2020 Retro Refunds Announced

Employers across Washington state will share in millions of dollars this month — in addition to any assistance they’ve already received due to the COVID-19 crisis. That’s because Washington state has announced its refunds for companies who have safe work practices and participate in a “Retro” program for their industry. Retro programs are operated by the Washington state Department of Labor and Industries to reward safe work practices with lower overall costs on workers’ comp.


Retro Refunds for Approach Clients

At Approach, our clients in the construction and transportation industries are up for refunds in the current cycle. We are working with our partners at the SMART Association and PITB Association to calculate refund amounts, so that checks and statements can be distributed as soon as possible.

Our top performing group this time around is the SMART Dream Team, an elite group of construction industry employers. With a dedication to safety and best practices throughout their businesses, the Dream Team earned a refund of 48.6%. In other words, nearly half of the workers’ comp premiums paid by these companies was not needed and will be paid back!

The SMART A-Team earned a refund of 24.5% and PITB Transportation came in at 16.3%, meaning each of these groups also earned millions in refunds to be shared amongst their members.

Participants in all of our groups also pay, on average, 16 percent less on their workers’ comp premiums. This means their refunds are additional savings on top of the low rates they’ve been paying up front.


How Will Refunds Be Distributed?

Many associations use their refund distributions as an opportunity to hold annual membership meetings at the same time. Of course, things are different in 2020, so the SMART and PITB Associations have both chosen to distribute checks exclusively by mail this year. The refunds are currently being issued and should be mailed to eligible employers later this month.



How can I participate in Retro?

Retro programs are available for a variety of industries, including those served by Approach clients:

  • Construction
  • Transportation
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail and warehousing
  • Food processing and distillation

When you’re in Retro, you work with a pool of employers in the same industry to lower your overall accident rate and claims costs. Nothing changes with your payroll or how L&I premiums are handled, but your premiums will be added to the pool and then eligible for a refund after the plan year.

Approach also works with you year-round to help keep your claims costs as low as possible. Our safety team offers annual visits and you have the services of an individual Retro Coordinator who is assigned to your company for claims assistance.

Contact us for a free, no-obligation estimate of how much your company can earn with Retro. Quarterly enrollment is open now!