The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation's board of directors said public employer taxing districts represent approximately 3,800 cities, counties, townships, villages, schools and special taxing districts. Marsha Ryan, administrator of the bureau, said the board determined the decrease was appropriate after looking at current workers' comp costs, payroll trends, decreasing claim occurrences, and other economic factors.
"At a time when public employers are working with very limited resources and revenue, I'm pleased we are able to provide some economic relief by lowering their workers' compensation costs," she said.
Rates for individual public employer entities will differ based on their individual claims history. The board is expected to vote on rule changes to set the actual rates for each industry group at a meeting in November.
The BWC board also modified rules related to the marketing activities of group rating program sponsors. These include third-party administrators and associations that provide services to employers who qualify for group discounts. The rule modification prohibits any sponsor or affiliated organization from marketing discounts higher than can be realistically achieved.
"This rule change levels the playing field for all group sponsors by restricting marketing practices that could mislead employers seeking group membership," said Chuck Bryan, chairman of the board's actuarial committee.
The board also took a step to implement a strategy for diversifying fixed income and equity investments within the State Insurance Fund. The board accepted the proposal of Barclays Global Investors to serve as the BWC's passive indexed manager of the fund's international equities. BGI will manage all non-U.S. international equities benchmarked to the All Country World Index. Officials said this asset class is targeted to represent 10 percent of SIF invested assets, or approximately $1.6 billion.
Read more at the WORKERSCOMP ForumTM homepage.
October 29, 2009
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