By Jason Bramwell
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) published a new accounting standards update on July 8 that defers indefinitely certain disclosures about investments held by nonpublic employee benefit plans in their plan sponsor's own nonpublic equity securities.
Accounting Standards Update No. 2013-09 – Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820): Deferral of the Effective Date of Certain Disclosures for Nonpublic Employee Benefit Plans in Update No. 2011-04 – applies to disclosures of certain quantitative information about the significant unobservable inputs used in Level 3 fair value measurement for investments held by certain employee benefit plans, according to the FASB.
The deferral applies specifically to employee benefit plans – other than those plans that are subject to Securities and Exchange Commission filing requirements – that hold investments in their plan sponsors' own nonpublic entity equity securities, including equity securities of their nonpublic affiliated entities.
"The update addresses private company stakeholder concerns that certain disclosure requirements would potentially provide proprietary information when their employee benefit plans' financial statements are posted on the plan regulator's website", FASB Chairman Russell Golden said in a written statement.
Because the Department of Labor makes all financial statements for employee benefit plans public on its website, anyone with an Internet connection could access this proprietary information, according to the FASB.
The deferral is effective immediately for all financial statements that have not yet been issued.