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EI Premium Rates

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Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Quebec Pension Plan (QPP)  and Employment Insurance (EI) - > EI rates

Employment Insurance (EI) Premium Rates

The new Liberal government's platform included lowering the EI rate to 1.65% for 2017.  The previous estimate for the 2017 rate, as announced in the Federal 2015 budget, was 1.49%.  The actual rate for 2017, announced September 14, 2016, is 1.63%.

Year Maximum
Insurable
Earnings
(MIE)
Employee
Rate
Employee
Maximum
Employer
Rate
Employer
Maximum
Self-
Employed
Rate
Self-
Employed
Minimum
Earnings
(1)
EI
Clawback
Threshold

(2)
2017 $51,300 1.63% $836.19 2.282% $1,170.67 1.63% $6,888 $64,125
2016 50,800 1.88% 955.04 2.632% 1,337.06 1.88% 6,820 63,500
2015 49,500 1.88% 930.60 2.632% 1,302.84 1.88% 6,645 61,875
2014 48,600 1.88% 913.68 2.632% 1,279.15 1.88% 6,515 60,750
2013 47,400 1.88% 891.12 2.632% 1,247.57 1.88% 6,342 59,250
2012 45,900 1.83% 839.97 2.562% 1,175.96 1.83% 6,222 57,375
2011 44,200 1.78% 786.76 2.492% 1,101.46 1.78% 6,000 55,250
2010 43,200 1.73% 747.36 2.422% 1,046.30 1.73% n/a 54,000
2009 42,300 1.73% 731.79 2.422% 1,024.51 n/a n/a 52,875
2008 41,100 1.73% 711.03 2.422% 995.44 n/a n/a 51,375
2007 40,000 1.80% 720.00 2.520% 1,008.00 n/a n/a 50,000
2006 39,000 1.87% 729.30 2.618% 1,021.02 n/a n/a 48,750
2005 39,000 1.95% 760.50 2.730% 1,064.70 n/a n/a 48,750
2004 39,000 1.98% 772.20 2.772% 1,081.08 n/a n/a 48,750

(1) This is the minimum self-employment earnings that must have been earned in the previous year in order to claim benefits.
(2) EI clawback threshold is 1.25 x maximum insurable earnings

See our article on EI for the Self-Employed.

EI Basic Exemption

Although there is no basic exemption for employment insurance, if an employee's insurable earnings are $2,000 or less during any year, their EI premiums are refunded in whole.

Small Business Job Credit

A September 2014 Department of Finance announcement announced the introduction of a Small Business Job Credit.  This credit will apply to small businesses with total EI premiums of less than $15,000 in 2015 or 2016.  The employer premium for these firms will be $1.60 (x 1.4) per $100 of insurable earnings, reduced from $1.88 (x 1.4).  This works out to 2.24%, reduced from 2.632%, or a difference of $0.39 per $100 of insurable earnings.  The premium reduction will be in addition to the premium reduction related to Quebec's Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP).  Employee premiums remain unchanged.

EI Rate Frozen

A September 2013 Department of Finance announcement indicated  that the EI premium rate would be frozen at the 2013 level of 1.88% for 2014, and would not increase for 2015 or 2016.  The rates were previously set by the Canada Employment Insurance Financing Board (CEIFB), which has been dissolved.  A new rate-setting mechanism, which will set the EI premium rate annually at a seven-year break-even rate, takes effect in 2017.  The Federal 2015 Budget indicated that this would reduce the rate from 1.88% ($1.88) in 2016 to approximately 1.49% ($1.49) in 2017.  See Lowering the EI Premium Rate in 2017 on the 2015 Budget website.  As noted above, the new Liberal government indicated that the 2017 rate would be 1.65% ($1.65) for 2017.  However, the 2017 rate is 1.63%, announced in September 2016.

EI for Self-Employed

Self-employed persons who opt into the Employment Insurance program will pay the employee rate, and are eligible only for special benefits.  The annual self-employment income required to qualify for special benefits will increase to $6,888 on January 1, 2017, up from $6,000.  See our article on employment insurance for the self-employed.

Not Everyone Pays EI

EI premiums are not payable in some employment situations.  See our article Who has to pay EI premiums?

EI Premium Reduction Program For Employers

Employers who provide their employees with a short-term disability plan may be able to pay less than the 1.4 x employee rate that most employers pay.  See EI Premium Reduction Program - For Employers.

Historical EI Premium Rates

Premium rates for current and earlier years can be found on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) web page EI premium rates and maximums.

EI Clawback

For more information on the EI clawback, see our article EI benefit repayment (EI clawback).

EI Premium Tables for Payroll Deductions

For EI premium tables for calculating payroll deductions, see the CRA publication T4032 Payroll Deduction Tables.  See the Government of Canada web  page Annual Reports on the EI Premium Rate and Maximum Insurable Earnings for more information on how the rates and insurable earnings levels are calculated.

See also our article on Take Home Pay Calculators.

Quebec Employment Insurance Rates

Year Maximum
Insurable
Earnings (MIE)
Employee
Rate
Employee
Maximum
Employer
Rate
Employer
Maximum
2017 $51,300 1.27% $651.51 1.778% $912.11
2016 50,800 1.52% 772.16 2.128% 1,081.02
2015 49,500 1.54% 762.30 2.156% 1,067.22
2014 48,600 1.53% 743.58 2.140% 1,041.01
2013 47,400 1.52% 720.48 2.130% 1008.67
2012 45,900 1.47% 674.73 2.060% 944.62
2011 44,200 1.41% 623.22 1.970% 872.51
2010 43,200 1.36% 587.52 1.900% 822.53
2009 42,300 1.38% 583.74 1.930% 817.24
2008 41,100 1.39% 571.29 1.950% 799.81
2007 40,000 1.46% 584.00 2.040% 817.60
2006 39,000 1.53% 596.70 2.140% 835.38

See above re 2015/2016 reduction to EI rates for small businesses.

Note:   Quebec started providing their own parental benefits beginning January 1, 2006, so their EI rates are lower.  See the article on the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan.

 

Revised: September 15, 2016

 

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