Governor announces Workers’ Compensation costs for employers to drop by $45 million

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Friday the rate that employers pay to State’s workers’ compensation system is dropping yet again, in 2015, resulting in savings to all employers totaling $45 million. The savings are a direct result of the 2013 Business Relief Act, which Governor Cuomo signed into law last year and has cut the assessment rate for employers by a total of 30 percent over the last two years.

“Reducing the cost of doing business in New York has been a top priority for this administration and I’m proud to announce that our reforms to the Workers’ Compensation System have lowered rates for the second straight year,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is one more way we’re improving the economic climate in New York and making this state a place where businesses can grow, thrive and create jobs.”

The new assessment methodology and other efficiencies implemented in 2014 resulted in $170 million in administrative savings, of which $18 million directly benefits New York’s public employers, like municipalities and school districts. The savings has been applied to 2015, resulting in the assessment rate falling to 13.2 percent from 13.8 percent, the second consecutive annual decline.

Signed by the Governor as part of the 2013-14 Budget, the Business Relief Act standardized and corrected the previously disjointed and antiquated assessment process. Now, all employers are charged with the same methodology, leading to a lower assessment rate for all New York’s employers.

The Workers’ Compensation Board is continuing to enforce of the legal requirement for employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance expands the pool of insureds. Moreover, New York is open for business: both the number of people working in New York State and the amount of employees’ total wages earned increased over the last year, contributing to the lower rate.

The Workers’ Compensation Board is in the midst of a comprehensive “business process re-engineering” to re-imagine the workers’ compensation system. This sweeping examination has identified initial projects that will re-create a system that more effectively serves the needs of injured workers and employers, resulting in further savings for public and private employers in the time to come.