WCB Alberta Employer Rebates: Are You Missing Out?
Last month, the WCB Alberta announced a surplus funding of $467 million that will be distributed to Alberta employers. According to a 2014 Calgary Herald article, 2013 marks the sixth time in the last 10 years that the WCB Alberta has declared and distributed a surplus, factor in rebates in 2014 and 2015, and it becomes the eighth time in 12 years. In the past three years alone, almost $1.5 billion dollars has been paid out to Alberta employers, prompting the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) to publish a paper urging the WCB Alberta to issue refunds at a more reasonable threshold.
Surplus funding occurs when the WCB premiums collected from employers are invested and there is a higher-than-expected return on that investment and/or there is a lower-than-expected amount of claims and claims costs for the year. When the funding pool exceeds more than 128% of anticipated amount to cover the current and future costs of all the claims that occurred in that year, the excess amount is distributed back to the employers who paid the premiums. If the funding pool drops below 114%, then the WCB collects additional money from employers to re-establish the requisite funding levels. For more information about WCB Surplus Rebates check out our previous blog post, Understanding WCB Employer Surplus Rates.
Although there is much discussion and controversy around what levels of funding the WCB actually needs, and whether the percentages that trigger rebates should be lowered, it is likely an issue that will not be addressed until after the current WCB Review. In the meantime, what is more important for employers is to make sure that they qualify for rebates when they are announced. When a WCB surplus distribution is declared, not every employer that has paid WCB premiums will receive a rebate. Employers in the following situations are not eligible for a rebate if they:
- Levied a year five or greater Poor Performance Surcharge (PPS)
- Have a small business account with 10 or more claims for the 2015 experience period
- Are in serious breach of the Workers’ Compensation Act
- Pay only the $200 minimum premium
- Have an account with a bad debt (other than having overdue interest charges applied to the account)
- Have outstanding insurable earnings for 2015
Here a few basic tips to help ensure that your organization will be included in any WCB rebates:
- Pay WCB premiums when they are due to avoid a bad debt owing to the WCB
- Report annual insurable earnings accurately as possible – avoid underreporting
- Lower your WCB premium rate by:Improving safety performance and reducing claims
Eligible employers with a net rebate of more than $200 should have received a cheque in the mail, employers with a net rebate of less than $200 will have the amount applied directly to their account, and will be notified on their next invoice.
Additional information on your eligibility for a WCB Alberta Employer rebates, lowering your WCB premium rate, improving your safety performance or reducing your WCB claims costs can be found here, or you can connect with us on Facebook , Twitter , or LinkedIn.Or contact us directly at BCL.Calgary@bclconsulting.ca, BCL.Edmonton@bclconsulting.ca or at 1-844-377-9545.