The federal government is seeking public opinion on how to improve the employment insurance (EI) premium rate-setting mechanism.
A web-based consultation process will focus on how the EI rate-setting mechanism can be improved to ensure more stable and predictable rates, while also ensuring the EI program breaks even over time, avoiding large cumulative surpluses or deficits and maintaining a transparent rate-setting process.
“Canadians want to be certain that EI premiums are only used to pay for the EI program, which we have already accomplished with the creation of the Canada Employment Insurance Financing Board,” said Parliamentary Secretary Kellie Leitch from Human Resources and Skills Development. “Like the government, they also want the program to break even over time, with no large surpluses or deficits.”
In particular, the government is seeking the views on the following questions:
• What is a reasonable amount of time in which the EI program should be expected to break-even?
• What is an acceptable maximum annual change in EI premiums?
• What should the rate-setting process be?
“With these consultations, we are aiming to ensure greater premium stability,” said Parliamentary Secretary Shelly Glover.
Last year, the government announced that it would limit possible increases in EI premiums to five cents per $100 of insurable earnings for 2011 and 10 cents for later years.
The government is looking for written recommendations which can be submitted online: http://www.fin.gc.ca/activty/consult/eiprs-etcac-eng.asp.
There will also be a number of roundtable discussions between parliamentary secretaries and invited key stakeholders and experts will take place in the coming months.
The government is accepting comments until Nov. 30.
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