July Group 2021 Retro Refunds Announced

It’s that time of year again – the state’s safest employers will be sharing millions of dollars in refunds from Washington state. And, many Approach clients have earned a share of record refunds thanks to their commitment to best practices. Thousands of employers participate in Retro because it rewards safe work practices with lower overall costs on workers’ comp.

Record Refunds for Approach Clients

At Approach, we’re thrilled that our clients in the construction industry were able to earn historic refunds this year. And, our transportation clients passed a huge milestone, with more than $100 million in refunds earned since the group was created.

Dream Team

The SMART Dream Team is our premier group for construction industry employers, and it certainly lived up to its name this year. The Dream Team earned a refund of 54.2% on its workers’ comp premiums.

That’s right – members of the Dream Team group for construction employers have earned back more than 50 cents on each dollar paid in workers’ comp premiums for the most-recent plan year. It’s the highest refund earned by the group in 16 years.


The SMART A-Team earned a refund of 44 percent, their best since 2005. This means the members combined to earn a refund check of more than $18 million. That is money that was paid in premiums to cover workers’ comp expenses but wasn’t needed because of the shared commitment to safety and return-to-work.

PITB Transportation

The companies that keep our economy moving did so while keeping their workers safe and on the job. This allowed our PITB group to earn a 38 percent refund on their workers’ comp premiums; an improvement of more than 20 percent in just one year!

These refunds come on top of the lower average rates that our clients pay up front for workers’ comp coverage in Washington state. You can’t shop around for workers’ comp in Washington, so our clients have put best practices in place to earn lower rates from L&I.

How Will Refunds Be Distributed?

Continuing from 2020, the SMART and PITB Associations have both chosen to distribute checks exclusively by mail this year. The refunds are currently being issued and should be mailed to eligible employers later this month.

If you’re a SMART or PITB member, you should have an email from your association with more information. Ask your Retro Coordinator if you haven’t seen anything.

How can I participate in Retro?

Retro programs are available for a variety of industries, including those served by Approach clients:

  • Construction
  • Transportation
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail and warehousing
  • Food processing and distillation

When you’re in Retro, you work with a pool of employers in the same industry to lower your overall accident rate and claims costs. Nothing changes with your payroll or how L&I premiums are handled, but your premiums will be added to the pool and then eligible for a refund after the plan year.

Approach also works with you year-round to help keep your claims costs as low as possible. Our safety team offers annual visits, and you have the services of an individual Retro Coordinator who is assigned to your company for claims assistance.

Contact us for a free, no-obligation estimate of how much your company can earn with Retro. Quarterly enrollment is open now!