GASB Issues Guide for OPEB Statements

August 8, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has published a Guide to Implementation of GASB Statements 43 and 45 on Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB).

According to a GASB news release, the guide was prepared mainly for assisting preparers and auditors of governmental financial statements and those that advise them on implementing GASB’s Statements 43 and 45 on accounting and reporting for health care and other non-pension postemployment benefits.

Topics of the guide include:

  • Scope and applicability of Statements 43 and 45, including distinguishing between OPEB benefits and other forms of employee benefits such as compensated absences, termination benefits, and pensions
  • Actuarial issues, including the timing and frequency of actuarial valuations associated with OPEB, selection of methods and assumptions, and application of criteria related to the projection of benefits for employers that participate in community-rated plans
  • Treatment of implicit rate subsidies that arise when retirees are insured in a group with current employees
  • Questions and answers and expanded illustrations related to the option provided for certain employers and plans with small plan memberships, allowing them to apply an alternative measurement method to estimate liabilities and expenses associated with their OPEB obligations.

Statement 43 addresses accounting by plans that administer OPEB and  statement 45 establishes accounting and reporting requirements for state and local government employers that provide OPEB.   According to the news release, implementation of Statement 43 will proceed in three phases, based on the revenues of the plan’s largest participating employer, starting with fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2005 and implementation of Statement 45 also will proceed in three phases, starting one year later.

The guide can be ordered by calling 800-748-0659 or via the website  www.gasb.org and asking for product code GQA43/45.

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