How Much is Too Much? WorkSafeBC is Over-funded by $6.4 Billion Dollars

June 11, 2018

BC – In light of the latest WorkSafeBC financial results which shows the workers’ compensation system in BC continues to be massively over-funded, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has renewed its call for a significant portion of the surplus be returned to employers.

“Obviously, the workers compensation system needs to be adequately resourced to continue the important work of supporting workers and making workplaces safer. But the system is now funded way beyond any reasonable measure, even to point where it appears they are hoarding employers’ money. It’s time to return a significant portion of that surplus to the hard working entrepreneurs across the province,” says Richard Truscott, Vice-President, BC and Alberta.

WorkSafeBC is a provincial agency 100 per cent funded by employers. CFIB has been lobbying for years to ensure workers’ compensation boards (WCB) across Canada are accountable to business owners, producing positive results, and properly funded.

In 2017, CFIB released a report analysing WCB funding across the country. BC’s funded position (i.e. assets to liabilities) then was 142 per cent, making it one of the most over-funded WCB systems in the country.

A key recommendation was to maintain a maximum funding ratio of 110 per cent of assets to liabilities to properly insulate the system from fluctuations in the economy while ensuring sound management of employer finances.

According to the latest financial results for 2017 released this month, the funded position has now jumped to 153 per cent. In dollar terms, WorkSafeBC’s assets now exceed liabilities by $6.4 billion.

Many other provincial workers’ compensation boards, like in Alberta, Saskatchewan and PEI, have refunded excess money to employers when the funded position gets to a certain level.

Truscott concluded: “Returning some of that surplus back to business owners would certainly be a welcome development for entrepreneurs across B.C. who will be hit hard by the proposed provincial Employers Health Tax, the aggressive march to a $15 an hour minimum wage, higher carbon taxes, CPP and EI payroll tax hikes, and the list goes on and on. Employers would no doubt put the funds to productive use, including growing their business, creating jobs, and investing in new and safer equipment.”

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