By Jason Bramwell
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is now offering a free online toolkit designed to assist preparers and auditors of state and local government pension plans with implementing new accounting and financial reporting standards.
On August 2, 2012, the GASB published Statement No. 67, Financial Reporting for Pension Plans, which revised the guidance at that time for the financial reports of most pension plans for state and local governments. Pension plans are now required to implement the new accounting standards in fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2013 (for years ending June 30, 2014, or later).
The toolkit, which was prepared by GASB staff, includes the following resources:
- The Guide to Implementation of GASB Statement 67 on Financial Reporting for Pension Plans – an authoritative resource guide.
- A video featuring GASB Chairman David Vaudt discussing the top implementation issues facing pension plans.
- A podcast featuring GASB Project Manager Michelle Czerkawski discussing the types of pension plans that will be affected by Statement No. 67 and the most significant changes to accounting and financial reporting for pension plans.
- A background document answering frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding Statement No. 67 and Statement No. 68,Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions.
- A fact sheet answering FAQs specifically relating to Statement No. 67.
- An article identifying several areas pension plan administrators and public officials should consider as they plan, prepare, and collaborate when implementing the new standards.
- A "Setting the Record Straight" document addressing common misperceptions about the new pension standards.
- The executive summary and the full text of Statement No. 67.
In the coming weeks, the GASB will add more resources to the toolkit, including short videos from GASB staff highlighting its most-asked implementation questions, according to Vaudt.
"Many of our stakeholders have requested additional educational resources to help them implement the new standards", he said in a written statement. "This toolkit is intended to provide guidance on how plan administrators can effectively comply with the new rules."