UC Issues Update Newsletter
Spring 2013
Volume 16 | Number 1
In This Issue...

UC Amnesty Campaign Set to Begin in June

Act 60 of 2012, signed by Governor Tom Corbett on June 12, 2012, amended the unemployment compensation, or UC, law to include Article XV, establishing a UC amnesty program. The amnesty program is directed at recouping money owed to the UC Trust Fund due to overpayment of benefits to claimants and underpayment of taxes from employers. This program is being spearheaded by the Department of Labor & Industry's Office of Integrity.
"Basically, claimants and employers will be offered a discount on penalties and interest if they pay off the principal balance of their overpayments and tax delinquencies, and in some cases they can pay a reduced amount of principal," said Jim Tillman, director of the Office of Integrity. "The amount of discounts will depend on the type of liability they have."
Article XV requires this program to run for three consecutive calendar months. The Department of Labor & Industry, or L&I, has designated the amnesty period to run from June 1, 2013, to Aug. 31, 2013.
"Claimants and employers will be notified of their eligibility by U.S. mail," Tillman said. "They will be able to make payment in two ways; either online via ePay, or they can mail their payment along with the invoice provided."
The guidelines for the program were posted in the PA Bulletin on March 2, 2013, with instructions on how to participate. A public awareness campaign is being coordinated for the months prior to the start of the program to alert the public to the benefits of participating.
"The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue has run two successful tax amnesty programs, one most recently in 2010," said Tillman. "Based on the success Revenue had with their amnesty programs, we feel certain that the L&I UC amnesty program will help recoup outstanding UC overpayments and tax liabilities and provide public awareness to the seriousness of UC overpayments and tax liabilities."
L&I projects that the UC amnesty program will recoup an estimated $17 million in overpayments and delinquencies; $10 million from claimant overpayments and $7 million from delinquent employers.
Be on the lookout for updates on the UC amnesty program in the coming months.

JobGatewaySM: Let's get to Work!

Launched in July 2012, JobGatewaySM is part of L&I's initiative to transform the landscape of how job seekers find family-sustaining jobs and how employers find the skilled candidates that they need. Through this initiative, a user-friendly, premiere job-matching system is being created to help bridge the gap that currently exists between employers and job seekers.
To search the talent pool in JobGatewaySM, employers must simply create a job posting and connect with candidates for free. Detailed information about job seekers will be made available when performing a search and employers will also enjoy the benefit of sorting and filtering capabilities to help manage referral lists. All candidate search activities can be managed from one location: the "Your Dashboard" function.
In addition, job seekers will have access to nearly 200,000 job openings and can create and upload a resume to be made available to thousands of employers. JobGatewaySM will also recommend jobs to job seekers based on their preferences.
Improvements to the employer and job seeker experience continue to be incorporated. Please visit www.jobgateway.pa.gov for more information and to keep up to date on future enhancements to the JobGatewaySM experience.

UC Management System Employer Tax Release

The Unemployment Compensation Management System, or UCMS, was available to all Unemployment Compensation Tax filers on April 1, 2013, in time for the first quarter 2013 filing period. At this time, it is not mandatory to file and pay UC tax and wage reports in UCMS; however, maintaining your account information, and filing and paying through UCMS will increase the integrity of the data used in determining your UC liabilities.
To use UCMS, go to: www.paucemployers.state.pa.us and follow the instructions below to register for your Keystone ID and password.

Information needed prior to securing your Keystone ID and password and subsequent login

  • All business users must have a valid Federal Employer Identification Number, or FEIN, to secure a Keystone ID and password. An FEIN is needed to authenticate users and ensure that each login credential is unique.
  • If you do not currently have an FEIN, the IRS website explains how to apply. To apply online, go to www.irs.gov and type "FEIN" in the search box at the top of the page.

Instructions to register for your Keystone ID and password

NOTE: UCMS works best with Internet Explorer version 8 and Firefox Mozilla version 17.
  • Click "Register."
  • Enter the required information and then click "Next."
  • NOTE: Please click "Employer" and enter your UC account number.
  • Your UC account number can be found on your Contribution Rate Notice or previous tax and wage filing, Forms UC-2 and UC-2A. If you are having trouble locating your UC account number, please contact the UC Employer Contact Center toll free at 866-403-6163, option 2, or within the Harrisburg area at 717-787-7679, option 2.
  • Review the terms and conditions applicable to UCMS usage. Click "Agree." (If you do not agree to the terms and conditions, you cannot use UCMS.)
  • Enter the required information for "Administrative User" and then click "Next."
  • Enter the required information for "Administrative User" to secure your Keystone ID and password and then click "Next."
  • Click "Print" to print your administrative user information, and then click "Next" to continue.
  • The next screen will provide your UCMS Keystone ID (example: b-johnsmith).
  • Click "Print" or record your Keystone ID.
  • Congratulations! You are now registered to login and perform UC tax activities in UCMS.
Upon logging into UCMS, you will have access to the following portlets and functionality:
  • Employer profile - Allows demographic information updates and allows the employer to associate a third party, such as a payroll processing company, to take certain actions on their behalf
    NOTE: Please add a valid email address as this will be used for future communications should you elect to receive UC tax correspondence notifications electronically.
  • Employer profile messages - Allows up-front view of account balances, reporting requirements and other important messages
  • Representative profile - Allows the third party administrator, or TPA, to associate an employer so the TPA can take certain actions on the employer's behalf
  • User administration - Allows the employer administrator to assign delegate access roles in UCMS
  • Federal certification - Allows the employer to secure a FUTA certification in real time
  • Inquiries - Allows the employer to make inquiries online
  • Quarterly reporting - Allows the employer to view filing history, file and pay online/upload/File Transfer Protocol, or FTP, file adjustments online/upload/FTP
  • Payment history
  • Account balance information
  • Correspondence notification via email and online correspondence access
  • Rate calculator - Allows future rate calculations for budgeting purposes
  • Rate appeals and history - Allows for online appeals and viewing history
Note to all filers:
UCMS is designed to allow you to file and pay your quarterly UC taxes (UC-2) and wage report (UC-2A) online in real time, or submit tax data (UC-2) and wage data (UC-2A) by file upload or FTP. You will need to make the determination as to which process to use based upon the number of employees you report and ability to meet the file specifications if you choose to file by upload and FTP.
The online, real-time filing option where you key in your employees and their wage information directly into UCMS is limited to 100 employees. If you have more than 100 employees to submit, please use the upload or FTP filing options.
Alert! Alert! Alert!
If you do decide to upload files, please make sure the file(s) you are uploading meet the filing specifications using our file-checker program at the following site within the box at the middle of the page:
The file specifications are included in that page as well as in the file-checker instructions.
You can get more information about UCMS by submitting your question by email to uc-news@pa.gov (add UCMS in the email subject line) or by calling the UC Employer Contact Center toll free at 866-403-6163, option 2, or within the Harrisburg area at 717-787-7679, option 2.

Important UC Tax Dates

The Office of Unemployment Compensation Tax Services has issued the Pennsylvania UC Contribution Rate Notice for Calendar Year 2013, or Form UC-657, with a mailing date of Dec. 31, 2012. Employers who received their 2013 UC Contribution Rate Notice with this mailing date had until April 1, 2013, to file a timely rate appeal. You may file a rate appeal if you disagree with any component of the assigned rate that is based on your UC experience. The State Adjustment Factor, Surcharge Adjustment, Additional Contributions and Interest Tax Factor are not appealable as they are not based on an employer's individual experience. They are the same for all employers.
Employers who receive a Form UC-657 with a mailing date other than Dec. 31, 2012, should note that a timely rate appeal must be filed within 90 days of the mailing date of the Contribution Rate Notice. However, when the deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, an appeal will be considered timely if it is postmarked by the next business day.
The last day to file a timely election for a Debit Reserve Account Balance Adjustment is April 30, 2013. More information can be found on the 2013 UC Contribution Rate Notice.
Interest is charged on unpaid contributions from the date the contributions are due until the date they are paid. Both employer and employee contributions are subject to interest charges if paid after the due date. For 2013, the rate of interest is 0.75 percent for each month or fraction of a month (9 percent annually) that contributions are outstanding after the due date. Interest charges will continue to accrue on any unpaid contributions until paid in full.

CWIA Website Updates

In September 2012, the Center for Workforce Information & Analysis rolled out a newly designed website, with a change in domain name from ".state.pa.us," to ".pa.gov." The new website features more user-friendly navigation, allowing the user to gain access to the majority of our publications and products with only a few clicks. The updated home page provides customers direct access to our most requested products including up-to-date current statistics and latest news. Users can easily research the content of the site two ways. The first way allows the user to search via Products for data on employment and labor force, occupations, publications, industry, and economic research and analysis. The second way allows the user to search for data via labor market information resources from his or her own perspective such as a job seeker, educator, employer or workforce professional.
Some of our most frequently visited products include:
  • High-Priority Occupations (HPOs) - HPOs align workforce training and education investments with occupations that are in demand by employers, have higher skill needs and are most likely to provide family sustaining wages.
  • Pennsylvania Fast Facts - This monthly publication provides data on such topics as unemployment compensation, current employment statistics, new hires and job postings.
  • Pennsylvania's Unemployment Compensation Activity - Initial and continued claims provide a count of first-time and ongoing unemployment compensation claims. This data is available statewide and organized by area.
  • Occupational Wages - This publication represents a comprehensive collection of Pennsylvania wage data to be used as a reference for employers, educators, career counselors, and many others. The data is available by State, County, Metropolitan Statistical Area, and Workforce Investment Area.
  • Top 50 PA Employers - Lists the employers with the greatest employment by various geographic regions ranging from county to statewide.
To check out these popular products and more, please visit www.paworkstats.pa.gov.

EMPLOYERS - Do You Have New Hires?

Report your new hires electronically to the Pennsylvania New Hires Reporting Program, saving time and postage. Simply go to www.pacareerlink.state.pa.us and click on the "Report New Hires" link under the "Employers" section. It's fast, free and paperless.
For questions about reporting new hire data, please contact New Hire Customer Service at 888-PAHIRES (888-724-4737) or by email at RA-LI-CWDS-NEWHIRE@pa.gov.
UC Issues Update is published by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry on a quarterly basis. Questions, comments and feedback can be sent via email to uc-news@pa.gov. General UC Tax information is available by calling 717-787-7679 or outside of the Harrisburg area, toll free 866-403-6163 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you have questions regarding UC benefit charges to your account, please call 717-787-4677 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you suspect fraud, contact 800-692-7469.
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