The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) plans to issue guidance related to pensions through two separate standard-setting projects: Pensions Provided through Certain Multiple-Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans, and Pension Issues.
In December, the Board plans to issue guidance to assist governments participating in certain private-sector or federally sponsored multiple-employer defined benefit pension plans that do not have access to information required by the new GASB pension standards, which took effect this summer. Plans envisioned to be addressed by the guidance include Taft-Hartley plans and plans with similar characteristics.
Stakeholders alerted the Board that a small number of governments do not have access to the information required to comply with the new pension standards when they participate in certain private-sector or federally sponsored multiple-employer plans. To address this issue, the Board proposed in October to scope these governments out of GASB Statement 68 (Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions) requirements and to provide them with alternative guidance.
The forthcoming Statement will set separate standards for employers participating in certain multiple-employer pension plans that have specific characteristics. These standards will address recognition and measurement of pension expense and liabilities, note disclosures, and required supplementary information.
More information about the project can be found here.NEXT: Pension standards and fiduciary activities
This month, the GASB expects to issue an Exposure Draft containing proposed guidance to address certain issues raised by stakeholders during the implementation of the new GASB pension standards.
The proposal addresses:
- Issues related to presentation of payroll-related measures;
- Issues related to employer-paid member contributions; and
- Issues related to deviations from the guidance in Actuarial Standards of Practice.
The Board plans to issue a final Statement in early 2016. More information about the project can be found here.
The GASB is also expected to issue an Exposure Draft in December about accounting and financial reporting for fiduciary activities.
Currently, governments are required to present financial statements regarding their fiduciary activities in their fiduciary fund financial statements. However, the concept of what constitutes fiduciary activity is not clearly defined. GASB research and inquiries from stakeholders have indicated there is diversity in practice in the current reporting of various types of fiduciary activities.
In the Board’s forthcoming Exposure Draft, it will propose specific criteria for when and how a government would report a fiduciary activity. The proposal will also address classification of fiduciary funds and recognition of fiduciary fund liabilities.
The Board is scheduled to issue a final Statement in late 2016. More information about the project can be found here.