London chamber speaking out against WSIB rate increase
London Community News
Earlier this week, Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) announced that premium rates will increase by 2.5 per cent for all employer rate groups in 2013.
It is a decision that isn’t sitting well with the London Chamber of Commerce.
The increased rate, WSIB says, is a necessary step to reducing the organization’s unfunded liability (UFL), which has grown to $14.2 billion. The move was also made, according to a press release, to create stable and competitive premium rates for the future and ensure a sustainable workplace safety and insurance system for workers and employers
“This decision by our board of directors was made based on sound and detailed actuarial and financial analysis and will enable the WSIB to meet the government’s requirement that the WSIB be 60 per cent funded by 2017,” said WSIB chair Elizabeth Witmer. “In 2011, the WSIB achieved its first operating surplus in 10 years and so far the results in 2012 are even more encouraging.”
In response to the increase, the London Chamber of Commerce issued a media release on Thursday (Oct. 25) where the organization is speaking out against what it says is an average premium rate increase of 2.5 per cent for 2013, 0.5 to one per cent above projected inflation rates for the year.
“While the London Chamber recognizes the need to address the WSIB’s $13.8 billion unfunded liability, we are disappointed to learn that London employers now face higher premiums”, said Gerry Macartney, London chamber CEO. “Given the current economic climate, increased payroll costs could deter investment and job creation at a time when economic stimulus is needed.”
According to a media release, the chamber will continue to press the WSIB to ensure that it follows through on its commitment to become more responsive, sustainable, and client-focused.
To further address the UFL and ensure the sustainability of the system, the WSIB has made operational changes and increased financial discipline, which it says have resulted in positive outcomes.
“While this premium rate increase may add costs today, the retirement of the UFL will result in lower premiums and strengthened competitiveness for Ontario businesses in the longer term,” Witmer said.
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