FAQ 2017-07-17T09:37:22+00:00

Frequently Asked Questions

More about Retro and GRIP

Retrospective Rating (Retro) is an incentive program offered by Labor & Industries (L&I). In Retro you can earn a partial refund of your workers’ compensation premiums if you prevent workplace injuries and manage your claims costs.

GRIP is the local Retro for Master Builders Association (MBA) members, serving more than 1,100 companies in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties. We help employers lower their L&I premiums, maximize Retro refunds, and handle claims effectively. In 2017, GRIP participants received over $12.4 million* in refunds.

Each spring, L&I looks back at the actual workers’ comp costs incurred by GRIP employers for the prior plan year and re-calculates the premium for that 12-month period. This is the Retro premium and, if it’s less than the standard premiums that were paid that year, GRIP employers can earn a partial refund of the difference, as calculated by L&I.


GRIP is already helping more than 1,100 member companies to reduce on-the-job injuries. If your business is committed to safety and injury prevention, then GRIP helps you earn annual L&I refunds and reduce costly business expenses associated with on-the-job injuries.

GRIP is the local choice, supporting your associations and providing you with expert claims staff in Bellevue, Seattle, and Lacey. It’s an excellent value for any company willing to invest a small amount of time and money into creating a safer workplace.

GRIP started in 2010 and already serves more than 1,100 employers, making it the fastest-growing Retro program in Washington State. GRIP participants have earned average group refunds of 27.9 percent, with a 33.6 percent total refund for the 3 plan years adjusted in 2017. Our safety and claims management services have helped employers reduce the average number of time loss days from 35 in the 2010 plan year to 12 in the 2015 plan year. And, more than 93 percent of claims are closed prior to the first refund calculation.

Participating in GRIP is easy.

  1. Pay your L&I industrial insurance premiums as usual
  2. Maintain a membership in your local MBA (King and Snohomish Counties or Pierce County)
  3. Notify your GRIP Retro Coordinator immediately about workplace injuries
  4. If claim costs are lower than L&I premiums for GRIP participants, you will share in the  refund

Core benefits (a $2,500 value)

  • Free, half-day Claims 101 class
  • Free safety site visit
  • Free, monthly Brain Trust seminars for education and networking

Claims management (a $500 to $10,000+ value)

  • Local, professional claims agents to manage workers’ injury claims
  • Return-to-work programs
  • Safety and health consultations
  • Nurse claims managers who communicate directly with doctors
  • Expert witness and legal services
  • Multilingual services

Participation and Refunds

GRIP participants adhere to best practices in order to make the program viable and valuable. There are two key guidelines that all employers must honor while in GRIP:

  • When a worker is injured, immediately provide a light/modified job description for physician approval if the worker is unable to perform his or her normal job duties. GRIP will help participants apply for Stay at Work reimbursements from L&I, good for up to $13,900 per claim.
  • If the worker is unable to return to work in any capacity, as certified by the medical provider, maintain Kept on Salary (100 percent of regular wages) immediately and for up to 30 days as necessary. KOS may be extended on a case-by-case basis in consultation with your Retro Coordinator.
Plan years run from July 1 to June 30. The annual enrollment deadline for new enrollees and participants moving from other Retro programs is June 15. Companies that do not apply by June 15 and are not in another Retro can also join quarterly at Sept. 15, Dec. 15, or March 15.

You can typically expect to receive your first refund check about 12 months after the completion of your first plan year in GRIP.

Claims impact Retro performance for a period of three years. Accordingly, the GRIP program pays refunds for each plan year in three annual installments (“adjustments”).

For example, participants in the 2017-18 plan year are eligible to receive refund adjustments in 2019 (30%), 2020 (20%), and 2021 (balance). After three years of participation, GRIP companies begin eligibility to receive partial refunds for three plan years each summer. This continues each July thereafter as long as the company remains an active participant of GRIP.

What is a Kept on Salary policy?

This is the #1 question we receive about GRIP. Kept on Salary (KOS) is a complex topic and a big concern for many employers, so we’ve created these resources to help explain how a KOS policy works and why it’s such an effective alternative to time-loss payments from L&I in Washington State.

Kept on Salary eBook cover

Read the Kept on Salary eBook

The GRIP team explains Kept on Salary

Contact Us

Simply email [email protected] or call 844.MBA.GRIP during regular business hours.

Current participants who need immediate response for a serious accident or injury can call 844.MBA.GRIP anytime, 24 hours a day for emergency dispatch.