NEWS RELEASE 05/11/04

GASB Issues Standards to Improve Postemployment Benefit Plan Reporting

Norwalk, CT, May 11, 2004—The Governmental Accounting Standards Board has issued Statement No. 43, Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans. Other postemployment benefits (OPEB) include healthcare and other nonpension benefits provided to employees as part of their compensation for services.

The standards apply to OPEB plans that are included as trust funds in the financial reports of plan sponsors or employers, and to stand-alone financial reports of OPEB plans that are established as trusts, when issued by the public employee retirement systems, or other governmental entities that administer them. The Statement also provides requirements for reporting of OPEB funds by administrators of multiple-employer OPEB plans, when the fund used is not a trust fund.

According to project manager Karl Johnson, "Statement 43 provides a framework for transparent financial reporting by governmental entities that have fiduciary responsibility for OPEB plan assets regarding their stewardship of plan assets, the funded status and funding progress of the plan, and employer contributions to the plan." The approach taken generally is consistent with that adopted in the GASB’s standards for pension plans, with modifications to reflect OPEB plan differences.

The Board expects to ballot a related Statement, Accounting and Financial Reporting by Employers for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions, in June.


About the Governmental Accounting Standards Board

The GASB is the independent, not-for-profit organization formed in 1984 that establishes and improves financial accounting and reporting standards for state and local governments. Its seven members are drawn from the Board's diverse constituency, including preparers and auditors of government financial statements, users of those statements and members of the academic community. More information about the GASB can be found at its website www.gasb.org.

Governmental Accounting Standards Board

Improving governmental accountability through better financial reporting