Paid Family and Medical Leave benefit and rates to increase Jan. 1

The state of Washington is making the following changes to the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Higher premiums

The total premium rate for Washington PFML will increase to 0.6% (from 0.4% in 2021) of each employee’s gross wages up to the 2022 Social Security cap of $147,000 (was $142,800 in 2021).

Increased benefit for employees

The maximum PFML weekly benefit will  increase to $1,327 for leaves beginning in 2022 (from $1,206 in 2021). The PFML benefit amount is based on your income.

Employees to pay a larger portion of the premiums

In 2022, employers will pay 26.78% of the premium and employees will pay 73.22%. In 2021, employers paid 36.67% of the premium and employees paid 63.33%.

The PFML premium calculation occurs on Sept. 30 each year and is governed by state statute (see RCW 50A.10.030). The rate hike appears to be driven by high usage of the program over the last year, coupled with reduced payrolls feeding into the program during the pandemic.

To learn more about PFML rates, go to the Premiums Calculator on the Washington PFML website. For complete information about PFML and to apply, go to Paid Family and Medical Leave or contact them by email or by phone at 833-717-2273.