The Canada Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC) has announced the maximum insurable earnings (MIE) for 2013 will increase to $47,400 from $45,900.
For self-employed people who have opted into the EI program, the annual earnings required to qualify for special benefits will increase to $6,342 from $6,222 on Jan. 1, 2013.
The MIE is indexed on an annual basis and represents the ceiling up to which employment insurance premiums are collected. It is therefore also the maximum amount considered in applications for EI benefits.
The EI program insures employment income. Under the Employment Insurance Act, the MIE increases in line with average wages. This makes certain that as workers’ wages rise, the EI program provides a consistent level of income protection.
The CEIC is responsible for determining the annual MIE in accordance with the Employment Insurance Act and regulations. The calculations for determining the MIE for 2013 have been performed by the chief actuary of the Canada Employment Insurance Financing Board (CEIFB) at the request of the CEIC.
The federal government has made changes to the way the MIE and the EI premium rates are now calculated. In part, these changes allows for an earlier release of the MIE so businesses and employees can plan for premiums in the coming year.
Also, in response to public consultations, the federal government is limiting annual EI premium rate increases to five cents until the EI operating account is balanced. Once the account has returned to balance, the EI premium rate will be set annually on a seven‐year, break‐even rate to ensure EI premiums are no higher than needed to pay for the EI program. After the seven‐year rate is set, annual adjustments to the rate will also be limited to five cents.
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