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DeWine, BWC Propose $1.6 Billion Dividend to Ohio Employers

The monies would ease the economic impact of COVID-19

Today, Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud proposed giving up to $1.6 billion to Ohio employers this spring to ease the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Ohio’s economy and business community.

"This is great news for Ohio’s businesses, and will assist in relieving some of the financial pressures many are experiencing,” said DeWine. “Administrator McCloud and I both encourage businesses to reinvest this money in the health and safety of their employees.” 

The BWC’s board of directors will hold an emergency virtual meeting Friday to vote on the proposed dividend, which equals 100 percent of the premium employers paid in policy year 2018. As in previous years, the dividend is possible because of strong investment returns on employer premiums, a declining number of claims each year and prudent fiscal management.

"This dividend is possible in no small part to the employers in our state that have worked hard to improve workplace safety and reduce injury claims,” said McCloud, noting checks will be going to employers later this month. “We are also fortunate that despite the market’s recent downturn, our fiscal position is strong enough to allow for this dividend while maintaining funds to take care of injured workers for years to come.”

The BWC provides workers’ compensation insurance to more than 248,000 private and public employers in Ohio. Should the proposed dividend total $1.6 billion:

  • An estimated $1.4 billion would go to private employers.
  • Approximately $200 million would go to local government taxing districts (counties, cities, schools, etc.).

The proposal follows other recent moves by the BWC to ease the strain on employers this year. In late March, the agency told employers they could defer their monthly premium installment payments for March, April and May until June 1. The BWC also waived or postponed some requirements and deadlines for several programs that reduce employer premiums and applied the discounts automatically.

If approved by the board, the dividend would be the BWC’s sixth of $1 billion or more since 2013 and seventh overall in that time. It also continues the BWC’S trend of lowering workers’ comp costs for Ohio’s private and public employers. The BWC has repeatedly lowered premium rates in recent years, including a 10 percent cut for public employers that took effect in January and a 13 percent cut for private employers that begins July 1.

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