Nonprofits approaching deadline for unemployment insurance savings

October 10, 2013

Nonprofits approaching deadline for unemployment insurance savings

Nonprofits in most states are quickly approaching the deadline to opt out of their state unemployment insurance tax programs, which are becoming a financial drain on many employers. In California, where federal loan debts for UI have hovered around $9 billion in recent months, employers could see increases for years to come. Likewise, New York currently has an outstanding loan balance of around $2.7 billion, according to Investor's Business Daily.

While nonprofits and governmental organizations have long had the option to opt out of state UI systems, the Great Recession's unprecedented strain on the system makes now a more important time than ever before to do so. Even states like Illinois, where federal loan debt has been repaid with the issuance of municipal bonds, nonprofits can still save an average of 53 percent on UI costs.

Alternatives to state UI pools available 
The savings for nonprofits and governmental organizations are the result of tax law that allows such entities to reimburse the state only for the amount specifically paid to former employees. In state UI pools, all employers pay in at a specified tax rate, which continues to increase in states with federal loan debt, and the contributions are not proactively reduced if a company's employees collect less than was paid into state funding pools.

The reimbursing financing method is an excellent tool for nonprofits and governmental organizations experiencing financial pressure following the Great Recession to cut avoidable costs. The written request to individual state unemployment agencies for most other states falls on Nov. 30 to elect to opt out of the state program for 2014. California, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York and Wisconsin all have until Dec.31. New Jersey, Oklahoma and Oregon have until Jan. 31, 2014; Tennessee nonprofits have until May 31, 2014.

Self-insuring to cover unemployment does come with risks and is not the right choice for all nonprofits and governmental organizations. Groups such as First Nonprofit offer savings programs for nonprofits that wish to take advantage of the self-reimbursement option and can help file the necessary paperwork with state agencies. First Nonprofit can help your organization decide if opting out of the state UI tax program is the right choice and manage future paperwork associated with UI claims.

For information on how your organization can cost-effectively meet its unemployment insurance needs, contact First Nonprofit Companies at or visit


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Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.

Prevent Blindness America, Chicago, IL

Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools, Chicago, IL

It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios.

Thresholds, Chicago, IL

NYCON members who use First Nonprofit’s programs enjoy enduring savings and improved efficiency. Our association knows that success, because from the beginning, we achieved the same great benefits. Great savings, seamless technology, and responsive service. NYCON highly recommends First Nonprofit’s remarkable unemployment solutions.

New York Council of Nonprofits, Albany, NY

Visually Impaired Preschool Services has been a client of First Non-Profit since it was first offered as a benefit of VisionServe Alliance. We completed a thorough evaluation of cash savings to our agency before taking advantage of this wonderful benefit and it has been a very wise decision. Our experience with the processes from accounting to claims have been professional, expeditious and easy.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

Luckily for us, our interactions regarding any issues with staffing has been very minimal! I can say that all other interactions with regards to billing, 941 reporting, etc. have been extremely pleasant, accommodating and easy to work with. Kim Ghanayem is always prompt, professional and friendly. Thank you so much!

Neurologic Music Therapy Services of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ

First Nonprofit has been easy to work with and makes the administrative process easier and smoother. We enjoy working with you.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

The Ensight Skills Center has enjoyed working with First Nonprofit for several years. We are enrolled in their Unemployment Savings Program and although we have not required a lot of intervention, there have been a few times. I know others have dealt with the same problem of unemployment fraud over the last year and in our case, a call to First Nonprofit (they actually answer their phones) cleared up the issue. They also sent us a letter to send to all our employees telling them what they needed to do to prevent this in the future and protect themselves. What a relief! Over the years if I have questions or concerns, they are happy to listen, advise and help if they can. Another BIG advantage of using First Nonprofit is that all the money that is paid into the Unemployment Savings Program lives on my balance sheet as an asset. The money continues to be Ensight’s not the governments. First Nonprofit has certainly given me peace of mind.

Ensight Skills Center, Inc, Fort Collins, CO