Toronto, ON — Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is moving forward with a Funding Review to ensure its long-term financial stability.
The year-long Funding Review will gather expert advice and input from workers, labour and employers on a range of public policy issues relating to the WSIB’s financial future, including a plan on how to eliminate the WSIB’s unfunded liability.
To provide business with certainty and stability during the course of these consultations, and in order to help slow the growth of the WSIB’s projected unfunded liability (UFL), the average premium rate will increase by 2% for 2011 and 2012.
The UFL is the difference between the total cost of claims in the system and the funds in the system to pay for them. It has increased due to insufficient premium revenue, rising claims and health care costs and declining investment returns following the recent economic downturn. Currently the WSIB’s projected UFL is more than $12 billion.
The WSIB is also making a number of internal administrative changes that will address the UFL while improving customer service and operational efficiency. This includes a Value for Money Audit of the claims and adjudication process. These actions, along with the modest premium rate increases, will assist in balancing annual revenue with claim costs.
“We are taking important steps in ensuring that the workplace safety and insurance system is financially stable now and for future workers and employers,” said WSIB president and CEO David Marshall. “These steps, along with our continuing commitment to accountability and fiscal responsibility, will steer us toward our goal of achieving full funding, while preserving workers benefits and ultimately lowering employer premiums.”
The average premium rate will rise from $2.30 to $2.35 for every $100 of insurable earnings in 2011 and to $2.40 in 2012. This is well below the average premium rate of $3.00 in the mid 1990’s. The increase is being applied to the average premium rate, meaning more than half of registered employers will see little to no increase, while other employers in high-risk industries with a history of costly injury claims may see increases of more than 2%. Employers with good safety records will continue to be eligible for rebates under the WSIB’s incentive programs.
More details can be found on the WSIB’s website at www.wsib.on.ca.