WSIB Releases Preliminary Average Premium Rate for 2008

    TORONTO, June 8 /CNW/ - The WSIB has announced the 2008 preliminary
average premium rate for Schedule 1 employers. For the second year running,
measures introduced in recent years to improve the WSIB's financial situation
have contributed to the WSIB Board of Directors' flexibility to keep the
preliminary average premium rate unchanged for 2008 at $2.26 per $100 of
insurable earnings.
    The Board of Directors' decision comes after careful financial analysis
and discussions with employers, workers and their representatives. The
decision to not increase the 2008 average premium rate was based on an
expectation that health and safety and return-to-work outcomes in Ontario
workplaces will continue to improve.
    "We need to make responsible decisions on premium rates so that we can
provide benefits for injured workers and survivors today, and for the future,"
says Steve Mahoney, WSIB Chair.
    The preliminary average premium rate decision is consistent with the
principles of the WSIB's funding framework approved by the Board of Directors
in 2005. The funding framework provides a prudent and fiscally responsible
process for setting stable and predictable premium rates, while ensuring the
long term financial security of Ontario's workplace health and safety
insurance system.
    "We are pleased to see a continuing decline in lost-time injuries,"
continues Mahoney. "However, the average cost of a claim is still increasing,
and all of us must do more. For 2007, and again for 2008, we have been able to
mitigate some of the average claim cost increase, but only to the point of
being able to keep the average rate unchanged. By working together to improve
prevention and return-to-work outcomes, system partners can further reduce the
financial pressures on Ontario's workplace safety and insurance system.
Improvements in these areas help the WSIB to contain system costs and address
future financial pressures. If all partners in Ontario's workplace safety and
insurance system continue to achieve breakthroughs in health and safety and
return to work, our goal of eliminating the unfunded liability by 2014 is
still achievable."
    Based on the preliminary average rate, the WSIB has calculated
preliminary 2008 premium rates for all employer rate groups. These will be
posted on the WSIB website shortly. Later in June, the WSIB will present
information sessions on preliminary 2008 premium rates for employers and their
representatives. WSIB account representatives will also be personally
contacting those individual employers who are expected to see a significant
increase in their premium rate for 2008.
    The WSIB is releasing preliminary rates now to assist employers with
their financial forecasting and budgeting for next year. Approval of the final
average premium rate for 2008 is scheduled to take place at the WSIB Board of
Directors' meeting in late July.
    The preliminary WSIB maximum insurable earnings ceiling for 2008 is
$73,400. The final maximum insurable earnings ceiling will be set based on the
April preliminary average weekly earnings aggregate, which will be published
by Statistics Canada in June or July.

    Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) plays a key role in
the province's workplace health and safety system. The WSIB administers
no-fault workplace insurance for employers and their workers and is committed
to the elimination of workplace injuries and illnesses. The WSIB provides
disability benefits, monitors the quality of healthcare, and assists in early
and safe return to work for workers who are injured on the job or contract an
occupational disease.

For further information:

For further information: Christine Arnott, WSIB Media Relations, (416)

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