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WCB Proposes Drop in Premium Rates for 11th Year

Oct
17

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
October 17, 2017

WCB proposes drop in premium rates for 11th year
Average preliminary rate suggests a 4% decrease from 2017, making it the lowest rate in over 30 years

• Sask. WCB expects the 2018 proposed average premium rate to be the 3rd lowest in Canada.

• The 2018 proposed average premium rate is expected to decrease to $1.19 from $1.24 in 2017.

• 94% of Saskatchewan employers will see a decrease or no change to their 2018 premium rate.

• In 2017, the Board approved the transition to the WCB’s enhanced rate model. The 2018 premium rates reflect the rate model transition.

REGINA, SK – The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) has proposed a drop in its 2018 average premium rate from $1.24 in 2017 to $1.19 in 2018 per hundred dollars of payroll, representing a decrease of four per cent. The announcement was made today in Regina at the WCB’s annual rate setting consultation with Saskatchewan employers, workers and other stakeholders.

The WCB’s Board Chairperson, Gord Dobrowolsky said, “Improvements in safety performance in many industry rate codes have contributed to the proposed 2018 premium rates. As members of the Board, our goal is to uphold a balance between stable rates and a fully-funded compensation system.”

The WCB’s proposed average premium rate is 42 per cent below the 15-year high of $2.05 in 2004. This is good news for Saskatchewan employers and workers, Dobrowolsky said.

With the 2018 rate proposal:

• 94.1% of Saskatchewan’s employers covered by the WCB will see a decrease or no change to their industry premium rate for 2018. The decreases range from 0.8 per cent to 32.8 per cent.

• Premium rates for 5.9 per cent of employers will increase next year. The increases range from 0.9 per cent to 2.0 per cent and the average increase is 1.4 per cent.

“Injuries at work affect more than the wellbeing of workers and employers. There are significant financial repercussions, which directly impact employers,” said WCB CEO Peter Federko. “What we’re seeing across the province is an ongoing commitment to safety and prevention in the workplace and effective facilitation of return-to-work programs. While we are seeing improvements, we need to remain focused on the goal of Mission: Zero and ensure everyone is committed to keeping our workplaces safe.”

2018 reflects transition to enhanced rate model

The 2018 proposed premium rates reflect the WCB’s transition to an enhanced rate model, which the Board approved in 2017 following an independent actuarial review in 2016.

“While the majority of employers will see a decrease in their 2018 premium rates, and some will see no change, there are 14 industries whose rates would have gone up as a result of the transition to the enhanced model,” said Dobrowolsky. “To mitigate the impact of this increase for 2018 only, the Board has agreed to subsidize the $6.5 million needed to cover increases for industries whose premium rates would have increased in 2018.”

The WCB began its rate model information and educational efforts in 2016, through 2017, and will hold additional public meetings in early 2018 for those employers who will experience the impact of the increase beginning in 2019. Visit http://www.wcbsask.com/wcbs-2016-rate-model-review-recommendations/ to learn more about the enhancements to the WCB’s rate model.

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Media Contact:
Carolyn Van der Veen - WCB Director, Communications
306 787-4386 or 306 535-2374
1-800-667-7590 ext. 4386
cvanderveen@wcbsask.com

The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board is a provincial statutory agency governed by a Board of Directors and is funded by employers. Saskatchewan’s workers’ compensation system was adopted in 1930. At that time, the Workmen’s Compensation Act made into law what is known as the historic compromise: employers became collectively liable for workers’ compensation costs and, in return, workers waived their right to sue for work injury. Visit www.wcbsask.com for more detail on rate setting and other WCB initiatives.

Mission: Zero is an initiative to eliminate workplace injuries in Saskatchewan. Launched at the WCB’s 2008 Annual General Meeting, the Mission: Zero campaign and programs drive home the impact of work injuries and the importance of workplace safety and injury prevention. The intent behind Mission: Zero is to bring about faster and deeper reductions to the provincial workplace injury rate.