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 $18,000 to $19,000 for the 2010 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 less than $75 million on September 30, the taxable wage base will be $19,000 for the next calendar year. Rhode Island qualifies for this wage base because its Employment Security Fund is considered to have a negative balance, as it is one of 25 state funds currently borrowing from the federal government in order to meet the demand for unemployment insurance.
Approximately 32,000 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 2010, these rates will range from a minimum of 1.69 percent to a maximum of 9.79 percent. Employers will be notified of their individual 2009 tax rates in December. The rate for new employers has been reduced from 2.36 percent in 2009 to 2.30 percent in 2010.
Powell also announced today that the employee contribution rate to the Temporary Disability Insurance Fund will drop from 1.5 percent to 1.2 percent in 2010. The contribution rate is calculated by dividing the total adjusted TDI disbursements from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009 by the total taxable wages for July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009.
Also in 2010, the TDI taxable wage base will be $57,900, an increase of $1,900 over last year’s taxable wage base. The TDI taxable wage base is tied to the maximum weekly benefit amount ($694). The maximum TDI contribution will be $694.80 next year, a decrease of $145.20 from the 2009 maximum contribution.
Temporary Disability Insurance provides benefit payments to insured RI workers for weeks of unemployment caused by disability. Last year, approximately 411,000 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 Islandís 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.