GASB Issues Guide for New Pension Standards

January 30, 2014 ( – The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) published an implementation guide for its new standards regarding accounting and financial reporting for pensions.

The “Guide to Implementation of GASB Statement 68 on Accounting and FinancialReporting for Pensions” is an authoritative resource designed to assist preparers and auditors of state and local government financial statements as they implement the statement, which is effective for periods beginning after June 15.

The guide answers key questions about putting the new standards into practice. Topics addressed include:

  • The scope and applicability of GASB Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions;
  • Considerations regarding the identification of special funding situations;
  • Measurement of defined benefit (DB) pension liabilities of employers and non-employer contributing entities;
  • Pension expense and deferred inflows and outflows of resources related to pensions;
  • Note disclosures and required supplementary information;
  • Unique issues related to cost-sharing employers and certain non-employer contributing entities; and
  • Transition to the new standards.

Questions and answers are supplemented with several appendices, including a glossary of terms and nonauthoritative illustrative material. Illustrations include material based on that initially presented in Statement 68, accompanied by five additional illustrations developed specifically for the guide.

“Preparers and auditors of governmental financial reports posed questions to the GASB staff regarding the application of the pension standards throughout their development and after their issuance,” says GASB Chairman David A. Vaudt. “The implementation guide is in a question-and-answer format that includes illustrative examples to assist these stakeholders in understanding and applying the pension standards.”