The Office of UC Service Centers, Customer Services, will hold an additional webinar on SIDES at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. This informational webinar will last approximately 60 minutes with time for Q&A. If you're interested in attending, please email us at RA-LI-UC-Issues@pa.gov by Oct. 9 and we will respond with further instructions at that time. This seminar is limited to 50 participants.
UC News is Now on Twitter
Did you know that the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry is now on Twitter? Follow us @PALaborIndustry and learn all the latest news and alerts regarding everything UC and more!
Some of the alerts will include:
Upcoming webinar announcements
Upcoming employer seminars conducted by the Speakers Bureau
File Your Quarterly UC Tax and Wage Reports Electronically in UCMS
Effective with the first quarter 2014 filing, employers will be required to electronically file quarterly UC tax and wage reports through UCMS.
If you have not already registered with UCMS to file electronically, the time to do so is now. To access UCMS, go to www.paucemployers.state.pa.us. The Department of Labor & Industry will not be mailing UC-2 and UC-2A forms to employers for any filing period that begins on or after January 1, 2014.
There are several options that employers can use to electronically file their UC tax and wage data.
For employers reporting fewer than 100 employees:
Key online (Employee information can be pre-populated, making it easy to file.)
File upload through the employer portal
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
For employers reporting 100 or more employees:
File upload through the employer portal
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
For information on the file layouts and formats that are necessary for electronic reporting of UC tax and wage data by file upload or FTP, please click on the link below:
If you have questions, please contact the UC Employer Contact Center at 866-403-6163, Option 2 or, within the Harrisburg area at 717-787-7679, Option 2, weekdays from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Eastern Time. To ensure proper handling of your inquiry, please be prepared to provide the name of your business and your PA UC account number.
State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES)
NEW! Sign-Up for SIDES — an efficient, electronic way to respond to department requests!
SIDES is a new, web-based system that allows the Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) and employers to communicate more efficiently when an individual files a new unemployment compensation claim. The system transmits questions from L&I about the individual's claim to the employer electronically, and allows the employer to respond electronically, which will enhance the timeliness and accuracy of UC claims.
There are two aspects to SIDES:
SIDES E-Response for Business. If you are an employer who handles unemployment compensation claims in-house, the SIDES E-Response system provides an easy way for you to electronically respond to the department's questions and information requests.
SIDES for Third-party Administrators (TPA) & Large Employers. If you are a large employer, SIDES provides an automated and efficient data-sharing and file-tracking interface between you, your TPAs, and the department. Because the computer systems "speak" to each other, SIDES now provides the most reliable and efficient way to deal with your large volume of unemployment compensation information transactions.
The department's regular mailing of contribution rate notices for 2014 has been completed. The notices are dated December 31, 2013. Employers can access their rate notice information in their UCMS employer portal. The department will continue to issue rate notices for 2014 throughout the year, as necessary, to newly registered employers and as revisions to rates are required.
Increase in Taxable Wage Base and Decrease in State Adjustment Factor Beginning in 2013
As part of the Act 60 amendments to the Pennsylvania UC Law, the taxable wage base for employer contributions will be increasing each year from 2013 through 2018. At the same time, the maximum state adjustment factor has been decreased from 1.5 percent to 1.0 percent through 2016 and will decrease further thereafter. The following chart lists the taxable wage base and state adjustment factor amounts beginning 2013:
Taxable Wage Base for
(per employee per year)
2018 and thereafter
The following solvency measures will be in effect for 2014:
A 5.1 percent (.051) surcharge on employer contributions, unchanged from 2013. The surcharge adjustment is computed by multiplying your basic rate by the 5.1 percent surcharge. The surcharge adjustment does not apply to reimbursable employers.
A 0.65 percent (.0065) additional employer contribution, unchanged from 2013. The additional contribution is added to your tax rate as adjusted by the surcharge. The additional contribution is not applicable to non-delinquent newly liable and reimbursable employers.
A 1.1 percent (.011) interest factor, unchanged from 2013. Due to the passage of Act 60 of 2012, the interest factor will be used to fund the payment of bond obligations beginning in 2013. It may also be used to fund payment of interest on federal loans, although Pennsylvania does not currently have a federal loan balance. The interest factor is not applicable to non-delinquent newly liable employers and reimbursable employers. Also, it is not credited to the employer's reserve account nor considered for federal certifications.
A 0.07 percent (.0007) tax on employee wages, or 70 cents on each $1,000 paid, unchanged from 2013. Employee withholding contributions are submitted with each UC-2/2A quarterly report. Employee withholding applies to the total wages paid in 2014. It is not limited to the $8,750 taxable wage base for employer contributions.
A 1.7 percent (.017) benefit reduction, unchanged from 2013. With few exceptions, the weekly UC benefit amount for all claimants will be reduced by 1.7 percent.
If you have any questions concerning this information, please contact the Employer Contact Center at 866-403-6163, or within the Harrisburg area at 717-787-7679, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Be an active partner in helping to improve UC payment integrity. Notify the department within seven days of the offer by faxing form UC-1921W to 717-772-0378.
Employers: Save Money by Providing Accurate Information to Employees Who May File for UC Benefits
Form UC-1609P (Employer Information Form) can help your company save money by reducing inaccurate claims, and subsequently, inaccurate charges to your account associated with employees that leave your organization and file for unemployment compensation benefits. Complete the form, and provide a copy to every employee who leaves your organization. This simple step could save your company time and money by providing accurate information for use when unemployment claims are filed by one of your employees. If wrong information is given on a claim, it can create delays that can lead to a wrong financial determination, which could increase your tax rate and/or require extra time and energy on your part to correct.