemployment Compensation Fund, the Reemployment Fund and the Service and Infrastructure Improvement Fund pursuant to the allocation prescribed in subsection (e), in accordance with rules and procedures established by the department.

(c)  Any employer who is an individual, or any officer or agent of any employer, who violates the trust provision of this section, fails to withhold, hold in trust or fails to transmit to the department all contributions withheld from the wages of his employes in accordance with the rules and procedure established by the department shall be subject to the provisions of clause (2) of subsection (a) of section 301 and sections 308, 308.1, 308.2, 308.3 and 309 of this act.

(d)  This section shall not be deemed to affect or impair the operation of any State statute or ordinance or resolution of a political subdivision which levies or collects any wage tax or similar tax. Contributions made pursuant to this section are not intended to reduce or otherwise affect any tax on wages or similar tax.

(e)  Contributions paid under this section shall be allocated by the department among the Unemployment Compensation Fund, the Reemployment Fund and the Service and Infrastructure Improvement Fund as follows:

(1)  Five per centum (5%) of the contributions on wages paid from January 1, 2013, through September 30, 2017, shall be deposited into the Reemployment Fund to the extent the contributions are paid on or before December 31, 2017.

(2)  During each calendar year from 2013 through 2016, an amount determined by the secretary with the approval of the Governor shall be deposited into the Service and Infrastructure Improvement Fund. For calendar year 2013, the amount determined under this clause may not exceed forty million dollars ($40,000,000). For calendar year 2014, the amount determined under this clause may not exceed thirty million dollars ($30,000,000). For calendar years 2015 and 2016, the amount determined under this clause for each calendar year may not exceed one hundred ninety million dollars ($190,000,000) adjusted by the increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index for the period from May 2013 through January of the calendar year less the amount of Federal administrative funding for the preceding Federal fiscal year.

(3)  The remaining contributions shall be deposited into the Unemployment Compensation Fund.

(4)  The department may deposit contributions in accordance with clause (2) before depositing contributions in accordance with clauses (1) and (3).

(301.4 amended July 2, 2013, P.L.195, No.34)

 

Compiler's Note: Section 18(1) of Act 60 of 2012, which amended section 301.4, provided that the amendment of section 301.4 shall apply to contributions on wages paid on or after January 1, 2013.

Section 301.5.  Surcharge.--Notwithstanding any other provision of this act, all employers subject to this act (other than employers who are subject to section 1003 or who have elected, pursuant to section 1102 or 1202.2, to make payments in lieu of contributions) shall be assessed a surcharge on contributions due from employers at a rate of zero per centum (0.0%) for calendar year 1989 and at a rate as set forth in section 301.7 for each calendar year thereafter. Such additional contributions due under this section shall be collectible in the manner provided in sections 308.1, 308.2, 308.3 and 309 of this act.

(301.5 amended Oct. 19, 1988, P.L.818, No.109)

Section 301.6.  Additional Contribution for Interest and Debt Service.--(a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this act, all employers required to pay contributions under section 301 or 301.1 other than those employers covered by paragraphs (3) and (4) of subsection (a) of section 301 shall have their rate of contribution increased by the rate of the Interest Factor in effect for the applicable calendar year.

(b)  All taxes collected under this section shall be considered to be separate and apart from any contributions required to be deposited in the Unemployment Compensation Fund. All taxes collected under this section shall be deposited in the Debt Service Fund established by section 601.2 of this act. Such taxes will not be credited to the employer's reserve account.

(c)  (1)  The Interest Factor shall be a variable rate not to exceed the maximum rate allowed under paragraph (2) to be determined annually by the department in consultation with the Office of the Budget. The rate of the Interest Factor for a calendar year shall be the rate necessary to do the following in that year:

(i)  pay the bond obligations and bond administrative expenses under Article XIV of this act that are due in that year;

(ii)  replenish amounts which have been drawn from bond reserves under Article XIV of this act;

(iii)  maintain an adequate debt service coverage ratio;

(iv)  fund early, optional, mandatory or other refundings, redemptions or purchases of outstanding bonds under Article XIV of this act that will occur in that year;

(v)  pay the interest on interest-bearing advances under Title XII of the Social Security Act (58 Stat. 790, 42 U.S.C. § 1321 et seq.) that is due in that year; and

(vi)  repay outstanding advances under Title XII of the Social Security Act.

(2)  For calendar year 2013 through the year determined under section 301.8(b)(4), the maximum Interest Factor rate shall be one and one-tenth per centum (1.1%). For calendar years following the year determined under section 301.8(b)(4), the maximum Interest Factor rate shall be one per centum (1.0%).

(d)  Contributions paid by or on behalf of an employer under this act, other than employe contributions under section 301.4, shall be allocated first to the employer's liability under this section. This subsection shall apply to contributions for any calendar quarter that ends at a time when bonds issued under Article XIV are outstanding.

(e)  In the event the amount of additional contributions collected under this section for a calendar year exceeds the amount necessary for the purposes enumerated in subsection (c) for that year, the department may use such excess contributions for the purposes enumerated in subsection (c) for the following year and, to the extent available, to reduce the amount of additional contributions that would be required for the following year.

(f)  No Interest Factor shall be required for any year for which funding is not required for any of the purposes enumerated in subsection (c).

(301.6 amended June 12, 2012, P.L.577, No.60)

 

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