A new online pension implementation toolkit from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) supplies preparers, auditors, and users of state and local governmental financial reports with numerous resources on pension accounting and financial reporting standards.
The free toolkit, which was released by the GASB on March 11, provides users with several resources on Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions. Statement 68, which was approved by the GASB on June 25, 2012, revises and establishes new financial reporting requirements for most governments that provide their employees with pension benefits.
The toolkit also provides information on Statement No. 71, Pension Transition for Contributions Made Subsequent to the Measurement Date - An Amendment of GASB Statement No. 68, which the GASB issued last December. The amendment eliminates a potential source of understatement of restated beginning net position and expense in a government's first year of implementing Statement 68.
Governments are required to implement the new accounting standards in fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2014.
“The GASB is committed to providing our stakeholders with a full array of resources to assist in their understanding and implementation of the pension standards,” GASB Chairman David Vaudt said in a written statement on Tuesday. “This toolkit highlights key implementation issues and provides guidance on how preparers and auditors of state and local governments can effectively comply with the requirements.”
Prepared by GASB staff, the toolkit includes the following resources:
- The Guide to Implementation of GASB Statement 68 on Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, an authoritative resource guide.
- The executive summary and full text of Statement 68 – an amendment of GASB Statement No. 27 – and Statement 71.
- A video featuring GASB Project Manager Michelle Czerkawski outlining the key issues addressed by the implementation guide.
- A video featuring Vaudt discussing the top implementation issues arising from the pension standards.
- Eight podcasts featuring Czerkawski discussing the most significant changes to accounting and financial reporting for pensions.
- A video featuring GASB Technical Director David Bean and Research Manager Dean Mead discussing stakeholder outreach for the pension standards.
- An article outlining the key ways that the pension standards will change how governments calculate and report pension costs and obligations.
- A background document and six fact sheets answering frequently asked questions regarding the pension standards.
- An article identifying several areas 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.
About Jason Bramwell
Jason Bramwell is a staff writer and editor for AccountingWEB. He has nearly 20 years of experience in print and online media as a journalist and editor.