CIA (e)Bulletin/(e)Bulletin de l'ICA
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June 2016

Committee Profile: Workers’ Compensation Committee

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By Crispina Caballero, FCIA

The mandate of the Workers’ Compensation Committee (CWC) is twofold: to interpret standards of practice with respect to workers’ compensation systems and other personal public injury compensation plans (PPICP), and then to bring to the compensation boards, through the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC) (the chief financial officer (CFO) group), any actuarial issues relating to workers’ compensation.

Workers’ compensation systems are prescribed by legislation with exclusive jurisdiction. The boards operate on a going concern basis (now over 100 years of operations in Ontario). The benefits and administration are subject to statutory reviews and adapt to the changing needs of the stakeholders. There is a benefit entitlement whether assessment rates are paid or not. All systems have funding policies aimed at ensuring proper funding and also guide the valuation of liabilities and rate setting. The stakeholders (employers, labour, injured workers, and the government) keep the system in balance. There is also an inherently strong public interest in workers’ compensation systems.

There is no regulatory oversight such as the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) or provincial equivalent. Only the province of Québec legally requires that actuarial work for the compensation board be performed by an FCIA. Seven of twelve jurisdictions (provinces and territories) have actuarial staff including at least one FCIA.

All volunteers on the committee are recommended by the boards and are required to have workers’ compensation or PPICP experience.

Where We Have Been Prior to 2016

In addition to a research paper on occupational disease published in February 2015, the committee has published the following educational notes (EN):

Educational notes currently in development cover the following topics:

  • Sensitivity testing;
  • Data validation;
  • Margins for adverse deviations; and
  • Pricing.

 Looking Ahead in 2016 and the Next Few Years

There are quite a few challenges that we are looking at:

  • Applicable standards and guidelines for International Financial Reporting Standard X (IFRS X) for PPICPs and strong coordination with the professional accounting community;
  • Streamlined requirements for models to not overwhelm the systems;
  • Nuances of presumptive entitlement;
  • Appropriate stress and post-traumatic stress disorder coverage;
  • EN on occupational diseases;
  • EN on reporting, including gain/loss; and
  • Standards for outlier estimation of cost impact for new benefits where there is limited or no data at all.

Liaising with External Organizations and Committees

We have a designated liaison to the Actuarial Standards Board (ASB) and a designated liaison to the Practice Council. We keep our eyes open for developments in other committees, especially those that could impact PPICPs.

The nature of workers’ compensation systems requires and encourages formal and informal conversations among the actuarial community. We have casualty actuaries, life actuaries, pension actuaries, investment actuaries, and group life and health actuaries. We are a mixed bunch of talented people always facing new challenges.

As you can see, the CWC is a very active and busy committee. If you are interested in learning more or becoming involved, don’t hesitate to contact me at

Crispina Caballero, FCIA, is Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Committee.


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