i
Help is here
Use Our Online Tool to Better Understand Government Funding Programs
+ Expand for- Less Details

Access vital funding to help your business remain open, continue paying your employees, and recover from unplanned circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paychex has created an easy-to-use online tool that details the specific federal relief programs and refundable credits available through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). The tool includes helpful links to applications and a comparison chart of loan programs (Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program) to help you address what would best meet the needs of your current circumstances.

Access the Tool

We recommend discussing these options with your accountant or trusted advisor to determine the best course of action to leverage the incentives available.

Paychex is actively working to help make the PPP loan application process simpler. If you’re a Paychex client, we’re creating a report and ensuring it reflects changes introduced April 2 by the federal government. To utilize the report, your business or your clients’ business must have run payroll with Paychex in 2019.

Customer Support during COVID-19

Updated: April 4, 2020

We at Paychex remain dedicated to serving you, your employees, and your business. We’re continually monitoring the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and are adjusting our COVID-19 contingency plans as necessary to continue providing the same high level of service as always.

Choose a topic

Applying for the Paycheck Protection Program

How is Paychex helping businesses apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan?

Paychex has created a specialized report that has payroll costs calculations you’ll need to complete a PPP application

If you use Paychex Flex®, the new report is available within the Quick Reports section of your dashboard. Access the Report

Note: To get a report, you must have run payroll with Paychex in 2019.

The reports are sufficient for what is required for the PPP loan application with the SBA.

If you have more questions about the report, check out this helpful resource sheet and for additional details about funding options available to your business, view this online tool.

I’m a Paychex client, but I do not use Paychex Flex, how can I access the report?

Please complete this form to be put in touch with a Service Specialist who can assist.

Note: To get a report, you must have run payroll with Paychex in 2019.

The reports are sufficient for what is required for the PPP loan application with the SBA.

If you have more questions about the report, check out this helpful resource sheet and for additional details about funding options available to your business, view this online tool.

I’m a former Paychex client, can I still access the report?

If you previously accessed records through Paychex Flex, you can access all 2019 payroll records until June 1, 2020. If you were not an online Paychex Flex user, please submit your contact information, and our Service Specialists will be in touch.

Note: To get a report, you must have run payroll with Paychex in 2019.

The reports are sufficient for what is required for the PPP loan application with the SBA.

If you have more questions about the report, check out this helpful resource sheet and for additional details about funding options available to your business, view this online tool.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

What is Paychex doing to support the payroll changes needed for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)?

Paychex continues to review implementation guidance related to the FFCRA from federal agencies.  We are updating our systems to support you during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Here’s what we know as of Monday, March 30, 2020:

  • The effective date for the FFCRA is Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
  • The leave provisions of the FFCRA generally apply to all private employers with fewer than 500 employees.
  • Eligible employees with a qualifying need related to the COVID-19 public health pandemic as specified in the FFCRA will be entitled to paid leave as of April 1, 2020.
  • Each covered employer must post a notice of the FFCRA requirements in a conspicuous place on its premises.   
  • Covered employers will be entitled to tax credits in the specified amount under the law for the benefits paid to eligible employees for qualified leave taken under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.

Return to these FAQs for the most up-to-date details about requirements of the Act, employer tax credits, and reporting sick time.

What is covered in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law March 18, 2020. The Act dedicates tens of billions of dollars for paid sick and family leave, unemployment insurance, free COVID-19 testing, and other measures to help Americans impacted by the crisis.

The final bill will take effect for covered employers no later than 15 days after enactment and sunsets Dec. 31, 2020.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

  • Under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, employers would be required to provide sick time, available for immediate use, to each employee who requires such time for qualifying reasons associated with COVID-19.
  • Employers also must provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave (PSL) to eligible full-time employees and pro-rate part-time employee paid sick time based on the average number of hours regularly scheduled in a two-week period. The calculation and caps for compensation vary dependent on the reason for leave up to the maximum $511 per day if the employee is directly impacted and up to $200 per day if it is for care provided to someone else. Aggregate caps exist as well.

Requirements

  • Employees who have worked at least 30 calendar days for a covered employer would be eligible for qualifying leave.
  • Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may be exempt if the leave would jeopardize the viability of their business. Employers with fewer than 25 employees may be exempt from certain provisions related to job protection.
  • Qualifying need is defined as “the employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave to care for a son or daughter younger than 18 years of age of such employee if the school (meaning a primary or secondary school only) or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider of such a son or daughter is unavailable due to a public health emergency.”
  • Eligible employees who qualify for leave under these reasons would be paid by their employer after the first 10 days of leave at a rate of not less than two-thirds of their current rate of pay for the number of hours the employee would otherwise be scheduled to work, up to a maximum of $200 per day or an aggregate of $10,000, for up to 12 weeks in the benefit year.
  • Employees taking leave under the Emergency FML Expansion Act must be permitted to elect to use any available paid time off including vacation, personal time, medical leave, and/or sick leave during the first 10 days of their FMLA leave.
  • Standards for employees covered under a multiple-employer bargaining agreement are addressed separately in the legislation.
  • Exemptions apply for employers of healthcare workers and emergency responders.

For more information, refer to the Paychex WORX article, Funding, tax credits, and paid leave laws expanded to respond to COVID-19 pandemic.

What are the tax credits I have heard about?

The law provides for a 100% tax credit on Paid Sick Leave and Paid Family Leave paid by employers under the provisions of this Act.

Paychex working in concert with our industry coalition, the National Payroll Reporting Consortium (NPRC), to urge tax agency adoption of rules that can be easily and quickly administered or implemented for the FFCRA. More details will be shared as we have them.

What if I already offer paid time off to my employees?

Employers cannot require their employees to take paid time off before using paid sick leave under this Act. These benefits are in addition to any existing sick time policies at your company.

Is there anything specific that I need to do to report time or track hours to qualify for the tax credit?

Yes, new earnings are being added into our payroll system to track the wages according to the benefits in the Act. We’re working in concert with our industry coalition, the National Payroll Reporting Consortium (NPRC), to urge tax agency adoption of rules that can be easily and quickly administered or implemented for the FFCRA When further IRS guidance to understand when employers can begin using these new earnings. are available, we will let you know and provide more detailed instructions.

I need to report paid sick time for my employees. Can I use the new paid sick time today?

We are working to implement these new earnings and will let you know as soon as they’re available. We’re working in concert with our industry coalition, the National Payroll Reporting Consortium (NPRC), to urge tax agency adoption of rules that can be easily and quickly administered or implemented for the FFCRA. In the meantime, please process your payroll as normal, but keep track of any wages that are paid for COVID-19-related absences. As we receive guidance from the IRS, we will help you ensure you can take advantage of the benefits.

I don’t have a paid sick time policy at my company. Am I required to pay workers out for COVID-19 now due to this act?

We’re working in concert with our industry coalition, the National Payroll Reporting Consortium (NPRC), to urge tax agency adoption of rules that can be easily and quickly administered or implemented for the FFCRA. If you choose to pay sick time to your employees now, before we have guidance from the IRS, please keep track of those hours.

Do I need to still call in payroll each week for an individual who is affected by COVID-19?

If you are considered a covered employer, your employees are eligible for wages up to the maximum cap. For you to take advantage of the benefits of the Act, those wages need to be included in your payroll reporting/processing.

Can you stop tax withdrawals from my account because of “Payroll tax deferments/credits?

Our tax team is managing these cases, please contact your normal payroll contact and they’ll connect you to this team.

If employees are unable to work remotely, can I direct them to use up their vacation time before they have to be laid off?

Nothing in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires you to cover employees due to the inability to work because of the location of business shutdowns. Employees may have the choice to use paid leave or forego pay during that period. However, employers must review any applicable state or local law or ordinance that requires employers to provide paid leave and ensure compliance with the same.

What do I do if I cannot send my employees to work from home and they are uncomfortable to work due to shelter-in-place orders?

The Act does not include any provision for paying employees who are unable to work from home and are not able to go to work because of a shelter-in-place order.

I represent a government agency. Do I qualify for support, or does the act only support private employers?

Paychex is working in concert with our industry coalition, the National Payroll Reporting Consortium (NPRC), to urge tax agency adoption of rules that can be easily and quickly administered or implemented for the FFCRA. We’re waiting on additional guidance on the specifics of who qualifies and who does not as far as government workers.

With the passage of the bill that allows businesses to capture various credits, including on Form 941, does my business need to be tracking and submitting credits to ensure timely and accurate reporting?

We’re working in concert with our industry coalition, the National Payroll Reporting Consortium (NPRC), to urge tax agency adoption of rules that can be easily and quickly administered or implemented for the FFCRA. Please makes sure you are tracking any other credits that you would typically apply to the Form 941 return.

When would I receive the credit?

We’re working in concert with our industry coalition, the National Payroll Reporting Consortium (NPRC), to urge tax agency adoption of rules that can be easily and quickly administered or implemented for the FFCRAAs soon as we have IRS guidance, we will update you. We appreciate your patience as we await final IRS guidance and then update our payroll systems accordingly.

Please check the following resources daily as we’ll post updates as soon as the IRS has issued final guidance:

For more information from the IRS, access their FAQs.

What are the exceptions for employers with 50, 25, or fewer employees?

The IRS said that there will be clear guidance for employers with these numbers of employees, but it has not been made available yet.

How do clients apply for reimbursement if they pay employees the federal leave? Will this be a form that Paychex will complete, or is this reimbursement going to be handled with business returns?

We’re working in concert with our industry coalition, the National Payroll Reporting Consortium (NPRC), to urge tax agency adoption of rules that can be easily and quickly administered or implemented for the FFCRA. As soon as we have IRS guidance, we will update you.

How will the payroll tax credits be handled? Will this be accounted for on Form 941, or will another form need to be filed? Will Paychex file this form?

We’re working in concert with our industry coalition, the National Payroll Reporting Consortium (NPRC), to urge tax agency adoption of rules that can be easily and quickly administered or implemented for the FFCRA. We will send updates once we have final guidance.

Paychex operations

Is Paychex still open?

Yes. Paychex is open for business even though some of our locations are closed.

For your health and safety as well as our employees, and to stay aligned with changing government regulations during the COVID-19 (also referred to as “coronavirus”) pandemic, some of our locations have temporarily closed.

We have instituted our Business Continuity Plan (BCP) so we can continue to help you with one of your top priorities – keeping your business running and paying your employees.

Are first quarter payroll taxes being delayed as a result of COVID-19?

According to our sources in Washington, DC, first quarter 2020 federal payroll tax filing and payments will not be delayed; therefore, we’re moving forward with our normal federal tax filing plans. If we learn otherwise, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

We are actively monitoring changes at the state level as well. As these changes are solidified, we will communicate them to you as soon as possible.

Please note that because of COVID-19, you cannot pick up your Quarter-End package at a Paychex branch location as our offices are temporarily closed. Be sure to contact your Paychex representative to verify or change your delivery method and mailing address if necessary. We can also convert you to paperless reports, which is a fast and easy way to receive your reports each quarter. (To receive paperless reports for the first quarter, you must contact us by April 2.)

What is Paychex's plan if some areas of the country are more impacted by COVID-19 than others?

With a national presence of more than 100 U.S. locations, our experienced emergency response team has detailed workflows in place to flexibly shift business functions to unimpacted locations should the need arise.

Can I still pick up my payroll at the Paychex office?

We have temporarily suspended pick up in our offices.  We have alternatives – access all your payroll information online, get overnight delivery from a courier service, set up direct deposit or other payment methods, or receive your package through the U.S Mail. Contact your Paychex service representative for more information about these services.

Now more than ever, you and your employees need the security of knowing that payroll wages will be deposited on time as expected. This is the perfect time for you to set up employees without direct deposit for this service.

Additionally, we have flexible payroll payment options, such as Pay On Demand that allows employees easy access to earned wages, in advance of payday, at no cost to you.  

Contact your Paychex service representative for more information about these services.

What if I can’t get through to my Paychex service representative?

We are actively mobilizing our teams to ensure that we are well-positioned to continue to provide best in class support during this crisis while protecting the health and safety of our employees.

We’ll make every effort to connect you with your assigned representative if you have one. We have a highly-qualified team in place to assist you with your payroll and HR questions, 24 hours a day.

Will someone call me for payroll like they normally do?

Your payroll reporting is “business as usual.” If you normally receive a call from Paychex to report your payroll, expect to receive a call on your regular day. If you normally call us at a regularly scheduled time, then continue to do so. Our call volume may be higher than normal, but we’ll attempt to call you at your usual time.

Is Paychex considered an “essential business”? Will you be able to stay open during any government restrictions?

We are committed to being there for you and will make necessary accommodations so that we can provide service to you and your employees while still following government regulations.

How are your systems being set up to handle sick leave under COVID-19?

We’re in the process of developing and testing software to support the leave that can be taken by eligible employees for qualifying reasons under FFCRA.

  • Emergency Sick Leave – Employee Self-Care
  • Emergency Sick Leave – Family Care
  • Expanded Family Medical Leave

If circumstances require you to pay wages before software changes are implemented, we’ll work with you to pay the wages now and manually update our systems.

We’ll send another message closer to the release of the software changes to give you additional detail about how these earnings will be reported in our systems.

Will I still be able to get my Quarter-End package?

Yes. However, because of COVID-19, you cannot pick up your Quarter-End package at a Paychex branch location as our offices are closed to the public until further notice. Be sure to contact your Paychex representative to verify or change your delivery method and mailing address if necessary. We can also convert you to paperless reports, which is a fast and easy way to receive your reports each quarter. (To receive paperless reports for the first quarter, you must contact us by April 2.)

Payroll processing

Can I run payroll while working remotely?

You can easily run payroll from anywhere through Paychex Flex® and our mobile app while saving time on payroll-related tasks. This gives you time to focus on other things, such as checking on your employees’ well-being.

You’ll be able to:

  • Enter and submit payroll using self-service functionality in as few as two clicks
  • View critical data at a glance, such as check dates and cash required for your next payroll
  • Set up direct deposit, so your business can pay employees on time
  • Track hours for employees working remotely
  • Run reports, such as your payroll journal, cash requirements, and tax deposit notices

You can also give your employees the freedom to:

  • View paystubs online
  • Set up or change direct deposit
  • Update their banking information
  • Update their personal contact information (phone, email, address) to help with contingency planning
  • Check time-off balances

I would like to start using the Paychex online application to report payroll, what do I need to do?

Contact your Paychex service representative, they’ll work with you to set up our online payroll application, Paychex Flex.

How do I set up direct deposit for my employees who don’t currently use it?

If you use our Paychex Flex online payroll service, you can add/change employee direct deposit information using these instructions. Employees can add/modify their direct deposit accounts through their self-service Paychex Flex account.

If you don’t use Paychex Flex, contact your payroll service representative.

How can I track time for employees working remotely?

Paychex Flex Time includes functionality that can automate time-and-attendance tracking for remote employees.

You’ll get help with:

  • Staying compliant with overtime laws and regulations
  • Quickly assessing operational needs through manager dashboard updates in real-time
  • Allowing employees to easily record time, check schedules, approve and review time cards through employee self-service
  • Offering punch in options that meet your employee’s needs, such as mobile, web, and talent
  • Determining how resources and time are spent with greater precision

I need to pay an employee for a pay period that crosses over April 1, 2020. How do I handle that?

For any wages for March 31, 2020, and before, employees should be paid for worked time as usual. If they were unable to work for any reason, including reasons attributed to COVID-19 (personal health, to care for a child impacted by school and daycare closures, or under quarantine), employees are to be paid using available sick and paid time off (PTO) time. 

For example: Weekly pay period that starts on Sunday, March 29, 2020, and ends on Saturday, April 4, 2020, with a check dated Wednesday, April 8:

  • The pay for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (March 31) should be paid as sick, PTO, or earned work hours.
  • Pay for Wednesday (April 1) through Saturday (April 4) should be paid under the new earnings.

This is applicable only to eligible employees unable to work or telework due to a qualifying reason stated in the FFCRA.

Financial assistance tools and resources

What tools or resources are available to help with cash flow or financial assistance?

Paychex gives customers access to many financial wellness tools to help employees receive the financial assistance they need when they need it.

For employees

  • Pay-on-Demand gives employees on-demand, real-time access to earned income with no fees to employees for transactions as of the article publication date
  • Through our financial wellness program available to all clients at no cost, FinFit offers short-term employee loans for emergencies along with financial consulting and other services
  • Access to retirement savings in a crisis through either a loan or hardship withdrawal

For customers:  

Health insurance and workers’ compensation

How may the Families First Coronavirus Response Act affect my business and employees?

The federal government has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act into law in response to the public health emergency created by COVID-19. This legislation covers family and medical leave, paid sick leave, and payroll taxes. For specific details, read the Families First Coronavirus Response Act FAQs and read the Paychex WORX article, Funding, tax credits, and paid leave laws expanded to respond to COVID-19 pandemic.

Is COVID-19 screening and diagnostic testing covered by my health benefits package?

Many health insurers are responding to the threat of COVID-19 by offering members no-cost screening and diagnostic testing. Please contact your insurance provider or visit their website for detailed information. 

Several of our carrier partners have specific COVID-19 information and policies. A few of them are listed here. Be sure to check your carrier’s website for more detail:

Is there anything employees currently without health insurance can do?

Certain states have recently announced an individual market special enrollment period for qualified individuals currently without health insurance. Other states may soon follow. Paychex has a team that specializes in helping employees find coverage that fits their individual insurance needs.

Do Medicare and Medicaid provide COVID-19 coverage?

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued FAQs that intend to clarify how COVID-19 coverage applies to Essential Health Benefits. Note that EHBs may vary by state, and cost-sharing requirements may vary by plan.

Can HSA participants use their funds to pay for testing and treatment?

HSA participants can use their accounts to pay for qualified medical costs, such as COVID-19  treatment. Regarding carriers and what’s allowed to maintain an HSA-qualified plan, the IRS has announced that high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) can pay for COVID-19-related treatment before the deductible applies without jeopardizing their plan status. This means that an individual with an HDHP that covers these costs may continue to contribute to a health savings account (HSA).

Learn more about HDHPs and HSAs

Will workers’ compensation cover COVID-19 illness if contracted at work or during work-related travel?

Please contact your insurance carrier directly for specific coverage information. Some of our partner links are listed here:

If I am forced to close my business does my General Liability policy or Business owner policy cover business interruption costs?

Please contact your insurance carrier directly for specific coverage information. 

If I am ordered to self-quarantine, is that covered under New York State Disability?

Please contact your insurance carrier directly for specific coverage information. 

Human resources

Where can I find support for human resources?

For customers using our HR Services offerings, please contact your Paychex HR professional.

I will be furloughing some or all my employees. How will Paychex PEO handle this?

Consider leaving furloughed employees as active in payroll – we do not currently have a Leave of Absence (LOA) status that would apply to this scenario, so it is not recommended to place employees on leave.

If you offer PEO benefits, these will continue to be offered for active employees. See "I am furloughing my employees and keeping their PEO account active. What happens to their benefits?" for more information on the monthly Benefit True-Up process.

I will be running payroll in March/April, but it will include a lower employee count. How will the PEO handle this?

If you can process at least one payroll in April, the PEO account will remain open – then again into May, and so on. We will be as accommodating as possible. We understand this payroll may include significantly fewer employees than your typical payroll.

I have given my notice to leave Paychex PEO. What should I do?

We believe you will need us now more than ever, so our goals continue to be, showing value and retaining your business. Call us and give us an opportunity to talk to you.

As the end of a co-employment relationship is not a COBRA-eligible event, active employees at the time the PEO account is ended will not be eligible for COBRA.

I’m letting-go employees, what happens to their benefits?

PEO benefits for employees who are let go will run through the last day of the month in which they are let go. COBRA notices will automatically be sent within 14 days of the discontinued employment being entered in payroll. Example: if an employee is let go on 3/20, benefits will terminate on 3/31. If you self-retain benefits, you should contact your broker/administrator for direction.

I am furloughing my employees and keeping their PEO account active. What happens to their benefits?

If you leave the employees active and continue running payroll, benefits will remain active and you would be responsible for the missed premiums through the monthly Benefit True-Up process.

The March Benefit True-Up will run on 4/7 and deduct on 4/17. The April Benefit True-Up will run on 5/5 and deduct on 5/15 (and so on). You can determine if you will require employees to pay back missed premiums or if you will cover those costs. This would provide a “float” of the premiums while keeping benefits in place. This is the most common way to continue benefits for furloughed employees.

When I’m ready to rehire employees that were let go, would the benefits waiting period still apply?

If the employee is reinstated within 30 days of the date employment is discontinued, benefits are automatically reinstated without a waiting period, effective the first of the month following the date employment is discontinued to avoid a lapse in coverage. If there is a break in service of more than 30 days, the employee would serve a new waiting period.

Example: an employee is let go on 3/20 and rehired on 4/5; benefits would be reinstated 4/1, missed premiums would be deducted on the monthly Benefit True-Up statement, if applicable.

I will be reducing employees’ hours, potentially to below 30 hours/week. How will my benefits be affected?

You are responsible for determining Full Time (FT)/Part Time (PT) status, tracking changes to employee average hours worked and making updates to FT/PT status in payroll. Under the benefit plans offered through the PEO, if you change an employee from FT to PT, their benefits will terminate on the last day of the month in which the change is effective. An employee who works at least 30 hours a week is full-time under the PEO plan. A small dip in average hours worked does not necessarily require a change to FT/PT status. We recommended that you use discretion when making changes to an EE’s FT/PT status during this time.  If you self-retain benefits, you should contact your broker/administrator for direction.

Keep in mind that Applicable Large Employer (ALE) under the Affordable Care Act’s Employer Shared Responsibility (ESR) provisions have additional considerations. An ALE that utilizes the Look-Back Measurement Method must offer adequate and affordable coverage to employees determined to be full-time employees for the duration of the stability period or risk potentially being assessed a penalty if a full-time employee receives a premium tax credit when purchasing insurance in a government marketplace. An offer of COBRA coverage qualifies as an offer of coverage for ESR purposes but is less likely to be affordable under ESR provisions, putting the ALE at risk of an assessment. 

Note: If employees don’t have enough gross wages to cover their benefit premiums, they will not be deducted. Premiums will be captured on your monthly Benefit True-Up statement. See "When I’m ready to rehire employees that were let go, would the benefits waiting period still apply?"

How will the pending regulations (Families First Coronavirus Response Act – HB6021, etc.) affect me?

We will continue to monitor the progression of regulations through development and enactment. We do not anticipate the co-employment relationship to have an impact on your requirement and/or ability to comply. You should determine if you are required to comply with any current or future COVID-19 regulations. Please work with your HR Coach on these matters.

Will PEO-sponsored short- and long-term disability plans work in coordination with any other pay (state disability, proposed PSL/FMLA, etc.)?

No, Short-Term Disability (STD)/Long-Term Disability (LTD) plans do not coordinate with any other benefits.

If I need to lay off my employees, would they still be covered for health insurance?

Termination and a reduction in hours are considered COBRA qualifying events. If employees are no longer be eligible for the group health plan because of termination or reduction in hours, they would likely be eligible for COBRA or state continuation of health insurance coverage. Note that in the case of a layoff that is intended to be temporary, employers should review their plan documents or speak with their account manager or insurance agent to determine if and how long employees may stay on their group health plan before coverage is terminated.

  • If you process payroll through Paychex and you subscribe to our COBRA administration service, entering a termination in our payroll system will trigger sending your affected employees a notification from us of their right to enroll in COBRA or state continuation of coverage.
  • If you don’t subscribe to our COBRA administration service, please consult your COBRA administrator for information on how to notify your affected employees.
  • If you are a Paychex Insurance Agency client, please contact your account manager with any questions. If you are a PaychexOne, Oasis, or HROi client, please contact your HR representative with any questions. If you are a BeneTrac client, please contact your account manager or account executive with any questions.

401(k) and retirement

Where can I find support for my retirement plan?

For customers using Paychex Retirement Services offerings, please log in to www.paychexflex.com and access the Help Center & Chat options by selecting the question mark icon on any page. You can also email a representative at 401kcustomerservice@paychex.com.

What is the CARES Act?

President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law on March 27, 2020. While most of the law provides economic help for businesses, it also offers relief options for participants of 401(k) retirement plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), including:

  • Enhanced loan availability and relief for outstanding loan repayments
  • COVID-related distributions and waived early withdrawal penalty
  • Waived Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) for the 2020 calendar year
     

Paychex has written a CARES Act WORX article outlining some of the high-level provisions.

How do I know if an employee is eligible for 401(k) relief under the CARES Act?

To qualify for CARES Act 401(k) loan and distribution relief, the request must be related to Coronavirus (COVID-19), self-certified by the participant, and confirmed by the plan administrator. A participant actively employed or on a leave of absence will be a qualifying individual if any of the following conditions are met:

  • He or she, a spouse, or dependent was diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • He or she experienced adverse financial consequences because of quarantine, furlough, lay off, reduced work hours, or lack of child care due to COVID-19.
  • The business was closed or had reduced operating hours because of COVID-19.

How do I confirm or certify that an employee is eligible for CARES Act relief?

The Plan Administrator must sign a self-certification statement form that will be included in all Paychex COVID-19 related distribution or loan paperwork. Your plan participant will come to you with this document for signature and return it to Paychex.

Can I tell participants that they can request a CARES Act relief option through Paychex right now?

Paychex is working diligently to support you and your participants, as well as update our internal processes as quickly as possible. If your plan does not currently allow for loans or hardship withdrawals, you can amend the plan to add these features. When we receive participant requests, we will be taking note to email the necessary paperwork to individuals once our processes are ready.

How does the CARES Act Impact Retirement Plan Loans?

If your retirement plan offers loans and the participant qualifies for CARES Act relief, the following changes apply:

  • The maximum loan amount for loans issued between March 27 and September 23, 2020, was increased to the lesser of 100% of a participant’s vested account balance or $100,000 (minus any outstanding loan balances). 
  • Participants who have new loan balances between March 27 and December 31, 2020, can defer repayments for up to one year.

Can a participant stop repayments on an existing loan?

Participants who qualify for CARES Act relief and held a retirement plan loan balance between March 27 and December 31, 2020, can defer existing loan repayments for up to one year. The delayed timeframe will be disregarded from the loan amortization schedule.

How does the CARES Act Impact Retirement Plan Distributions?

Qualifying participants can take a distribution of up to $100,000, between January 1 and December 31, 2020, from a qualified retirement plan.

The CARES Act waives the 10% early withdrawal penalty for anyone under age 59 ½.  Also, participants can request reduced or 0% tax withholding from the distribution and spread the tax liability over a three-year period. Without specific election, the standard withholding is 10% federal tax. All relevant information will be included on their Paychex paperwork.

Does COVID-19 qualify as an eligible hardship expense?

If your retirement plan offers hardship withdrawals, and the state in which the qualifying plan participant resides (or is employed) is declared a federal disaster area by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the participant may be eligible for a 401(k) hardship withdrawal for expenses and losses incurred because of the disaster. FEMA is updating the state list regularly at fema.gov/disasters.

How does the CARES Act Impact Required Minimum Distributions (RMD)?

RMDs are suspended for 2020 for all qualifying RMD retirement plan and IRA participants required to withdraw funds from such retirement accounts between January 1 and December 31, 2020 (including required beginning date distributions for April 1, 2020).

Look for Updates

Paychex is here, ready, and able to support you through the COVID-19 pandemic. Look for updates from us as new information becomes available.

For more about how you can respond to COVID-19 and other disruptive scenarios, please contact your Paychex representative, visit our Coronavirus Help Center, or reach out to us through one of the following support options.