The Solvency Debacle

April 20, 2021

We have fielded quite a few calls and emails this week about the 2021 unemployment rate increases published on April 6th (three months late), and the announcement last night by the DUA that the deadline to pay Q1 contributions has been extended until June 1st. While this extension is certainly helpful, it does not address the primary issue which is the outrageous increase of the solvency rate by over 1400% leading to dramatically higher unemployment rates for nearly all employers. This increase comes despite assurances from the governor and leaders of the house and senate that 2021 rates would be “frozen” at 2020 levels.

Again, we would strongly encourage all employers to contact your state representative, state senator, and the governor’s office to express your displeasure. While the administration has stated that they are “further evaluating the solvency rate increase and will provide more information at a later date,” it is critical that the solvency increase be rolled back as soon as possible so that we may all move forward and focus on building back our businesses.

BizChecks Payroll will continue to advocate for our clients with our elected officials. In light of the uncertainty regarding the unemployment rates, we will not be processing prior quarter adjustments for the first quarter or debiting client accounts until the rates are finalized. Below you will find instructions on how to view your unemployment rates in iSolved and determine your potential liability for the first quarter. You can also view your 2021 rates by logging in to your DUA account.

  1. How do I view my new unemployment rate? To view your new rate in iSolved go to the reporting tab (on the left-hand side of the screen), select report archive, select any payroll with a check date after 4/12, select the payroll summary report, navigate to page two and under employer taxes your rate appears next to the line item Massachusetts SUI ER (ex. 7.64%).
  1. How do I view the rate used in the first quarter? To view your 2020 rate and the rate used for the first quarter calculation, follow the instructions from step one and select the last payroll from March.
  1. How do I calculate my additional liability for the first quarter? If you would like to calculate your additional tax liability for the first quarter (assuming the rate increase does not change), take the difference between your rates and multiply the amount of the increase by your unemployment taxable wages for the first quarter found on the same line as the sui rate for your last payroll in March.

As nearly every employer has experienced an increase in rates, our Payroll Specialists are unable to individually calculate the potential additional first quarter liability. We anticipate that our leaders will do the right thing and roll back the solvency rate increase however please rest assured that, whatever the outcome, we will not debit any employers account without notifying them of the debit amount and will provide this notice as soon as the state finalizes the rate. If for any reason you are unable to fund the debit, we will outline the options available to you with the DUA.

If you have any questions about this issue, please feel free to reach out to Larry Drago at