FASB to Issue Final Standards for Pensions and OPEB

September 26, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued a project update announcing that FASB Statement No. 158 Employers' Accounting for Defined Benefit Pension and Other Postretirement Plans is expected to be issued on September 29, 2006.

The FASB issued a draft of proposed rules in March 2006 which, among other things, would require employers that are business entities to recognize the overfunded or underfunded status of pensions and other post-employment benefits in their financial statements (See FASB Issues Proposed Accounting Changes for Pensions and OPEB ). Information on the status of plans is currently presented as a footnote on financial statements.

The proposal was met with objections that the accounting changes would be too burdensome and costly to employers (See ERIC Brings Contentions Over FASB Draft ).

A project summary with details of the accounting changes in the new statement is here .

The FASB is also separately working on a project “to issue a single, authoritative codification of US GAAP” (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). The guidance would combine standards from the FASB, the Emerging Issues Task Force, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The project update for the codification project is here .

In a similar effort, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), in July, added a project to its agenda to converge its accounting standards for pensions to that of the FASB (See IASB Begins Project to Align Standards with US FASB ).