The workers’ compensation system in Missouri was established to pay for medical care and other benefits for workers who have been injured on the job. This week, a House committee voted to pass a bill that would extend the supplemental surcharge paid by employers into the Second Injury Fund (SIF) from 2021 to 2026 and keep the surcharge amount at up to three percent. In recent years, employers have paid a six percent total surcharge – a three percent standard surcharge and a three percent supplemental surcharge. The supplemental surcharge was added to statute to ensure solvency of the SIF.
House Bill 384 is sponsored by Rep. Rudy Veit, a Wardsville Republican.
The Missouri Chamber takes the position that the SIF should continue as solvent, but it should be administered in a way that allows for a reduction of the supplemental surcharge when appropriate.
Moving the sunset clause down from five years to three years would allow lawmakers the opportunity to review and adjust the supplemental surcharge as needed.
In reviewing an actuarial report prepared for the Division of Workers Compensation, it seems possible that a lower top rate for the supplemental surcharge could be explored. That report indicated a five percent surcharge (three percent standard and two percent supplemental) in 2021 would be adequate to pay all benefits and expenses. These discussions are ongoing.