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It’s time for Sask WCB to fix its funding policy!

Issue: The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) recently asked stakeholders to provide feedback on their discussion paper on the WCB’s Funding Policy.

The WCB is seeking input from key stakeholders and customers on recommendations that have come from the 2015 Asset Liability Study and subsequent considerations based on the WCB’s analysis. The deadline for feedback is March 1, 2017 at which time the WCB will review recommendations, stakeholder and customer feedback and then implement updates to its Funding Policy later in 2017.

Action: CFIB submitted our members’ views and recommended the Board fix its funding policy to stop overcharging employers.

Currently, the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) has a funding target between 105% to 120% (assets in excess of liabilities). Funding above 122% is distributed to employers at the WCB’s discretion, over a period of five years, until the Board reaches a funding position of 120%.

In 2015 the WCB ran a $281.5 million operating surplus. Despite the massive surplus, WCB was only going to give back $56.3 million. CFIB told WCB to rethink its rebate policy and return the entire $281.5 million to Saskatchewan employers.

While we recognize the importance of every WCB being fiscally sustainable in the long term, CFIB’s research shows the Sask WCB is one of the most over-funded Boards in Canada. In fact, the WCB has been well-funded for a number of years with funding percentages of 144.7 in 2015, 132.2 in 2014, 119.3 in 2013, 117.1 in 2012, 119.0 in 2011 and 111.5 in 2010. Only once in 19 years has the funding position of 105% not been exceeded.

Changes required to WCB’s Funding Policy:

We believe it’s time to examine those funding targets so entrepreneurs can be assured the Board’s financial position is sound, but not overly cautious. That’s why CFIB is recommending a funding ratio of between 100 per cent and 110 per cent as a fair scenario, where the Board is able to fulfil its responsibility to protect present and future worker benefits against unexpected events and minimize the volatility of premiums.

Changes required to WCB’s Surplus Distribution Policy:

We also believe the surplus should be rebated in the year it is realized and not distributed over a five year period, similar to Alberta. It would also give employers, like you, some of your own money back so you can  focus on growing your business, creating jobs, and investing in new and safer equipment.

Majority of Saskatchewan entrepreneurs agree: CFIB’s recent Mandate 264 survey found 76 per cent of Saskatchewan small business owners believe WCB’s funding policy should be changed to require a surplus to be rebated in the year it is realized. Only 11 per cent disagreed.

CFIB is urging the WCB to fix its funding policy by:

  • Changing the targeted funding range from 105-120% to 100-110%;
  • Rebating surplus monies when funds rise above a threshold of 110%; and
  • Rebating the surplus in the year it is realized; not over a 5 year period.

Next Steps:

Help us push for change by signing our Action Alert:  CFIB’s Action Alert: Urging WCB to fix its funding policy & stop overcharging employers!  Once signed, please return it by fax to (306) 359-7623 or scan and email it to [email protected].

Have questions about WCB? Please contact Business Resources at 1-888-234-2232 or email [email protected]

Not a member of CFIB yet?  JOIN CFIB today for more help and information.

February 15, 2017

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