Montana State Fund (MSF) will be paying a $20 million dividend back to policyholders in mid-November.
This is the 22nd consecutive year the MSF Board of Directors has declared a dividend. They’ve returned a total of $306 million to policyholders since 1999, including $165 million since 2015 alone.
“It tells us we’re making progress in terms of reducing workplace accidents and that when we see those positive results as a State Fund, as the guaranteed market in Montana, we’re very pleased to be able to return some of those dollars,” said MSF President and CEO Laurence Hubbard.
The dividend is the result of better-than-expected return on investments and fewer-than-expected accidents in Montana workplaces.
About 22,000 Montana employers will receive a payment that will represent around a 15% return of premium on average.
Hubbard says although an unintentional benefit, MSF is happy they can provide the money during COVID when many businesses are struggling.
“The ancillary benefit is this comes at a good time,” explained Hubbard. “For small businesses in particular, a few hundred dollars matters to folks that are trying to keep their doors open. So it’s not lost on us that it’s meaningful and we hope to continue to not only promote the workplace safety message, but do a number of things to help small businesses weather the storm.”
MSF has deferred premiums for policyholders through the end of September in order to help businesses get back on their feet as much as possible.
This year's MSF dividend is smaller than previous years, with a $30 million dividend in 2019 and $40 million dividends in 2017 and 2018.
Hubbard says one of the reasons is MSF is being cautious during COVID to make sure they have the financial ability to help make sure rates don’t increase.