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Employer Requests for Retroactive Exemption

Beginning July 1, 2024, the Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) will no longer approve retroactive exemption requests that span more than four calendar quarters from the date of the request.

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Employer Requests for Retroactive Paid Family and Medical Leave Exemption

Employers that offer approved private plans with paid leave benefits that are equal to or more generous than those provided under the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program may apply for an exemption from making contributions for family leave, medical leave, or both. Employers seeking exemption must submit an application through MassTaxConnect and it must be renewed annually. If you or your business entity are requesting PFML exemption for the first time, please follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply for an exemption with MassTaxConnect

Retroactive Exemption from PFML

Beginning July 1, 2024, DFML will no longer approve retroactive exemption requests that span more than four calendar quarters from the date of the request. For example, a request for retroactive PFML exemption made any time within the 2nd quarter of a year may only be applied as far back as the 2nd quarter of the previous calendar year.

Definition of Calendar Quarters

Quarter 1: January through March

Quarter 2: April through June

Quarter 3: July through September

Quarter 4: October through December

Conditions and Requirements for a Retroactive PFML Exemption Request

For a purchased private plan DFML requires all the following information in order to evaluate and potentially approve your request for a M.G.L. c. 175M, sec. 11, retroactive exemption: 

  1. Documentation demonstrating that the employer notified its employees of the private plan coverage and the effective date of plan coverage. Please visit, Informing your workforce about Paid Family and Medical Leave , for example of the notification requirements.  
  2. Documentation from your insurance carrier showing signatures predating the effective date and confirming the date of coverage, such as the MA PFML Confirmation of Insurance (COI) form.
    1. Here is guidance for when you are filling out the COI form: the policy effective date should reflect the date (MM/DD/YYYY) the policy went into effect, the policy anniversary date should reflect the date (MM/DD) the policy renews each year, the coverage effective date should reflect the date (MM/DD/YYYY) the listed business coverage commenced under the policy.
  3. A signed letter on company letterhead explaining why the employer failed to submit a private plan exemption application on time for the intended effective date. This letter should also include a confirmation from the employer that all of the employer’s affiliated entities and subsidiaries have separately filed for an exemption and are all included in the private plan provided by their carrier, if applicable.  
  4.  A signed letter from your insurance carrier(s) indicating when their coverage commenced confirming that there are no gaps in coverage where there has been a transition between private plans or a transition from the state plan to the private. If applicable, this letter should include all entities that are or were covered under the policy and the date that coverage began for each unique entity.

For a self-insured plan DFML requires all the following information in order to evaluate and potentially approve your request for a M.G.L. c. 175M, sec. 11, retroactive exemption: 

  1. Documentation demonstrating that the employer notified its employees of the private plan coverage and the effective date of plan coverage. Please visit, Informing your workforce about Paid Family and Medical Leave , for example of the notification requirements.
  2. Confirmation of the employers average MA workforce count for the years in question.
  3. Surety Bond running to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in an amount based upon the size of its Massachusetts workforce on the designated form approved by the Department.
  4. The Paid Family and Medical Leave policy.
  5. A signed letter on company letterhead explaining why the employer failed to submit a private plan exemption application on time for the intended effective date. This letter should also include a confirmation from the employer that all of the employer’s affiliated entities and subsidiaries have separately filed for an exemption and are all included in the private plan provided by their carrier.  

Request a Retroactive Exemption from PFML

To request a retroactive exemption from PFML, please fill out the form below. This process is the only way to receive retroactive exemption from PFML. Other actions, such as filing an abatement or empty return with the Department of Revenue, will not provide a resolution for a lapsed exemption and will not serve as a request for retroactive exemption.

Request a Retroactive PFML Exemption Here

Please note the following:

  • In the event that the Department paid any benefits to your employees during the period in which you are seeking approval of a private plan exemption, you will be required to reimburse the Department for all benefit payments prior to the Department approving your private plan exemption request.
  • If the Department approves your private plan exemption request, you will not be able to add an additional entity or subsidiary for coverage with the same effective date included in that approval.  Every entity or subsidiary subject to the PFML law and not specifically covered by a M.G.L. c. 175M, sec. 11, approved private plan will be responsible for remitting contributions to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue for the period in which there is no coverage under a private plan exemption.

Additional Resources

Contact   for Employer Requests for Retroactive Exemption

Phone

Get answers to your questions in English, Español, and Português. Translation services for up to 240+ languages are also available. Call Department of Family and Medical Leave, Get answers to your questions in English, Español, and Português. Translation services for up to 240+ languages are also available. at (833) 344-7365

Department of Family and Medical Leave - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Department of Family and Medical Leave - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Department of Revenue - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Date published: May 17, 2024

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