Understanding SUI Risk Transfer

April 21, 2015

Understanding SUI Risk Transfer

The essence of any meaningful, effective state unemployment insurance (SUI) risk transfer is to minimize or eliminate future unexpected, adverse risk.

Creating a concrete, working SUI funding strategy to manage an election by a nonprofit to directly reimburse a state, dollar-for-dollar for future benefit charges, requires a clear understanding of the risk appetite and potential events that may affect an organization from year-to-year. Plus, it also requires an informed understanding of who is contractually covered and who is responsible to pay when limits are reached.

What that means is, shrewd stewards of nonprofit organizations’ limited funds must prepare for and be mindful of:

• how much tolerance their organization has for maximum unexpected SUI losses,

• taking advantage of opportunities to transfer the unacceptable portion of their risk to a party willing to assume the hazard for a reasonable fee

• knowing the details and financial implication of any risk transfer coverage.

• engaging with a solid, reputable, and highly rated insurance carrier

Transferring all or a portion of the risk of nonprofit organizations’ SUI reimbursements has been an available option for years and is currently offered in many forms. The most efficient options include;

1. Fully insured, first dollar, claims paid coverage with cost control through a TPA. It is a pure risk transfer of reimbursing benefit charges to a third-party backed by a guaranteed surety bond issued by a suitably rated insurance company.

2. Partially insured under a working stop-loss coverage suitable to the risk tolerance of an individual nonprofit or group of nonprofits and provided by a financially sound insurance company.

3. Membership in an Unemployment Savings Program organized so that it insures each member against the losses of another with no joint and several liability and has a proven working stop-loss for each member plus the entire group.

4. Individually designed coverage for specific unconventional nonprofit reimbursing risks.

Membership in group self-insured SUI programs, some formed as trusts others less formally structured, has been available to nonprofits for many years. The risk transfer components in these programs vary. There may be no transfer whatsoever, pooled stop-loss coverage utilizing reserves within the group itself, or stop loss provided by a private insurer.

Managed group-shared-risk trust funds utilize an accrued and co-mingled capital advance from their nonprofit trust member credit accounts to reimburse state agencies for SUI benefit charge losses for the entire group trust. Though trust managers go to great lengths to insure specific benefit charges are assigned to the appropriate designated member, there may be no elimination or reduction of the collective groups’ total risk or liability. In fact, some programs’ members share collectively in losses by other members who shut down their operations.

For more information about risk transfer options contact the leader in SUI options, First Nonprofit Group.


Source: First Nonprofit Group’s “Financial Mechanics of Funding SUTA” series

Next article, “Best and Safest Practices for SUI Options” (Stay tuned!)

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NYCON members who use First Nonprofit’s programs enjoy enduring savings and improved efficiency. Our association knows that success, because from the beginning, we achieved the same great benefits. Great savings, seamless technology, and responsive service. NYCON highly recommends First Nonprofit’s remarkable unemployment solutions.

New York Council of Nonprofits, Albany, NY

It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios. We are impressed with the accuracy of their employment decisions, integrity of their employees and efficiency of their claim handling. We greatly respect and value the consistent, impressive cost savings from the utilization of their outstanding services.


Thresholds, Chicago, IL

Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools

Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.

Hugh Parry, Retired President of Prevent Blindness America