GASB Proposes Improvements to State and Local Post Employment Benefits Reporting

On Monday, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) published two proposed Statements intended to significantly improve financial reporting by state and local governments of other postemployment benefits (OPEB), such as retiree health insurance. The GASB also published a third Exposure Draft that would establish requirements for pensions and pension plans that are outside the scope of the pension standards the GASB released in 2012.

The three proposals, which were approved on May 28, are available to download at no charge on the GASB website.

  • The first Exposure Draft related to OPEB, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions (OPEB Employer Exposure Draft), proposes guidance for reporting by governments that provide OPEB to their employees and for governments that finance OPEB for employees of other employers.
  • The second Exposure Draft related to OPEB, Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans (OPEB Plan Exposure Draft), addresses the reporting by the OPEB plans that administer those benefits.
  • The third Exposure Draft, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions and Financial Reporting for Pension Plans That Are Not Administered through Trusts That Meet Specified Criteria, and Amendments to Certain Provisions of GASB Statements 67 and 68, would complete the pension standards by establishing requirements for those pensions and pension plans that are not administered through a trust meeting specified criteria.

To help users, preparers, and auditors of financial statements familiarize themselves with the proposals, the GASB developed an OPEB web page that features new “plain English” resources:

  • An article outlining the key ways that the OPEB proposals will change how governments calculate and report the costs and obligations associated with OPEB
  • An article oriented to financial statement users that addresses how the proposed changes would affect the information that users receive about a government’s OPEB
  • A video featuring GASB Chairman David Vaudt discussing the key principles of the OPEB proposals
  • A fact sheet answering frequently asked questions, and
  • The summary and the full text of the proposals.

Stakeholders are encouraged to review the proposals and provide comments by August 29, 2014.

The GASB will host public hearings on the Exposure Drafts on September 10, 11, and 12, 2014. Locations and other details, including instructions for registering to participate, are highlighted in the Exposure Drafts.

The GASB will be conducting two webinars about the proposals:

  • A CPE webinar on July 30, 2014, beginning at 1:00 pm Eastern
  • A webinar for financial statement users on August 8, 2014, beginning at 1:00 pm Eastern, that will be followed by a survey to collect feedback from users on the proposed standards.

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