The Department has determined that the 2020 Interest Factor will be zero (0.0%). This is a reduction from the 2019 interest factor of 0.11 (1.1%). The chart below shows the most recent interest factor percentages by year.
|2013 – 2019||1.1%|
During the most recent recession, the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation (UC) Fund became insolvent because the unemployed workers’ needs for UC benefits outweighed the contributions being collected by employers. As a result, Pennsylvania was forced to borrow funds from the federal government to supplement the difference and meet the needs of unemployed workers.
In 2012, Pennsylvania passed a law (Act 60 of 2012), authorizing the Commonwealth to refinance its debt through the issuance of bonds in the private market. This legislation provided several positive results:
- The debt to the federal government was satisfied, which allowed Pennsylvania employers to receive full credit for their FUTA contributions.
- The interest rate of the bonds was significantly lower than the interest rate charged by the federal government, thus saving employers nearly $50 million over the life of the loan.
- The Act established guidelines for repayment of the bonds and interest to ensure fund stability while paying off the debt in the shortest time possible.
UCMS Acceptable File Format Changes
Effective January 1, 2020
The following changes will be implemented on January 1, 2020:
- ICESA files will now be accepted for both tax and wage reporting of original files. Currently, the ICESA file can only be used for wage reporting.
- TAB and SSA file formats will no longer be accepted.
- CSV files will now require a Federal Identification Number (FEIN) in each E Record and contact information in the A Record.
The File Layouts and Formats for Electronic Reporting of PA Quarterly Unemployment Compensation Wage and Tax Data, form UC-2010, provides information on the acceptable file formats and specifications. After January 1, 2020, the UC-2010 will be updated to remove the unacceptable file formats and specifications. The UC-2010 can be found on the UC Management Page of the Employer UC Services section of the website, www.uc.pa.gov.
For questions regarding the file specifications, please contact the Office of UC Tax Services at 1-866-403-6163 and select option 2.
Modernizing the Unemployment Compensation
The Unemployment Compensation Management System (UCMS) will be undergoing a facelift! The Department will be replacing the current portal technology with a more modern responsive design, making it compatible with most mobile devices.
The new design features Action Icons, which reduce the number of clicks it takes for a user to complete an action. If you are not sure what the Action Icon does, simply hover over the Icon for information.
A pre-selected group of accounts and users will use the updated system during the 4th Quarter 2019 filing period. All other users will have the opportunity to preview the updated system shortly thereafter. UCMS will be fully converted by the end of March 2020.
Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.