GASB unveils new rules for reporting on retiree benefits

OPEB standards provide transparency for post-employment health care obligations.

GASB took another big step toward providing accounting and financial reporting guidance that more accurately portrays the liabilities that state and local governments face in funding retiree benefits.

The board approved two new standards that address post-employment benefits other than pensions (OPEB), primarily retiree health insurance, and approved a third standard that establishes requirements for pensions and pension plans beyond the scope of guidance GASB issued in 2012.

The two new OPEB standards are designed to provide transparency in a way that parallels the pension standards issued in 2012. The OPEB standards are:

  • GASB Statement No. 74, Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans, which establishes rules on reporting by OPEB plans that administer benefits on behalf of governments.
  • GASB Statement No. 75, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions, which outlines reporting by governments that provide OPEB to their employees and for governments that finance OPEB for employees of other governments.

The third statement, GASB Statement No. 73, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions and Related Assets That Are Not Within the Scope of GASB Statement 68, and Amendments to Certain Provisions of GASB Statements 67 and 68, sets rules for pensions not covered by the pension standards issued in 2012.

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