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Renewing your private plan exemption

Employers with an approved exemption from making Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) contributions must renew their exemption by the exemption expiration date. In most circumstances the exemption period is for four quarters.

Table of Contents

General information about renewing your private plan exemption

An employer with an approved exemption from making paid leave contributions must renew their exemption by the exemption expiration date. In most circumstances the exemption period is for four quarters.

An employer who fails to renew their paid leave exemption will be responsible for paid leave contributions retroactive to the effective date of their exemption. In the event that an employer fails to remit the amount of contributions owed, the Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) will pursue the collection of retroactive contributions as well as any other collections actions allowable under MGL c. 175M and MGL c. 62C. 

How to renew your private plan exemption

To apply for an exemption renewal you must submit an exemption application electronically through your MassTaxConnect ccount. You will be required to complete a new PFML exemption application. You may begin this process during the quarter prior to the expiration of your exemption. (i.e. If your exemption expiration date is September 30, you can begin the renewal process starting July 1).  

When renewing your private plan, the Department will require specific documents. If you are renewing your exemption with a purchased private, please see Requirements for Purchased Private Plans. If you are renewing your exemption with a self-insured plan, please see Requirements for Self-Insured Private Plans

Additional Resources

If you do not plan to renew your private plan exemption

If an employer does not intend to renew their exemption, they must notify the covered individuals and the Department no later than 30 calendar days prior to the exemption expiration date. 

You may notify the Department by contact the PFML Contact Center at (617) 466-3950 or you may send an e-message via your MassTaxConnect account explaining you do not intend to renewal your PFML exemption.  

Obligations for remitting retroactive contributions

Employers with an exemption which was initially effective prior to January 1, 2021, will need to go through one (1) renewal cycle to not owe retroactive contributions. A renewal cycle means an initial term and one renewal term, with each term lasting a period of four completed quarters. An employer that terminates a private plan prior to the renewal cycle requirement will be responsible to remit retroactive contributions back to the effective date of the initial exemption for failure to renew.

If an employer has an approved exemption and has renewed for one renewal cycle, and the employer attempts to terminate during that first renewal cycle (before the renewal cycle is complete), they too will be responsible to remit retroactive contributions back to the effective date of the initial exemption for failure to renew.

If an employer has gone through one complete renewal cycle, at that time, an employer may terminate its private plan without owing retroactive contributions.

Here is a table that lays out concrete dates.

Initial Exemption - Effective Date

First Date an Employer Can Move to State Plan Without Owing Retroactive Contributions
10/01/2019 10/01/2021
01/01/2020 01/01/2022
04/01/2020 04/01/2022
07/01/2020 07/01/2022
10/01/2020 10/01/2022
01/01/2021 or later

At any time. The effective date of the termination of a private plan shall be on the first day of the first quarter immediately following the date of the termination or nonrenewal.

**Note: If the PFML exemption effective date is not aligned with the carrier policy effective date then the employer would be required to remain with the private plan until the PFML exemption end date to ensure no gaps in coverage and that they will not owe retroactive contributions and assessed penalties.

Contact

Phone

For questions about benefits and eligibility: (833) 344-7365

Department of Family and Medical Leave - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

Fraud Reporting Hotline: (857) 366-7201

Department of Family and Medical Leave - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

For questions about contributions and exemptions: (617) 466-3950

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

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