GASB Issues Implementation Guide for Public Pensions

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has published an Implementation Guide for new financial reporting standards for state and local government pension plans.

The “Guide to Implementation of GASB Statement 67 on Financial Reporting for Pension Plans” is designed to assist preparers and auditors of state and local government pension plan financial reports as they implement the standards, effective for periods beginning after June 15, 2013.

Prepared by the GASB staff, the guide discusses key topics about putting the new standards into practice such as:

  • The scope and applicability of GASB Statement No. 67, Financial Reporting for Pension Plans;
  • Classification of pensions as defined benefit (DB) or defined contribution;
  • Determination of the number of pension plans that should be reported;
  • Recognition of certain transactions and other events in DB pension plan financial statements;
  • Noting disclosures and required supplementary information; and
  • The calculation of the net pension liability.

“During the development and after the issuance of Statement 67, users, preparers, and auditors of pension plan financial reports posed questions to the GASB staff regarding the application of the standards,” said GASB Chairman Robert H. Attmore. “This Implementation Guide is written in a question-and-answer format and provides illustrative examples to assist stakeholders when applying the new standards for pension plan reporting.”

Attmore added, "We are also pleased to announce that a digital version of the guide will be the first guide to be offered on the GASB website as a download at no cost. Furthermore, all subsequent guides will be available on the GASB website at no cost moving forward."

A hard copy bound edition of the guide can be ordered for $46.50, plus shipping, by visiting the GASB store, or by calling the GASB Order Department at 800-748-0659. For more information, please visit the GASB website.

An additional guide for GASB Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, will be available in early 2014. The provisions in Statement 68 are effective for periods beginning after June 15, 2014.

The two statements, Numbers 67 and 68, were approved and released by GASB in June 2012 (see "GASB Approves New Pension Reporting Standards").