Secure benefits and stable premiums: today's WSIB
TORONTO, Sept. 14, 2016 /CNW/ - Safer workplaces, better outcomes for injured workers and operational and financial improvements have left Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) in its strongest position in decades, WSIB Chair Elizabeth Witmer reported today.
Witmer's comments came during the WSIB's Annual General Meeting for stakeholders in Toronto, and the release of the Board's 2016 Economic Statement* detailing its operational and financial performance.
A five per cent reduction on the average premium rate for 2017, totalling $250 million left in the Ontario economy through lower premiums was a highlight of the event. The rate reduction comes after brisk progress in paying down the WSIB's unfunded liability.
"After reaching a high of $14.2 billion in 2011, the UFL today has been reduced by more than half to $5.6 billion," President and CEO Tom Teahen noted.
Teahen credited the WSIB's turnaround to several factors detailed in its 2016 Economic Statement*, including:
- Better outcomes for injured workers
- Higher than anticipated premium revenue
- Safer Ontario workplaces leading to fewer claims
"These gains provide us with the flexibility to implement secure benefits for injured workers, while at the same time enabling premium rate relief for Ontario employers," Witmer said.
Teahen said that recent examples of enhanced supports for injured workers include the WSIB's administration of legislated PTSD coverage for first responders, stronger support for firefighters suffering work-related cancers and linking benefits to inflation.
The five per cent reduction is an average figure. In 2017 and beyond, employer groups showing positive performance in health and safety outcomes, as well as in the number and cost of new claims, will see a decrease of up to 14 per cent in their rate compared to 2016, as economic conditions permit.
"That makes today's announcement good news for everyone concerned," Witmer concluded.
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*For electronic copies of the WSIB's 2016 Economic Statement, visit our website at: www.wsib.on.ca
SOURCE Workplace Safety & Insurance Board
For further information: Christine Arnott, WSIB Public Affairs, 416-344-4202, Christine_arnott@wsib.on.ca