Retro News: Big Refunds Even with Improving EMRs

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AGC Retro members recently celebrated all over the state and with good reason: they received the largest combined refund to date of $37 million and hit a milestone $104 million in cumulative refunds.

Lauren Gubbe Director of the Retro Program said a record number of members took home premium refunds in excess of 60 percent with the top 52 firms earning refunds at or over 70 percent.

“This is incredible when you consider that AGC Retro members pay 30 percent less for workers compensation to begin with due to their long term commitment to safety and light duty accommodation efforts” Gubbe said. “This is one reason why we also recognize members for their EMR – experience modification rate performance. As you get lower in your EMR it becomes more challenging to get the top refund award as you are paying in significantly less for your man-hour exposure for losses. Members need to look at both what they save in terms of their rates and what they get back since both really reflect the benefits of their safety and light duty efforts.”

AGC Group Retro members have had refunds of 50 percent or more in 10 of the last 15 years 60 percent or more in seven years and 67-75 percent in five years including this year’s final adjustment. However Van Hardy longtime AGC Retro chairman cautions that refunds in years to come may not be what they have been in the past. Specifically the Department of Labor and Industries has been reducing its overall targeted refund every year and next year will be adding more complexity to the development factors in the refund equation. In addition he advised members that the most recent adjustments were reduced by approximately 10 percent to recoup for the Department refund calculation error on past adjustments.

“In addition to celebrating a top final refund we are celebrating 99.8 percent retention despite some creative marketing by competing Retro plans said Gubbe. “Historically we are a top performer and in two of the three most recent adjustments we are as well. We continue to grow steadily each year and this year we are bringing on board 16 new firms most coming from competing Retro programs. Of those new enrollees nine are also new to the AGC of Washington family of contractors.

At the breakfast meetings Hardy received special recognition for his service on the Labor and Industries Finance Committee as one of three business representatives. In a letter from Judy Schurke Director of Labor and Industries Hardy was thanked for making a significant contribution to help establish more stable and less volatile future rates for all employers.”

Others receiving special recognition were committee members Gary Bennett of Ferguson Construction Philo Hall of Lease Crutcher Lewis Stephen Seger of Foushee and Associates Co. Inc. Len Zarelli of Merit Company Valerie Whitman of Max J. Kuney Company Jay Meyers of Garco Construction and Nancy Mahoney of Dew Drops Sprinklers.

Seger was also recognized and thanked for his efforts to testify before the House and Senate in an effort to help defeat the Retro Bill as was Christine Swanson AGC lobbyist who worked tirelessly on the bill Hardy Hall and Gubbe were also recognized for their time in calls and analysis of the bill. In addition Philo Hall was recognized for his appointment and continued participation on the Labor and Industries Retro Proviso Work Group charged with evaluating independent consultant(s) reports and recommendations as well as participating in what will be changes going forward to Retrospective Rating in general.

For a list of all the top performing AGC Group Retro members click here.