Pays off $14.2 billion unfunded liability almost 10 years ahead of schedule Reduces average premium rate by 29.8 per cent in 2019
TORONTO, Sept. 26, 2018 /CNW/ - The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has eliminated its unfunded liability (UFL) almost 10 years ahead of its legislated schedule, achieving a historic financial milestone.
The UFL – the shortfall between the money needed to pay future benefits and the money in the insurance fund – existed for decades and reached a high of $14.2 billion in 2011.
In 2009, the Auditor General of Ontario warned that the UFL put the WSIB at risk of not being able to meet its obligations to people.
"This achievement safeguards Ontario's workplace health and safety system," said Elizabeth Witmer, Chair of the WSIB. "People who are hurt or become ill as a result of their work can have confidence we will be here to help them now and always."
Ontario businesses, which played an important role in paying down the UFL, will now see a significant reduction to the average premium rate, leaving more money in the economy. The 2019 average premium rate will decrease by 29.8 per cent from $2.35 to $1.65.
"Today's premium rate announcement leaves $1.45 billion in the economy every year that businesses can invest in new jobs, new technology, and health and safety improvements," said Witmer.
Along with eliminating the UFL, the WSIB has launched a new Strategic Plan focused on helping businesses improve health and safety, achieving better return-to-work and recovery outcomes for people, and updating services and technology while maintaining fiscal discipline.
"We've moved from a tipping point to a turning point," said Thomas Teahen, President and CEO of the WSIB. "We are focused on making changes to give people faster, more personalized service to meet their needs and expectations."