Date: October 23, 2013
Pursuant to WCL §151, the Chair of the Workers' Compensation Board (Board) shall annually establish an assessment rate for all employers by November 1st of each year, to be effective January 1 of the subsequent calendar year. For calendar year 2014, such rate shall be 13.8% of standard premium or premium equivalent for self-insured employers.
The Business Relief Act, part of the enacted 2013/14 budget, mandates that the Board create a single assessment methodology to fund the New York State workers' compensation system for all New York State employers regardless of coverage type. Additionally, the legislation closed the Fund for Re-Opened Cases to all new claims effective January 1, 2014. Usage of the Fund for Re-Opened Cases had become problematic over the last decade as carriers used the fund to shift an increasing level of liability back to policyholders. As a result of these changes, the assessment rate for 2014 is over 25% lower than last year, representing a savings of approximately $300 million to all New York State employers.
The previous assessment system was overly complicated, cumbersome, and expensive. It charged employers differently depending on whether they insured with private coverage, with the State Insurance Fund, or by self-insuring. The changes enacted reduce total assessment costs, streamline the process, and eliminate the antiquated billing process.
In addition to announcing the rate, the Board is promulgating Title 12 NYCRR Part 500 to implement this new assessment process. The regulation is effective immediately and will appear in the November 6, 2013 publication of the state register.
In December, the Board will hold webinars for self-insured employers and municipalities to assist and educate on the new process. Please contact the Workers' Compensation Board by email at BusinessReliefAct@wcb.ny.gov with any questions on the new process.
Robert E. Beloten