Cincinnati USA Regional ChamberGrowing the vibrancy and
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August 16, 2016

Group Rating vs Group Retro

For Ohio employers, the workers’ compensation group rating and group retrospective rating (commonly called group retro) programs allow employers that are similar in business type to group together and attain lower premiums. There are two ways savings are calculated:
1. Upfront, with group rating;
2. Look-back, with group retro.

What the difference?

GROUP RATING (Enrollment deadline for the 2017 rate year: Nov. 18, 2016)
  • Employers like it because the discount is known upfront and is applied to their Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) premium statement. 
  • When comparing programs, participants need to consider that savings are limited, as the maximum discount is currently 53%. 

GROUP RETRO (Enrollment deadline for the 2017 rate year: Jan. 30, 2017)
  • Employers like it because their refund is potentially higher than their projected group rating discount. It can also be an alternate option if they don’t qualify for group rating. 
  • When comparing programs, participants need to consider that refunds are calculated at 12, 24, and 36 months after the rate year ends, so participants need to pay their full BWC premium up front. Also, since the final refund is based on the group’s performance, an assessment is possible if the claims costs are significantly higher than expected. However, in most cases, participants receive refunds for three years in a row.


When comparing programs, be sure to read all group projections carefully. There are often differences in calculation details, and even contracts. For example, some programs require salary continuation to participate in their group retro program. Here are some questions you should be asking as you look at group options:

  • Are you choosing a group retrospective group knowing your projected refund? Or simply hoping for the maximum possible refund? Is that maximum possible refund a reasonable expectation? 
  • Is your group rating discount projection in line with your current group discount? If not, be sure you understand why it is different.
  • If you qualify for both group rating and group retro, which is the best choice for your company? 
  • Does the group program offer both group rating and group retro?

Get your Chamber quote!

ChamberComp, administrated by Sheakley, offers both Group Rating and Group Retro Rating. Combined these programs are saving Chamber members over $36.1 million off their Ohio BWC Workers’ Comp Premiums.

Sheakley has been helping employers improve workplace safety and reduce their workers’ comp and unemployment costs for more than 50 years. A strong focus on client service and strategic claims management, paired with solid underwriting, has provided Chamber members tremendous savings opportunities year after year through a variety of cost saving programs.

Be part of the largest group rating program in southwest Ohio. Learn more and request your savings analysis. It’s free, and there is no obligation to join, so it’s simply smart business to compare.

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