PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
LABOR AND INDUSTRIES
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Pension tables for calculating various annuities for injured workers and crime victims.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 51.04.020(1), 51.32.067, 51.44.070 (1) and (2), and 51.44.080.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: For many years, the Department of Labor and Industries has established pension reserves and benefit reduction amounts required in RCW 51.44.070(1), and the annual experting required in RCW 51.44.080, by using actuarial assumptions originally established by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. These assumptions have not changed since responsibility for these decisions was moved from the Insurance Commissioner's Office to labor and industries. Labor and industries believes the impact of proposed changes in these assumptions requires rule adoption as defined in the Administrative Procedure Act.
The subject of possible rule making includes the pension tables used to calculate various pension annuities. If changes in these pension tables are adopted, they would be in the form of rules and would be codified in chapter 296-14 WAC, entitled Industrial insurance. The rules would apply to new pension reserve calculations for totally permanently disabled workers and on-the-job fatality survivors of Washington state fund employers and self-insured employers and to similarly entitled individuals under the crime victims' compensation program.
By establishing these changes as rules, the public will have an opportunity to comment on their potential impact. The changes are necessary to maintain appropriate reserve levels for pension recipients.
Process for Developing New Rule: Labor and industries will begin the rule development process by drafting proposed changes in the assumptions relative to pension reserves and ensuring these changes conform to accepted actuarial principles. Labor and industries will share the draft proposal with the Workers' Compensation Advisory Committee and other interested parties. Once the committee has been presented with the draft proposal and provided any comments, labor and industries will submit a formal rule filing. This filing is anticipated for April 13, 2001, followed by a public hearing to be held in Tumwater.
Labor and industries would like to have rules in place by June 30, 2001.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting the Department of Labor and Industries, Valerie Grimm, Administrative Regulations Analyst, P.O. Box 44208, Olympia, WA 98504-4208, (360) 902-5005, fax (360) 902-4960. Interested parties should contact Valerie Grimm and ask to receive copies of the proposed rules and to be notified of the public hearing date. At that time, they will also receive information on how to submit written comments.
February 28, 2001