WCB proposes drop in 2017 premium rates

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  • 2017 proposed average premium rate drops to $1.24, from 2016’s $1.34 rate
  • Improved safety performance attributed for 10th straight year of lowered rates
  • Saskatchewan’s 2017 proposed average premium rate may be third lowest in Canada

REGINA, SK – Oct 18, 2017 – For the 10th year, the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) has proposed a drop in its 2017 average premium rate, from $1.34 to $1.24 per hundred dollars of payroll. The announcement was made today in Regina at the WCB’s annual Rate Setting consultation with leaders from Saskatchewan’s employer and worker groups.
The 7.5 per cent drop to the 2017 average rate from the 2016 average rate makes it the lowest rate in over thirty years.

WCB Chairperson, Gordon Dobrowolsky said, “The safety performance improvements seen in 43 of 50 industry rate codes have resulted in the proposed 2017 premium rates for 45,778 of Saskatchewan’s 48,357 employers.”
Saskatchewan’s preliminary 2017 average employer premium is 39.5 per cent below the fourteen year high of $2.05 in 2004. The 2017 rate proposal means that Saskatchewan could have the third lowest average premium rate in Canada next year.

“As a Board, we don’t strive to have the lowest rates in Canada, rather we are obligated to maintain a balance between stable rates and a fully funded compensation system,” Dobrowolsky said.

With the 2017 rate proposal:

Premium rates for 45,778 of Saskatchewan employers in 43 industry rate codes will drop. The decreases range from 1.8 per cent to 18.6 per cent. There will be no change in premium rate for 2,367 employers in four industry rate codes.

Premium rates for three industry rate codes will increase next year due to worsening safety performance records. Rate increases for these 212 employers range from 0.6% to 2.6%. The average increase is 1.5 per cent.
WCB’s CEO Peter Federko said, “We see the commitment to safety and injury prevention of Saskatchewan employers and workers in our results. Injuries in our Saskatchewan workplaces cost employers and workers in terms of the human toll and also the financial implications. We can draw a straight line from improvements in injury rates to lower premium rates. This downward trend needs to continue. It’s only together that we will reach Mission: Zero.”

The 2017 rate proposal is being presented to business leaders at two public meetings: one in Saskatoon and one in Regina. For the second year, the rate setting consultation meeting is being streamed live via webcast for stakeholders unable to attend in person. Information presented at both consultation meetings including a full recording of the Regina presentation will be available at www.wcbsask.com.

Background – Rate setting

  • The proposed Saskatchewan WCB average employer premium rate for 2017, $1.24, is down 7.5% from the 2016 rate of $1.34.
  • By proposing to lower the 2017 average premium rate, the WCB is recognizing the improving safety performance in the province.
  • Saskatchewan WCB expects the proposed average employer premium ($1.24) will be the 3rd lowest in Canada for 2017 – the lowest in over thirty years.
  • There are 48,357 employers in Saskatchewan and 50 industry rate codes.

Safety records directly impact premiums

  • Better safety performance records in 43 industry rate codes result in lower 2017 premium rates for 45,778 employers.
  • The decreases in the proposed rates range from 1.8 per cent to 18.6 per cent.
  • Worsening safety performance records in 3 industry rate codes result in higher 2017 premium rates for 212 employers. The average increase is 1.5 per cent.
  • Premium rate increases range from 0.6 per cent to 2.6 per cent.
  • Generally, premium rate increases reflect higher claims costs in industry rate codes.
  • Under the WCB Experience Rating program, employers with above-par safety records can earn premium discounts; poor performers pay a surcharge.

Media contact:

Carolyn Van der Veen

WCB Director, Communications

Categorized under:

Premium rates