March 30, 2015
The opportunity for nonprofit organizations, governmental entities, and tribal enterprises to save substantially by opting out of paying the state unemployment tax (SUTA) is very real and may initially seem like a windfall. But such action is not without its hazards.
Protecting these new savings dollars and carefully guarding against future losses requires:
• A clear understanding of the impending short and long-term liability and risk,
• a diligent, rigorous annual evaluation and subsequent re-evaluations, and
• a solid strategy that minimizes costs and is insured against prospective unexpected losses.
The election by a nonprofit to opt out of paying SUTA and “reimburse” the state for future unemployment benefit charges is essentially choosing to self-insure that risk. Once such a decision is made, going back to paying the tax is not difficult, except to do so may be cost prohibitive.
So the progressive nonprofit making the reimbursing election must thoughtfully consider their level of risk tolerance and choose a funding strategy that meets their budget capability while providing the highest level of downstream protection. Because all unemployment reimbursing costs are unknown, establishing a solid funding strategy requires:
1. Complete understanding and analysis of previous (normally three years history) unemployment losses matched against similar time-period employee populations and payroll,
2. Careful monitoring and cost management of the current year’s budget for unemployment activity, and
3. Thoughtful consideration of projected funding, budget constraints and risk tolerance in the next budget year.
Those who pay SUTA have no choice to make other than from what pot of money the funds for the fixed tax rate will be paid. To enjoy the privilege of lowering SUTA costs by reimbursing, proactive managers will explore what tools are available to establish the best funding strategy available for their organization. Nonprofit organizations should think of the reimbursing method as paying for SUTA as they go, and then remember how volatile and mutable their own funding can be.
Content presented by First Nonprofit Group, the leading provider of state unemployment insurance solutions for 501(c)(3) nonprofit employers.
Source: First Nonprofit Group’s “Financial Mechanics of Funding SUTA” series
Next article, “Understanding SUI Risk Transfer”
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.
We were introduced to First Nonprofit through another housing authority. In our analysis and comparison to what we were paying the State, our first year savings was $5,800 plus. We have been with them since the end of 2008 and I am glad we have been. I consider them an arm of our HR department.
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.
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.