Ohio BWC Approves $5B Dividend for Employers

COLUMBUS, Ohio — On Monday, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation board of directors approved $5 billion in dividends to employers in the state who are covered by the BWC.

Last week, Gov. Mike DeWine proposed the dividend in an efforts to ease the continued impact of the coronavirus on employers. This is the largest dividend ever issued by the BWC and is nearly four times that of total premiums collected from employer members in policy year 2019.

It’s also the third dividend issued this year, bringing the total distribution to nearly $8 billion. The agency issued a $1.54 billion dividend in late April and $1.34 billion in October.

“This is about keeping businesses open and people employed,” Gov.DeWine said Oct. 28 in announcing his proposal.

BWC will apply the dividend to an employer’s unpaid balances first, then send a check for the remainder in mid-December, according to a release.

“We are extremely grateful to be in the position to support our business community and workforce in these unprecedented times,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud. “Issuing nearly $8 billion in one year is not an easy lift, but I want to assure Ohioans and our customers that our net position after this dividend – $6.3 billion – is very substantial and will support injured workers well into the future.”

BWC’s strong fiscal position is due to healthy investment returns on employer premiums, a declining number of claims each year and prudent fiscal management, according to the release. The agency earned $902 million in investment income between July 1 and Sept. 30.

In the latest dividend, private and public employers in Franklin County would see an infusion of more than a half billion dollars, or approximately $559 million, followed by Cuyahoga County at $528 million. Other top counties include Hamilton ($379 million), Summit ($241 million), Montgomery ($194 million) and Lucas ($191 million).

In the Mahoning Valley, Mahoning County will receive the largest distribution at $104.9 million, followed by Trumbull County with $70.2 million and Columbiana County with $35.4 million. CLICK HERE for a full breakdown of the counties.

The employer in line for the single largest dividend check in the state is the city of Columbus at nearly $64 million, bringing its total for the year to $100 million.

Funded by employer premiums, BWC provides workers’ compensation insurance to approximately 245,000 private employers and 4,000 public employers, such as cities, counties, and schools.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.