Ontario WSIB Releases Preliminary Aggregate Premium Rate for 2007

TORONTO, ONTARIO – (July 31, 2006) – The WSIB has announced the 2007 preliminary aggregate premium rate for Schedule 1 employers. The WSIB plans to maintain the aggregate premium rate for 2007 at $2.26 per $100 of insurable earnings. This is unchanged from the 2006 aggregate premium rate. This decision comes after careful financial analysis, and numerous meetings and discussions with employers, workers and their representatives.

“The WSIB has introduced a number of measures to improve its fiscal situation. These measures are helping to alleviate some financial pressures on the system, but they can not address all of them,” says WSIB Chair Steve Mahoney. “It is only by working together to improve health and safety and return to work outcomes in Ontario’s workplaces that we can deal with the biggest financial pressures on the workplace safety and insurance system.”

Mahoney’s statement confirms the WSIB’s position that the decision to hold the line on the aggregate premium rate assumes that significant progress will continue on key issues of concern to Ontario’s workers – such as safer workplaces, and improved return to work outcomes for injured workers.

“Employers, workers and all prevention partners deserve credit for the significant gains that have been made in injury and illness reduction in recent years. A lot of good work has been done, but we must do more,” continues Mahoney. “The WSIB, along with workers, employers, and all partners in Ontario’s workplace health and safety insurance system must continue to reduce the human toll of workplace injuries and illnesses for Ontario’s workers, families and communities,” concludes Mahoney. “Improvements in these areas help the WSIB to contain system costs and address future financial pressures.”

The preliminary aggregate premium rate decision is consistent with the principles contained in the WSIB’s Funding Framework approved by its Board of Directors last year. The Funding Framework provides a prudent and fiscally responsible process for setting stable and predictable premium rates for employers, while ensuring long-term financial security for the province’s workplace health and safety insurance system.

Preliminary rates for all employer rate groups will be posted on the WSIB website shortly. Beginning in August, the WSIB’s Actuarial and Revenue Policy staff will present information sessions on 2007 premium rates for employers and their representatives.

The WSIB is releasing preliminary rates now to assist employers with their financial forecasting and budgeting for next year. Approval of the final aggregate premium rate for 2007 is scheduled to take place at the WSIB Board of Directors’ meeting in late September.

Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) plays a key role in the province’s occupational health and safety system. The WSIB administers no-fault workplace insurance for employers and their workers and is committed to the prevention 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.

About WSIB

Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board plays a key role in the province’s occupational health and safety system. The WSIB administers no-fault workplace insurance for employers and their workers and is committed to the prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses. The WSIB provides disability benefits, monitors the quality of health care, and assists in early and safe return to work for workers who are injured on the job or contract an occupational disease. Information on the WSIB is also available at our website: www.wsib.on.ca.