New accounting rules proposals issued by GASB would require more transparency in financial reporting about state and local government obligations for other post-employment benefits (OPEB).
GASB issued two exposure drafts related to OPEB and an additional exposure draft that would establish requirements for state and local government pensions and pension plans that are not subject to the pension standards GASB released in 2012.
The proposals are part of GASB’s continuing effort to ensure that state and local government financial reporting accurately depicts the liabilities related to responsibilities for pensions and post-employment benefits. The new pension standards released two years ago represented the first part of that process.
The exposure drafts are available on GASB’s website and titled:
- Accounting and Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions (available at tinyurl.com/on4dqdb).
- Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans (available at tinyurl.com/nald6oh).
- 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 (available at tinyurl.com/pjkqajr).
GASB requests comments by Aug. 29.
The proposed OPEB rules for employers would require governments to report a liability for OPEB on the face of the financial statement.
A GASB proposal describes how fair value should be defined and measured in state and local government financial reporting.
GASB is proposing in its Fair Value Measurement and Application exposure draft that fair value be defined as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date.
Under the proposal, available at tinyurl.com/nxdb23u, investments would generally be measured at fair value. Certain investments continue to be excluded from measurement at fair value, such as investments in money market instruments with remaining maturities at time of purchase of one year or less. GASB’s proposal also would expand disclosures.
Comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org through Aug. 15.
State and local government employers who participate in multiple-employer defined benefit pension plans—and the governments’ auditors—may have difficulty obtaining data required by GASB’s new pension standards to prepare employer financial statements and have difficulty auditing such information.
A new white paper prepared by the AICPA State and Local Government
Expert Panel (SLGEP) provides best-practice solutions to address
accounting and auditing issues for government employers that
participate in agent multiple-employer defined benefit pension plans
(agent plans). These issues need to be addressed by employers sooner
rather than later and will involve close coordination between
employers, agent plans, and their auditors, according to the white
paper, which is available at tinyurl.com/loel7ah. Other
resources related to GASB’s new pension standards are available at the
AICPA Governmental Audit Quality Center’s GASB Matters webpage at tinyurl.com/p4pcdpa.