Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training



2009 Employment Security Fund Tax Rates

November 19, 2008

RI Department of Labor and Training Director Sandra M. Powell announced today that the taxable wage base for the Employment Security Fund will increase from $14,000 to $18,000 for the 2009 tax year. The Employment Security Fund, financed by assessments of all private businesses in the state, covers the cost of Unemployment Insurance benefits for RI workers.

The taxable wage base represents the maximum amount of earned wages per employee that can be taxed in any given year. According to the law, if the Employment Security Fund balance is more than $75 million but less than $125 million on September 30, the taxable wage base will be $18,000 for the next calendar year. As of September 30, 2008, the Employment Security Fund held $116.8 million in reserves.

Approximately 35,000 employers paid into the fund in 2008. While the wage base limits the amount of wages that are taxable, tax rates for individual employers vary according to their experience with the Unemployment Insurance system. In 2009, these rates will range from a minimum of 1.69 percent to a maximum of 9.79 percent in 2009. Employers will be notified of their individual 2009 tax rates in December. The rate for new employers has been reduced from 2.43 percent in 2008 to 2.36 percent in 2009.

2009 Temporary Disability Insurance Tax Rates

Powell also announced today that the employee contribution rate to the Temporary Disability Insurance Fund will rise from 1.3 percent to 1.5 percent in 2009. The contribution rate is calculated by dividing the total adjusted TDI disbursements from October 1, 2007 to September 30, 2008 by the total taxable wages for that same time period.

Also in 2009, the TDI taxable wage base will be $56,000 in 2009, an increase of $1,600 over last year’s taxable wage base. The TDI taxable wage base is tied to the maximum weekly benefit amount, which in July increased to $671 per week. The maximum TDI contribution will be $840 next year, an increase of $132.80 from the 2008 maximum contribution.

Temporary Disability Insurance provides benefit payments to insured RI workers for weeks of unemployment caused by disability. Last year, approximately 422,000 workers contributed to the TDI fund.

About the RI Department of Labor and Training
The RI Department of Labor and Training offers employment services, educational services and economic opportunity to both individuals and employers. DLT protects Rhode Island’s workforce by enforcing labor laws, prevailing wage rates and workplace health and safety standards. The department also provides temporary income support to unemployed and temporarily disabled workers. For more information on the programs and services available to all Rhode Islanders, please call the RI Department of Labor and Training at (401) 462-8000 or visit the web site at www.dlt.ri.gov