The Governmental Accounting Standards Board, otherwise known as GASB, announced that two statements are now published that will improve the accounting and financial reporting by state and local governments for postemployment benefits other than pensions (OPEB), primarily retiree health insurance.  GASB also issued a third Statement establishing accounting and financial reporting requirements for pensions and pension plans that were outside the scope of the pension standards the GASB released in 2012.

Here are some comment about the new statements:

“These newly published OPEB standards will give financial statement users a much more complete picture of how much state and local governments have promised in retiree benefits—and how much those promises actually cost,” said GASB Chairman David A. Vaudt. “Together with the Board’s recent pension standards, these standards will provide consistent and comprehensive guidance for the full suite of postemployment benefits that governments provide to their employees.”

Below are the statements and their specific focus and effective dates.  These changes will have a direct impact on North Carolina local and state governments and how they report their pensions and post-employment benefits.

Statement 75 replaces the requirements of GASB Statement No. 45, Accounting and Financial Reporting by Employers for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions. Statement 75 requires governments to report a liability on the face of the financial statements for the OPEB that they provide.  Statement 75 iseffective for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2017.

Statement 74 replaces GASB Statement No. 43, Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans. Statement 74 addresses the financial reports of defined benefit OPEB plans that are administered through trusts that meet specified criteria. Statement 74 is effective for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2016.

GASB Statement No. 73, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions and Related Assets That Are Not within the Scope of GASB Statement 68, and Amendments to Certain Provisions of GASB Statements 67 and 68, completes the suite of pension standards. Statement 73 is effective for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2015 – except those provisions that address employers and governmental nonemployer contributing entities for pensions that are not within the scope of Statement 68, which are effective for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2016.