Massachusetts Paid Family & Medical Leave (PFML)

SLPC 29551 04/19 (exp. 04/20)

Last updated October 30, 2019

Complying with MA PFML

While employees may not take leaves under the new MA Paid Family and Medical Leave (MA PFML) law until January 1, 2021, employers need to take steps to comply with requirements of the law now. Effective January 1, 2021, Sun Life can administer your fully insured or self-insured MA PFML plan.

This site is created for our broker and employer Clients to help them comply with employer responsibilities under the new MA PFML law. Please visit often for updates as the regulations and DFML polices evolve and for more information on the Sun Life MA PFML Private Plans.

Private plan administration

Request a MAPFML quote
Ask your benefits consultant about Sun Life. Here are the steps to submit your fully insured or self-insured private plan application.

Next steps

Tools to prepare you for MA PFML

Answers to frequently asked questions about MA PFML law and regulations.

Employee notification template. Use this template to notify your employees about your MA PFML plan.

Application guide. Use it to help you respond to MA PFML private plan exemption application questions.


Recent updates

September 25, 2019 – We have what you need to file for a fully insured and self-insured private plan exemption. Read our email and next steps.

September 18, 2019 – Sun Life will offer both fully insured and self-insured MA PFML solutions effective January 1, 2021.

There are many benefits of adding MA PFML to your Sun Life lines of coverage. Read our email to learn more. We will share what you need to file for a fully-insured private plan exemption soon. If you are pursuing a self-insured solution with us, you can request a copy our draft private plan template to use with your private plan exemption application below.

July 12, 2019 – Request a copy of Sun Life’s Self-Insured Private Plan Template and our Guide to filling out the private plan exemption application questions. View MA PFML bond requirements for approved self-insured plans. View updated Answers to frequently asked questions based on final regulations from the state.

June 14, 2019 – Additional updates about MA PFML:

  • The DFML has extended the timeline for required employee notices, from June 30, 2019 to September 30, 2019.
  • Employers have until December 20, 2019 to apply for an exemption that will excuse them from the obligation to remit contributions for the full period commencing with the October 1 start date.
  • The amendments to the MA PFML law also make some substantive changes to the law focused on the standard of incapacity that must be shown to be eligible for paid medical leave benefits.

For more detailed information read our email sent on June 18.

June 11, 2019 – Governor Baker and the Massachusetts legislature agreed to extend by three months the July 1, 2019 starting date for employers to begin taking employee payroll deductions and making employer contributions to MA PFML The contribution rate is being increased from 0.63 percent to 0.75 percent of wages on an annualized basis. The Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) has advised Sun Life that this increase is only temporary so that the Commonwealth can collect the foregone premium but, as of June 12, 2019, we do not have details about how long the higher rate will be in effect. This draft employee notification template reflects this change in rates. We will be updating other tools on this site over the next few days.


  • March 29, 2019 – Second draft of regulations released by the DFML for public comment.
  • April 29, 2019 – Date employers may begin submitting applications for a private plan exemption.
  • May 2019 – On May 23 and May 24, the DFML held public hearings on the draft regulations.
  • June 18, 2019 – MA PFML regulations are finalized.
  • July 1, 2019 – MA PFML regulations become effective.
  • September 30, 2019 – Date employers must provide written notification regarding MA PFML to their employees and have a State Mandated Poster on display. (See resources, Informing your workforce, for sample.) 
  • October 1, 2019 – Date employers need to start deducting MA PFML premium contributions from employee payroll and start paying for their portion of the MA PFML program costs. This reflects a delay from July 1 and impacts the amount of premium required to withhold, at least temporarily.
  • December 20, 2019 – Current date by which a private plan exemption application must be approved to ensure that you can keep the First and Second Quarter premium for use with a private plan (rather than have to remit to Commonwealth). This date may be extended in view of the 3 month delay.
  • January 31, 2020 – Date employers remit first employee and employer premium payments to Commonwealth.

This checklist and suggested content are not to be considered legal advice. We recommend Clients speak with legal counsel specializing in labor and employment law to ensure your organization has met all of the requirements under the Massachusetts Paid Family & Medical Leave (PFML) Act.

When available, Sun Life’s fully insured and self-insured MA PFML solution will be administered by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. This service is not insurance.

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