The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) proposed an implementation guide for state and local governments on Oct. 18 that would clarify, explain, or elaborate on the requirements of the board’s recent standard for other post-employment benefit (OPEB) plans.
The implementation guide would provide answers to more than 150 questions about Statement No. 74, Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans, which the GASB issued in June 2015.
Here’s an example of a question and its answer that would be included in the implementation guide, if approved by the board:
Question: Does Statement 74 require that stand-alone financial reports be issued for defined benefit OPEB plans?
Answer: No. Statement 74 establishes standards that apply to financial reporting for defined benefit OPEB plans that are administered through trusts that meet the criteria in paragraph 3 of that Statement, including stand-alone financial reports, when such reports, prepared in accordance with GAAP, are issued.
Comments on the exposure draft are due by Dec. 19 and should be submitted to [email protected].
OPEB are benefits, other than pensions, that employers provide to their retired employees. These benefits principally involve healthcare benefits, but also may include life insurance, disability, legal, and other services when those benefits are provided separately from a pension plan.
Statement 74 was issued last year to help state and local governments improve how they report OPEB on their balance sheets.
The standard requires more extensive note disclosures and required supplementary information related to the measurement of the OPEB liabilities for which assets have been accumulated, including information about the annual money-weighted rates of return on plan investments. It also provides note disclosure requirements for defined contribution OPEB plans.