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   L&I Retro Program Retrospective Rating (Retro) Plans are an optional program offered by the Department of Labor & Industries to allow employers to recapture a portion of their workers compensation premiums.

L&I Retro Program & Safety Alliance

Entities have two alternatives for workers compensation costs in the state of Washington. One is self-insurance and the other is state funded insurance.  A self-insured entity is responsible for paying dollar-for-dollar the total cost of any claim. Entities in the state funded insurance plan pay a quarterly premium to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) to cover the insurance for employees workers compensation claims. Only entities participating in the state funded insurance program have an opportunity to participate in a Retro Plan.

Member Options

Counties Retro Pool

Retrospective Rating (Retro) Plans are an optional program offered by L&I to allow employers the ability to recapture a portion of their workers compensation premiums. All retro plan rules and regulations are mandated by L&I.  The Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC) offers a Retro Plan that can reward member counties, special districts, cities and Regional Support Networks for maintaining a safe workplace and controlling workers' compensation costs.  Depending on the plan year, if the group's claims costs are low, participants in that year can recoup refunds of premiums paid to L&I.  However, if the group's claims costs are high, additional premiums may need to be paid to L&I. 

Since its inception in 1986, the WSAC Retro Plan members have received more than $4.9 million in refunds from L&I - an average of 10% of the group's standard premiums. As the WSAC Retro Plan continues to grow, it continues to implement changes that will facilitate even greater savings for participating members.

County Workplace Safety Alliance (CWSA)

The CWSA allow members to realize the benefits of claims management and loss prevention services through a group purchase. Some counties opt out of the Retro Plan but want to use CWSA services to improve workplace safety and reduce costs. Other members use the services of CWSA to help them reduce losses and re-qualify for retro plan years and potential refunds. CWSA membership is a requirement for any employer wishing to participate in the WSAC Retro Plan.

Member Benefits

  • Protection of Group Participation. The Retro Plan has reduced risk by establishing a reserve account to help offset assessment years.
  • Training is offered at no extra cost to members and is available on-site and at regional meetings throughout the year.
  • Conferences. The WSAC Retro Program offers an annual conference each year to members at no additional fee. The conference offers members an opportunity to network and share ideas, participate in training, as well as hear industry experts discuss current labor and industries issues.
  • Program Coordinator. Washington State Association of Counties employs a Retro Program Coordinator to liaison between member agencies and the Department of Labor and Industries. The Coordinator provides current news updates and serves as a resource for member questions.
  • Policy Library. The Retro Program manages a library of safety and accident prevention policies, and other resource materials available to all Retro Program members.

Financial Aspects

Members pay an enrollment and service fee of 6 percent of their quarterly L&I premiums to a third-party administrator (Sedgwick Claims Management Services) to participate in both the CWSA and the Retro Pool. This fee is in addition to the workers compensation premium paid to L&I.

Contact Information

Karlyn Shannon provides staff support to counties and other entities involved in this Program.  Karlyn can be reached by e-mail at kshannon@wacounties.org.




Current Participating Counties:

Grays Harbor
Pend Oreille

Other Participating Entities:

Ferndale School District
Tacoma/Pierce County Health District
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