This program allows the state's businesses to manage their unemployment insurance costs by paying additional contributions in order to:
- lower their experience rating, and
- reduce their UI contributions for the forthcoming year.
Any voluntary contributions you pay are credited directly to your company's account balance.
This increases your company's reserve percentage and lowers your company's UI contribution rate.
An exact, predetermined amount must be paid.
The voluntary contributions amount can be enough to reduce the rate to:
- the next lowest rate,
- the lowest rate on the rate table currently in effect, or
- any rate in between.
But paying voluntary contributions may not result in enough savings for your company. To help you decide if this program is right for you, just follow the steps below.
1. Determine your company's eligibilityNot all Massachusetts employers can participate in making voluntary contributions.
Here are the basic requirements. Employers must:
- be eligible for experience rating;
- have filed all quarterly Employment and Wage Detail Reports to date;
- have paid all UI contributions, interest, surcharges and penalties to date.
This means that there are categories of employers for whom voluntary contributions is not an option. These include:
- new employers until they receive an experience rating;
- employers who are at the lowest rate-of the schedule in effect for that calendar year;
- employers who are delinquent in filing or paying their UI contributions, interest surcharges or penalties.
If your company has any unpaid obligations to DUA, you may:
- file any outstanding reports,
- pay the amount owed, and
- then choose to pay voluntary contributions.
This must all be completed within the 30 days allowed for paying voluntary contributions. Any outstanding debt must be paid separately and cannot be included with your contributions payment.
There are other categories of employers who are not eligible for voluntary contributions:
- governmental employers,
- suspended accounts, and
- employers with no wages.
2. Calculate if voluntary contributions work for your business
To make it easy for you to include all the options, DUA has developed a voluntary contributions calculator within the QUEST system.
The calculator will you to select a variety of rates and will provide you with the amount needed to have a specific experience rate assigned to your company.
You will need your current "Notice of Employer's Unemployment Insurance Contribution Rate" when using the calculator.
All you need to do is:
- enter your account balance,
- enter the wages subject to contribution,
- click "Submit" - and the screen will display all the next lower rates and the payment required for each of those rates.
You can print the calculator results for your records and download a voluntary contribution payment form to submit with your voluntary contributions payment.
Some other things you should know
Voluntary contribution payments:
- cannot be used for any purpose other than to reduce a company's UI contribution rate;
- cannot be refunded;
- are not considered for FUTA 940 certification;
- do not reduce Unemployment Health Insurance (UHI) or Workforce Training contribution amounts, and
- do not retroactively reduce UI contribution rates.
If you have questions about your company's eligibility, or simply want more information, please call the DUA Contributions Department at 617-626-6893.