WSIB President Jeff Lang addressed changes coming to the organization when he spoke at the OGCA May 6th Leadership Conference. He confirmed that the WSIB has now delivered surplus rebate to qualified employers accounts. As a result, employers should now have in their accounts the equivalent of 34.02% of their 2020 or 2021 premiums which ever year is the greatest.
Ontario construction employers will benefit from this. We are projecting contactors will receive a total of $196 million in rebates this week out of annual premiums of $576 million.
The government has made this possible because WSIB now has a sizable surplus. In 2010 it had an unfunded liability of $15 billion and employers excepted large increases to their premiums to rescue the system. Construction employers were paying well over 50% of their premiums to pay down the unfunded. In 2019 the system reached full funding and the WSIB over the last few years has sharply reduced premiums.
By 2021 the system reached 120% funding which raised an unexpected challenge. The system now collects more than required funds to cover current costs. The WSIB surplus rebates will distribute $1 to $1.5 billion to employers but there will still remain more than $5 billion in surplus funding.
OGCA has been a leader in the employer community to reduce WSIB costs. With our collogues in the Construction Employers Coalition (CEC) we supported a fully funded compensation system and demanded the government and WSIB refund the surplus when financial health was obtained.
General Contractors now pay an average premium of $1.79 and his weeks surplus rebate will support business and recognise the investment in the WSIB and effective workplace health and safety programs.