Dear Valued Customer,

The State of New York recently announced the updated NY Paid Family Leave (NY PFL) employee contribution rate and benefit provisions for the upcoming 2020 calendar year.  Details of these updates, along with info regarding billing and policy documents, are outlined below and will be effective January 1, 2020. 

NY PFL Rate and Benefit Updates for 2020:

NY PFL Employee Contribution Rate Change for 2020

Employee Rate 0.270% of employee’s weekly wages, 
up to annualized NYS Average Weekly Wage (NYSAWW-$1,401.17*)
Annualized NYS Average Weekly Wage Cap $72,860.84
Maximum Employee Annual Contribution $196.72

Please note that the PFL contribution rate is established by New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) and is the same for all employees, regardless of age or gender, and is subject to change annually. PFL is intended to be 100% employee paid, with employers responsible for collecting the PFL contributions through employee payroll deductions.  As a reminder, employers are not required to contribute, but they may contribute to or pay the entire PFL premium if they so choose.

NY Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefit Provisions

Claim Year 2020 2019
Effective Date January 1, 2020
(applicable to new leaves beginning 1/1/20 or later)
January 1, 2019
(applicable to all leaves
initiated in 2019)
Maximum Length of Paid Leave 10 weeks 10 weeks
Payable Benefit % of an Employee’s Average Weekly Wage 60% 55%
Maximum Weekly Benefit
(Cap % of NY State Average Weekly Wage (NYSAWW*))
(60% of NYSAWW of $1,401.17*) 
(55% of NYSAWW of $1,357.11)

Please note that, per NY State regulations, all claims initiated in 2019 will continue to be paid benefits based on 2019 benefit provisions through the duration of the claim, even if the claim extends into 2020. For example, if a bonding claim is initiated in December 2019 for 10 weeks, even though the claim period extends into 2020, since the claim was initiated in 2019, 2019 benefit provisions will apply for the duration of the 10-week claim. 

Guardian Billing Updates for 2020

  • For all billing modes, your 2020 Guardian Premium report will simply be updated to reflect the new 2020 NY PFL rate provisions. Detailed instructions will be included to assist you in the completion of the premium report.

PFL Policy Documents

  • You will be provided an updated policy rider and poster as mandated by the State of New York prior to 01/01/2020.

What You Need to Do Now

  • Consult with your payroll department and/or payroll vendor to advise them of the updated NY PFL employee contribution rate, effective January 1, 2020, to ensure they are prepared to begin taking the correct employee payroll deductions for 2020.  As the employer, you are responsible to ensure the correct employee deductions are applied. Therefore, it’s critical that you confirm that your payroll department and/or external payroll vendor are taking the employee deductions based on the established NY State guidelines, which dictates that the payroll deductions should be taken as a percentage of an employee’s gross weekly taxable wages, up to the annual wage cap of $72,860.84, for a maximum annual contribution of $196.72 for 2020.
  • Update your current Company Leave Policies/Employee Handbooks and make any needed updates to reflect the updated NY PFL state mandated benefit provisions. 
  • Advise your employees of the updated benefit provisions which will take effect 1/1/2020 and inform them of the updated payroll deduction rate for this benefit. 

If you still have additional questions, we can help. You can visit our dedicated Guardian Anytime NY PFL webpage at for more details or feel free to contact your Guardian Representative. Our Customer Response Unit is also available at 1-888-278-4542 or You can also visit New York’s PFL Website at

We appreciate your business and are here to help you and your employees. 


The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America


 *The New York State Department of Labor annually publishes the NY State Average Weekly Wage by March 31 of each year, which will be the basis for determining the maximum benefit payable for the subsequent calendar year.

The information in this letter is intended for informational purposes and is not intended as legal advice. Please consult with appropriate professionals for legal, tax, and compliance advice. In the event of any conflict between our presented materials and the relevant insurance policy, the policy will control.

GUARDIAN® is a registered service mark of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America®

2019-84219 (8/21)

2019-84219 (8/21)