51.44.070  <<  51.44.073 >>   51.44.080

Transfer from self-insurer into the reserve fundAnnuity valuesAlternativePenalty for delay or refusal to reimburse.

*** CHANGE IN 2023 *** (SEE 5084.SL) ***
(1) For every case resulting in death or permanent total disability, a self-insurer in these circumstances shall pay into the reserve fund a sum of money for that case equal to the estimated present cash value of the monthly payments provided for it, to be calculated upon the basis of an annuity covering the payments in this title provided to be made for the case. Such annuity values shall be based upon rates of mortality, disability, remarriage, and interest as determined by the department, taking into account the experience of the reserve fund in such respects.
(2) As an alternative to payment procedures otherwise provided under law, in the event of death or permanent total disability to workers of self-insured employers, a self-insured employer may upon establishment of such obligation file with the department a bond, an assignment of account from a federally or state chartered commercial banking institution authorized to conduct business in the state of Washington, or purchase an annuity, in an amount deemed by the department to be reasonably sufficient to insure payment of the pension benefits provided by law. Any purchase of an annuity shall be from an institution meeting the following minimum requirements: (a) The institution must be rated no less than "A+" by A.M. Best, and no less than "AA" by Moody's and by Standard & Poor's; (b) the value of the assets of the institution must not be less than ten billion dollars; (c) not more than ten percent of the institution's assets may include bonds that are rated less than "BBB" by Moody's and Standard & Poor's; (d) not more than five percent of the assets may be held as equity in real estate; and (e) not more than twenty-five percent of the assets may be first mortgages, and not more than five percent may be second mortgages. The department shall adopt rules governing assignments of account and annuities. Such rules shall ensure that the funds are available if needed, even in the case of failure of the banking institution, the institution authorized to provide annuities, or the employer's business.
The annuity value for every such case shall be determined by the department based upon the department's experience as to rates of mortality, disability, remarriage, and interest. The amount of the required bond, assignment of account, or annuity may be reviewed and adjusted periodically by the department, based upon periodic redeterminations by the department as to the outstanding annuity value for the case.
Under such an alternative, the department shall administer the payment of this obligation to the beneficiary or beneficiaries. The department shall be reimbursed for all such payments from the self-insured employer through periodic charges not less than quarterly in a manner to be determined by the director. The self-insured employer shall additionally pay to the department a deposit equal to the first three months' payments otherwise required under RCW 51.32.050 and 51.32.060. Such deposit shall be placed in the reserve fund in accordance with RCW 51.44.140 and shall be returned to the respective self-insured employer when monthly payments are no longer required for such particular obligation.
If a self-insurer delays or refuses to reimburse the department beyond fifteen days after the reimbursement charges become due, there shall be a penalty paid by the self-insurer upon order of the director of an additional amount equal to twenty-five percent of the amount then due which shall be paid into the pension reserve fund. Such an order shall conform to the requirements of RCW 51.52.050.
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