Site Alert

Our secure systems will be unavailable due to system maintenance Tuesday, Sept. 17, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Group vs. Individual Retro

You may participate in the Retrospective Rating Program as an individual employer or as part of an association-sponsored group. L&I has no preference as to which way you enroll. The main differences are:


Sample TBLformPub apply each class to the "TR" tag
Group vs. Individual Retro Participation
  Group Individual
Minimum premium amount There is no minimum annual premium for you to enroll in Retro as part of a group. Your standard premium (accident and medical aid fund premium) must meet or exceed the minimum specified in WAC 296-17B-900 (standard premium size ranges).

You must be a member of the association that sponsors the group, which will have membership dues.

Most groups also charge their members a fee in return for administering the Retro group. This may be:

  • A flat fee.
  • A percentage of refunds.
  • A percentage of premiums.
  • A combination of these.
No extra fees.

Many groups offer services to improve the group's Retro performance. These also often help members' experience factor and rates improve over time. Services may include accident prevention training, and direct claim management help from the association or a third-party administrator.

No extra services.
Refund potential Groups typically have better refund potential because they have a larger premium total. Retro is “premium sensitive,” meaning the larger the premium, the greater the percentage refund for a given amount of risk. A large group risking 10% might realize a 20-40% refund. If you’re a small premium payer, your potential refund is lower than large groups. For example, if you are risking 10% on your own, you might realize a 3-15% refund.
Choice The association managing the group selects the Retro plan type, minimum and maximum loss ratios, and single loss limits. This means less control for you, but less to research and decide. You choose the plan type, minimum and maximum loss ratios, and single loss limits.
Risk Risk is spread within the group. If you have a bad claim year, you might still get a refund if the group has done well overall. However, if you have a good claim year, you may end up with an assessment (paying more premium) if the group didn’t do well. Your refund or assessment is based entirely on your own performance.
How to enroll Contact an association that sponsors a group. Contact us.


End of main content, page footer follows.

Access Washington official state portal

   © Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries. Use of this site is subject to the laws of the state of Washington.

Help us improve