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Finally, financially sustainable.
In the early 1990s, the WCB discovered a serious problem.
Much more money was owed to workers and their families into the future than was available in WCB assets – the WCB had about a quarter for every dollar it owed.
The age of the “unfunded liability” began. Rates began to increase steadily and benefits were held back from significant improvements – significant sacrifices by both workers and employers.
At the time, it was expected to take 45 years to reach financial sustainability.
But in 2020, a decade early, the WCB’s unfunded liability was eliminated.
The unfunded liability was a significant reason rates are high in Nova Scotia, along with the costs of some of Canada’s longest claims for workers’ compensation benefits.
In a more financially sustainable environment, it’s more important than ever to ensure that situation never repeats itself, by ensuring both rate and benefit changes happen in a sustainable, balanced way.
That’s why the WCB introduced the Approved Rate Range framework in 2023 – it provides parameters for when the average rate could be lowered, or when it would possibly need to increase. It also provides a guide for when increased benefits might be appropriate and could be recommended to government.
Learn more about WCB’s financial sustainability and plans in the 2022 annual report and Q1 2023 Community Report.