GASB proposed new accounting and financial reporting guidance to improve consistency, comparability, and clarity in government accounting and reporting.
The proposals pertain to fiduciary activities, certain asset retirement obligations, and pension issues. They are contained in three separate exposure drafts—Fiduciary Activities, Certain Asset Retirement Obligations, and Pension Issues.
In Fiduciary Activities, GASB proposed guidance regarding the definition and reporting of fiduciary activities. Currently, governments must report fiduciary activities in fiduciary fund financial statements, but existing standards do not explicitly define the activity to be reported, according to GASB.
The Fiduciary Activities proposal also is meant to allow assessment of governments' fiduciary accountability. In addition, it provides guidance on the recognition of liabilities to beneficiaries. The proposal would apply to all state and local governments. GASB seeks comment by March 31.
Under the Certain Asset Retirement Obligations proposal, a government that is legally obligated to perform future asset retirement activities related to its tangible capital assets—such as the decommissioning of a nuclear reactor—would be required to recognize a liability and a corresponding deferred outflow of resources. The proposal also would require related disclosures. GASB seeks comment by March 31.
In Pension Issues, GASB addresses practice issues raised during the implementation of Statements No. 67, Financial Reporting for Pension Plans, and No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions. The comment period closed Feb. 12.
The proposal addresses:
- Presentation of payroll-related measures in required supplementary information.
- Selection of assumptions and the treatment of deviations from the guidance in Actuarial Standards of Practice for financial reporting purposes.
- Classification of payments made by employers to satisfy employee contribution requirements.