The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) is holding its Annual General Meeting today in Regina at the Queensbury Centre and tomorrow at the Hilton Garden Inn in Saskatoon.
WCB Chairperson, Gord Dobrowolsky said he is eager to share the positive 2014 financial results. “The WCB remains fully funded, with sufficient assets to cover the future costs of all claims in the system at December 31, 2014. This is the guarantee made to injured workers, that benefits and programs would be available when a workplace injury occurs. It also fulfills our commitment to employers that the system will be run effectively and efficiently.”
Financially, 2014 represented another stable year for the WCB. Financial statements show a comprehensive income of $97.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2014. Strong investment returns, continued payroll growth, and reduced claims activity all contributed to the Operating results. The result of accumulated investment surpluses was a funded position of 132.2% at December 31, 2014, exceeding the upper threshold of the Board’s funding policy.
WCB CEO Peter Federko said the positive financial results were achieved despite a drop in the 2014 average premium rate and after taking into account changes to the legislation and other impacts on the WCB’s Benefits Liabilities.
Federko added, “For the first time since 2001 and to comply with policy, the WCB will provide a surplus distribution of nearly $80 million to eligible employers in 2015 as a result of higher than expected investment returns.”
Also in 2014, through the WorkSafe partnership, a goal was set of reducing the Total injury rate to 7.50 per cent in 2014. “As at December 31, 2014, Saskatchewan’s Total injury rate was 6.99 per cent, surpassing the target set for 2014. Saskatchewan’s workers, employers, safety organizations, and WorkSafe partners deserve credit for their contributions to reducing the injury rate,” said Federko. “The Time Loss injury rate dropped for the twelfth straight year, from 2.54 per cent to 2.41 per cent falling just slightly short of the target of 2.40 per cent.”
The WCB continues a concerted effort to bring injury rates down further. According to the latest statistics available from the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC), in 2013, Saskatchewan continued to have the second highest Time Loss injury rate in Canada.