Project Pages

Other Postemployment Benefit Accounting and Financial Reporting

Project Description: The Board will consider the possibility of improvements to the existing standards of accounting and financial reporting for other postemployment benefits (OPEB) by state and local governmental employers and by the trustees, administrators, or sponsors of OPEB plans. One objective of this project is to improve accountability and the transparency of financial reporting in regard to the financial effects of employers’ commitments and actions related to OPEB. Another objective of this project is to improve the usefulness of information for decisions or judgments of the various users of the general-purpose external financial reports of governmental employers and OPEB plans. This project also will address accounting and financial reporting for postemployment benefits that are not provided through a qualified trust (as defined in paragraph 4 of GASB Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions).

Status:
Exposure Drafts Approved May 2014
Added to Current Agenda: April 2011

Other Postemployment Benefit Accounting and Financial Reporting—Project Plan


Background: This project will assess the effectiveness of the OPEB standards by examining the related OPEB standards—Statement No. 43, Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans, and Statement No. 45, Accounting and Financial Reporting by Employers for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions. The Board’s approach to date has been to apply a common framework to accounting and financial reporting for all postemployment benefits, including both pensions and OPEB. This project will consider many of the same developments and issues encompassed by the pension project.

Conceptual Developments. Relevant conceptual points of reference that were not available when the pension standards were developed were not applied as Statements 43 and 45 were being developed in order to align the pension and OPEB standards. These concepts include:
  • The definition of a liability in Concepts Statement No. 4, Elements of Financial Statements
  • The definition of communication methods—including recognition/display in basic financial statements, notes to basic financial statements, and required supplementary information (RSI)—in Concepts Statement No. 3, Communication Methods in General Purpose External Financial Statements That Contain Basic Financial Statements.
Other OPEB Accounting Standards. Other standards identified by the project staff as part of the research include:
  • Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)—Statement No. 106, Employers’ Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions, as amended by Statement No. 158, Employers’ Accounting for Defined Benefit Pension Plans and Other Postretirement Plans
  • Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board—Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards 5, Accounting for Liabilities of the Federal Government
  • International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board—International Public Sector Standard 25, Employee Benefits
  • International Accounting Standards Board—International Accounting Standard 19, Employee Benefits
  • Accounting Standards Board (ASB) of the United Kingdom—Financial Reporting Standard 17, Retirement Benefits
  • Public Sector Accounting Board of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants—Public Sector Accounting Handbook Section PS 3250, Retirement Benefits
  • Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB)—AASB 119, Employee Benefits.
Other Literature. Prominent in some discussions of OPEB accounting issues in accounting and actuarial arenas has been a view of OPEB reflecting the discipline of financial economics. Actuaries and financial analysts of that school of thought have expressed a distinctive analysis of OPEB benefits, the relationships among key parties having an interest in OPEB benefits, and the effects of accounting and financial reporting standards on decision making and the investment of plan assets. This view also has stimulated spirited response within the United States from some public OPEB actuaries that favor the traditional actuarial funding model.

State commissions, research groups, and consultants in various parts of the country have issued a number of studies of OPEB funding, governance, and other OPEB issues or problems that also may be useful as reference material for this project. The findings and recommendations of studies of this nature focus on particular facts and circumstances.

Accounting and Financial Reporting Issues
: The scope of this project includes issues (a) raised in the OPEB research and by participants in the pension accounting and financial reporting research project, (b) identified in literature on the subject, or (c) identified through the staff’s review of transactions and other events affecting OPEB in the application of existing standards by OPEB plans and employers, and the way that annual financial reports have reflected the effects of events in years since the effective dates of Statements No. 43, Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans, and No. 45, Accounting and Financial Reporting by Employers for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions. It also includes consideration of relevant conceptual developments by the Board subsequent to the issuance of Statements 43 and 45 in Concepts Statements No. 3, Communication Methods in General Purpose External Financial Reports That Contain Basic Financial Statements, and No. 4, Elements of Financial Statements. The scope of the project also includes consideration of more specific issues and potential improvements related to measurement, recognition, and disclosure of information about OPEB by employers and by OPEB plans. Tentative decisions reached with regard to pensions also will be considered in relation to postemployment benefits generally, consistent with the objective of maintaining a common approach and similar standards for all postemployment benefits to the extent appropriate.

The project also includes consideration of potential issues related to small governments, including issues related to the cost of implementation, and issues related to special-purpose entities, including comparability of accounting and financial reporting among governmental entities versus comparability among publicly and privately owned entities engaged in the same types of economic activity.

Project History: The project staff conducted research into (1) the structures through which other post-employment benefits are offered and administered and assets for payment of benefits are accumulated and (2) application of the alternative measurement method described in Statements 43 and 45.

The Board discussed the results of research using annual financial reports and discussed conceptual issues related to OPEB, tentatively deciding that an employer’s obligation for other postemployment benefits meets the definition of a liability and is measureable with sufficient reliability. As a result of the staffing requirements associated with the pension project, further Board deliberations on this project were deferred until July 2012.

In July 2012, the Board revisited the results of the research using Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports and reconsidered some conceptual issues related to accounting and financial reporting for other postemployment benefits. The Board reaffirmed its tentative decision that an employer’s net obligation for other postemployment benefits, when determined by projecting future benefits payments including probabilities of future events, discounting to present value using an appropriate rate, attributing the costs to periods using an appropriate method, and subtracting net position accumulated in a qualifying trust, meets the definition of a liability in Concepts Statement No. 4, Elements of Financial Statements. The details related to projecting benefit payments and determining the discount rate and attribution method will be determined at a future meeting.

In contrast to its prior tentative decision, the Board determined that is was not appropriate to conclude at this time whether the employer’s net liability for other postemployment benefits is measurable with sufficient reliability for recognition in the financial statements. This issue will be reconsidered when the details related to measurement of the net other postemployment benefits liability are determined.

At the August 2012 Board meeting, the Board discussed the differences between pensions and OPEB not provided through qualifying trusts, and pensions and OPEB provided through qualifying trusts, as well as the various approaches of accounting for pensions and OPEB not provided through qualifying trusts used by standards setters. The Board also considered the appropriateness of accounting for pensions and OPEB not provided through qualifying trusts using an approach similar to that in Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions.

The Board tentatively decided that an employer’s obligation for pensions and OPEB provided outside of a trust or equivalent arrangement in defined contribution arrangements and defined benefit single-employer and agent employer arrangements meets the definition of a liability in Concepts Statement 4.

At the October 2012 meeting, the Board discussed the inclusion of OPEB provided outside of a formal, written document in the projection of benefits for the measurement of an employer’s OPEB liability. The Board tentatively decided to propose that benefits provided outside of a formal, written document should be included in the projection of benefits for the measurement of an employer’s OPEB liability when the benefits are understood by both the employer and employees to be part of the employment exchange transaction.

The Board also discussed the consideration of “cost-sharing” provisions between the employer and benefit recipients in the projection of benefits for the measurement of an employer’s OPEB liability. The Board tentatively decided to propose that employers should consider the pattern of practice with regard to the sharing of benefit costs between an employer and benefit recipients and include the employer’s cost from that pattern in the projection of benefits for the measurement of an employer’s OPEB liability.

The Board also discussed the consideration of an employer’s ability to modify benefits in the future and the impact of that ability on the projection of benefits in the measurement of an employer’s OPEB liability. The Board tentatively decided to propose that only those benefits that have been formally approved and communicated to employees be considered in the projection of benefits for the measurement of an employer’s OPEB liability.

At the October 2012 teleconference, the Board continued its discussion on issues associated with the projection of OPEB benefits in the measurement of an OPEB liability. The Board discussed coverage assumptions, healthcare cost trend rates, and other economic and demographic assumptions used by actuaries in projecting OPEB benefits. The Board tentatively decided to propose that the selection of coverage assumptions, healthcare cost trend rates, and other economic and demographic assumptions used for the projection of benefits in the measurement of an employer’s OPEB liability should be in conformity with Actuarial Standards of Practice issued by the Actuarial Standards Board.

The Board also discussed feedback received from task force members at the October 5, 2012 Task Force meeting on issues related to the projection of OPEB benefits in the measurement of an OPEB liability. The Board tentatively reaffirmed its decision to propose that the projection of benefits for the measurement of an employer’s OPEB liability should include benefits provided outside of a formal, written document, consideration of the historic pattern of sharing costs between employers and benefit recipients, and benefit changes that the employer has formally approved and communicated to employees.

At the November 2012 meeting, the Board tentatively decided that OPEB benefits that are based on a formula that include the effects of future events should be included the effects of these future events in the projection of benefits for the measurement of an employer’s OPEB liability.

The Board also discussed the inclusion of taxes or other assessments on providing OPEB benefits in the projection of benefits for the measurement of an employer’s OPEB liability. The Board considered certain potential effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Act), including an excise tax on employer-provided health insurance benefits provided that are determined to be an excess benefit by the Act. The Board tentatively decided to include the consideration of taxes or other assessments on providing the benefits in the projection of benefits in the measurement of an employer’s OPEB liability.

At its January 2013 meeting, the Board discussed issues related to the discount rate to be used to calculate the present value of projected future OPEB in the measurement of an OPEB liability. The Board tentatively decided to propose that the discount rate used in the measurement of an OPEB liability be the single rate reflecting (1) the long-term rate of return on plan investments that are expected to be used to finance the payment of benefits, to the extent that (a) the plan’s fiduciary net position is projected to be sufficient to make projected benefit payments and (b) plan assets are expected to be invested using a strategy to achieve that return and (2) a yield or index rate for 20-year, tax-exempt general obligation municipal bonds with an average rating of AA/Aa or higher (or equivalent quality on another rating scale), to the extent the conditions in (1) are not met.

The Board also discussed the effect of the use of an irrevocable trust on the measurement of an employer’s OPEB liability. Specifically, the Board considered the ability of a trust to return assets to the employer in circumstances in which assets accumulated in the trust are in excess of the projected benefits to be paid. The Board tentatively decided to propose that trusts that allow excess assets to be returned to the employer when the total OPEB liability has been legally defeased should be considered a trust in the measurement of an OPEB liability. However, trusts that allow assets accumulated in excess of the present value of projected benefits to be returned to the employer should not be considered a trust in the measurement of an OPEB liability.

At its February 2013 meeting, the Board discussed issues related to the attribution of the present value of expected benefits in the measurement of an OPEB liability. The Board tentatively decided to propose that the method to attribute the actuarial present value of projected benefit payments to periods of service in the measurement of an OPEB liability should be the entry age actuarial cost method with each period’s service cost determined as a level percentage of pay. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that benefits should be attributed to periods beginning in the first period in which the employee’s service accrues OPEB benefits in accordance with the OPEB arrangement, notwithstanding vesting or similar terms, through all assumed exit ages.

The Board also discussed issues related to the reliability of the measurement of a net OPEB obligation for recognition in the financial statements of a state or local government. The Board tentatively decided that an employer’s net OPEB obligation is measurable with sufficient reliability for recognition as an element of the financial statements and that the measurement sufficiently reflects the qualitative characteristics of understandability, relevance, timeliness, consistency, and comparability.

At its April 2013 meeting, the Board discussed issues related to the timing and frequency of the measurement of a single or agent employer’s defined benefit OPEB liability. The Board tentatively decided to propose that an employer’s net OPEB liability be measured as of a date no earlier than the single or agent employer’s prior fiscal year-end, consistently applied from period-to-period. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that the frequency of actuarial valuations used to determine a single or agent employer’s net OPEB liability be at least biennial. In addition, the Board tentatively decided to propose that the timing of actuarial valuations used to determine a single or agent employer’s net OPEB liability be no more than 30 months and 1 day earlier than the employer’s most recent fiscal year-end. In circumstances in which the actuarial valuation date is not the measurement date, the Board tentatively decided to propose that update procedures be used to roll forward the information to the measurement date.

The Board also discussed issues related to the recognition of expense related to a single or agent employer’s defined benefit OPEB obligations. The Board tentatively decided to propose that contributions to an OPEB plan trust from an employer be considered a liquidation of the employer’s liability and contributions from employees be considered a reduction in the employer’s expense related to OPEB. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that the difference between the projected and actual investment return on OPEB plan assets be recognized as a deferred outflow of resources or as a deferred inflow of resources and be recognized as OPEB expense over a closed five-year period, beginning in the current period.

For effects of changes in the total OPEB liability on the measurement of a single or agent employer’s net OPEB liability, the Board tentatively decided to propose that differences between expected and actual experience with regard to economic or demographic factors (differences between expected and actual experience) and changes of assumptions about future economic or demographic factors or of other inputs (changes in assumptions) be recognized as deferred outflows of resources or deferred inflows of resources. The Board tentatively decided to propose that deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources resulting from differences between expected and actual experience and changes in assumptions be recognized as OPEB expense, beginning in the current reporting period, using a systematic and rational method over a closed period equal to the average of the expected remaining service lives of all OPEB plan participants, determined as of the beginning of the measurement period. The Board tentatively decided to propose that the effects of all other changes in the total OPEB liability on the measurement of the net OPEB liability be recognized in OPEB expense in the current reporting period.

The Board also tentatively decided to propose that contributions to an OPEB plan from a single or agent employer subsequent to the measurement date of the net OPEB liability and before the end of the employer’s reporting period be reported as a deferred outflow of resources.

Current Developments: At its May 2013 meeting, the Board discussed issues related to employer accounting and financial reporting for OPEB that contain an implicit rate subsidy. The Board tentatively decided to propose that an implicit rate subsidy be included in the projection of OPEB for the measurement of a governmental employer’s OPEB liability.

At its June 2013 meeting, the Board discussed issues related to an alternative measurement method for calculating an employer’s OPEB liability for small employers that is not based on an actuarial valuation. The Board tentatively decided that an alternative measurement method should be permitted for the measurement of OPEB liabilities.

At its August 2013 meeting, the Board discussed issues related to parameters for certain assumptions to be used in an alternative measurement method calculation of an employer’s other postemployment benefit (OPEB) liability for small employers that is not based on an actuarial valuation. The Board tentatively decided that the alternative measurement method proposal should include the same general considerations for employers in regard to selection of assumptions for the measurement of OPEB liabilities as were provided in Statement No. 45, Accounting and Financial Reporting by Employers for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that the following assumptions be used in applying the alternative measurement method for use in the measurement of an employer’s total OPEB liability:
  • The current marital and dependency status
  • Mortality assumptions based on current published tables and that plan members would be projected to live until their expected age in relation to those tables
  • Select and ultimate assumptions about healthcare cost trends in future years derived from one or more objective sources
  • Experience-rated, age-adjusted current healthcare insurance premium rates as the assumption for initial per capita healthcare rates for the purposes of projecting future healthcare benefit payments
  • Experience of an employer’s covered group in determining coverage option assumptions, considering the choices of pre- and post-Medicare eligible plan members.
  • The Board also tentatively decided to propose that the discount rate, and process for determining the rate, used in the alternative measurement method be the same as the discount rate used by employers that do not apply the alternative measurement method. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that the alternative measurement method be allowed for only those governments with fewer than 100 total plan members defined as active employees eligible to receive benefits, inactive employees eligible for benefits but not yet receiving benefits, and inactive employees receiving benefits.
The Board also discussed issues related to recognition and measurement, and frequency and timing of those measurements, for OPEB offered by employers that participate in multiple-employer, cost-sharing defined benefit OPEB plans. The Board tentatively decided that employers that participate in a cost-sharing OPEB plan should be viewed as having an obligation for a portion of the collective unfunded OPEB obligation of the plan. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that the net OPEB liability of a cost-sharing OPEB plan be measured using the same timing and measurement requirements as single or agent employer plans. In addition, the Board tentatively decided to propose that a cost-sharing employer measure its OPEB liability as the proportion of its contributions to the total contributions of all contributing entities to the cost-sharing OPEB plan consistent with the manner in which contributions to the plan are determined.

The Board tentatively agreed to propose that the calculation of an employer’s proportionate share of a cost-sharing plan’s collective net OPEB liability allow for professional judgment to determine the proportion of the employer’s contributions to all participating entity contributions to the cost-sharing OPEB plan. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that the collective OPEB expense of a cost-sharing OPEB plan be measured using the same requirements as single or agent employer plans. The Board tentatively agreed to propose that an employer measure its OPEB expense and deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources related to OPEB for its participation in a cost-sharing OPEB plan using the same proportionate share used to measure the employer’s net OPEB liability. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that contributions made by a cost-sharing employer subsequent to the measurement period but before the end of its reporting period be recognized as a deferred outflow of resources. In addition, the Board tentatively decided to propose that a cost-sharing employer recognize amounts from its participation in a cost-sharing OPEB plan reported as deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources related to OPEB over the same periods as single and agent employers.

The Board also discussed issues related to special funding arrangements in relation to defined benefit OPEB obligations. The Board tentatively decided to propose that a nonemployer contributing entity recognize a portion of the net OPEB liability of the employer and the employer recognize a reduction in its net OPEB liability in circumstances in which there is a special funding situation. The Board tentatively decided to propose that a special funding situation be defined as a circumstance when a nonemployer entity is legally responsible for making contributions directly to an OPEB plan and either of the following conditions exist: (1) the amount of contributions for which the nonemployer entity legally is responsible is not dependent upon one or more events or circumstances unrelated to OPEB or (2) the nonemployer entity is the only entity with a legal obligation to make contributions directly to the OPEB plan. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that a nonemployer contributing entity measure a net OPEB liability, OPEB expense, and deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources related to OPEB in the same manner as cost-sharing employers. In addition, the Board tentatively agreed to propose that an employer measure its net OPEB liability in a special funding situation as (1) the collective OPEB liability less the nonemployer contributing entity’s proportionate share related to the employer in single or agent OPEB plans or (2) the employer’s proportion of contributions in relation to the collective contributions of the plan in a cost-sharing OPEB plan. The Board also tentatively agreed to propose that an employer measure OPEB expense in a special funding situation as its proportionate share of the collective expense of the OPEB plan. In addition, the Board tentatively decided the employer should recognize revenue and expense equal to the amount of the expense recognized by the nonemployer contributing entity.

At its September 2013 meeting, the Board discussed issues related to projecting other postemployment benefits (OPEB) in the measurement of an OPEB liability by an employer that provides those benefits through a community-rated plan. The Board tentatively decided to allow employers that provide OPEB through a community-rated plan to use unadjusted premiums to project benefits, to the extent permitted by Actuarial Standards of Practice No. 6, Measuring Retiree Group Benefit Obligations, or its successor documents, if both (1) the premium rates reflect the projected health claims experience of all participating employers, rather than that of the individual employer, and (2) the insurer or provider organization charges the same unadjusted premium rates for both active employees and retirees.

The Board also considered the effect of a cap on the employer’s share of benefits and the effect of a cap on the employer’s contributions to an OPEB plan on the projection of benefits in the measurement of a total OPEB liability. The Board tentatively decided that a legal or contractual cap on an employer’s share of the benefits to be provided to plan members be considered in the projection of benefits in the measurement of an employer’s total OPEB liability if the cap is assumed to be effective, taking into consideration the employer’s record of enforcing the cap in the past and other relevant factors and circumstances. The Board also tentatively decided that a cap on an employer’s contributions to an OPEB plan not be considered in the projection of benefits in the measurement of an employer’s total OPEB liability.

The Board also discussed issues related to OPEB to be provided by allocated insurance contracts. The Board tentatively agreed that benefits to be provided by allocated insurance contracts be excluded from the projection of benefits in the measurement of an employer’s total OPEB liability under the following conditions:
  1. All required payments to acquire the contracts have been made
  2. The responsibility for providing the benefits irrevocably has been transferred to the insurer
  3. The likelihood is remote that the employer will be required to make future payments to satisfy the benefit payments covered by the contract.
In addition, the Board discussed recognition of payables to an OPEB plan. The Board tentatively decided that an employer should recognize payables to an OPEB plan that are legally or contractually required as a liability separate from the employer’s net OPEB liability.

The Board also considered issues related to the classification of a primary government and its component units as employers in the same defined benefit OPEB plan. The Board tentatively agreed that a primary government and its component units, both blended and discretely presented, be classified as one employer for plan classification purposes. The Board also tentatively agreed that for stand-alone financial reports, the requirements of cost-sharing employers for recognition and measurement of a net OPEB liability be applied by both the primary government and its component units, blended and discretely presented.

The Board also discussed information related to OPEB that employers should be required to include as disclosures in notes to basic financial statements or present as required supplementary information when the employer provides OPEB through a defined benefit plan. The Board tentatively decided that note disclosures should be provided for each individual defined benefit OPEB plan in which the employer participates as of the measurement date, unless otherwise noted. In addition, the Board tentatively decided that disclosures related to more than one OPEB plan be combined in a manner that avoids unnecessary duplication. Also, the Board tentatively decided that in circumstances in which the employees of both the primary government and its component units are provided OPEB through the same single or agent employer plan, a reporting entity should separately identify amounts associated with the primary government and those associated with its discretely presented component units in the notes to financial statements.

The Board tentatively decided that disclosures in notes to the financial statements and required supplementary information for employers and governmental nonemployer contributing entities that provide defined benefit OPEB should be the same as disclosures provided by employers and governmental nonemployer contributing entities that provide define benefit pensions with the following additional disclosures for employers in notes to financial statements:
  • If applicable, legal or contractual maximum contribution rates of the employer
  • Healthcare cost trend rates
  • The employer’s net OPEB liability and measurement of the employer’s net OPEB liability resulting from a 1-percentage-point increase and a 1-percentage-point decrease in the discount rate. In addition, for each of these measurements, the employer’s net OPEB liability and a measurement of the employer’s net OPEB liability resulting from a 1-percentage-point increase and a 1-percentage-point decrease in the healthcare trend rate should be disclosed
At its October 2013 meeting, the Board continued discussions related to the use of an alternative measurement method for calculating an employer’s other postemployment benefit (OPEB) liability for small employers. The Board tentatively decided that in using the alternative measurement method to measure OPEB liabilities, the expected point in time in which benefits will be provided could be a single assumed retirement age for all active employees or an assumption that all active employees will retire upon attaining a certain number of years of service provided that this age reflects past experience and future expectations for the covered group.

The Board tentatively decided that the use of historical age-based turnover experience of the covered group be used to determine turnover assumptions in the alternative measurement method. The Board also tentatively decided that if such experience data is not available to determine turnover assumptions, the alternative measurement method should provide default information to determine turnover assumptions.

The Board tentatively decided that the expected future working lifetime of plan members should be the difference between the employee’s current age and the employee’s assumed retirement age for purposes of allocating the present value of expected benefits to periods. In addition, the Board tentatively decided that the alternative measurement method should provide default factors for calculating age-adjusted premiums when active employees and retirees are charged the same premiums and the employer is unable to obtain age-adjusted premium information for retirees from the insurer.

The Board also considered the coordination of the tentative decisions made to date in the OPEB project with other accounting and financial reporting standards related to employee benefits. The Board tentatively decided that existing guidance in Statement No. 10, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Risk Financing and Related Insurance Issues, as amended, related to accounting and financial reporting for insurance and risk financing should continue to exclude OPEB.

The Board also discussed issues related to accounting and financial reporting of plans that administer defined benefit OPEB in trusts. The Board tentatively decided that the same provisions for recognition and measurement in financial statements, note disclosures, and required supplementary information should be the same as established for defined benefit pension plans in Statement No. 67, Financial Reporting for Pension Plans, with the following additional note disclosures:
  • That sharing of costs between the employer and benefit recipients is based on terms or policies or that the sharing of costs is based on an historical pattern.
  • Measures of the OPEB plan’s net OPEB liability resulting from a 1-percentage-point increase and a 1-percentage-point decrease in the discount rate. In addition, for each of these measurements, the plan’s net OPEB liability and a measurement of the plan’s net OPEB liability resulting from a 1-percentage-point increase and a 1-percentage-point decrease in the healthcare trend rate.
The Board also considered issues related to accounting and financial reporting for OPEB arrangements that are not administered as trusts. The Board tentatively decided that funds used to accumulate assets and pay OPEB for multiple employers should be reported as agency funds with assets and liabilities recognized in the same manner as assets and liabilities held by defined benefit OPEB plans administered as trusts. The Board also tentatively decided that assets held in excess of liabilities in these circumstances should be offset by liabilities to participating employers.

The Board tentatively decided that the notes to the financial statements for multiple-employer OPEB arrangements that do not meet the criteria to be reported as a trust include the following:
  • Disclosure of the number of participating employers and nonemployer contributing entities, if any
  • A brief description of how the fair value of investments is determined, including the methods and significant assumptions used to estimate the fair value of investments, if that fair value is based on other than quoted market prices
  • Authority under which obligations of the plan members, employers, and other contributing entities, if any, to contribute are established or may be amended
  • Brief description of how the contributions of plan members, employers, and nonemployer contributing entities are determined and how the costs of administering the plan are financed
  • Required contribution rate(s) of active or retired plan members, as applicable, expressed as a rate (amount) per member or as a percentage of covered payroll
  • Description of any long-term contracts for contributions to the plan and disclosure of the amounts outstanding at the reporting date.
The Board also discussed issues related to accounting and financial reporting of pension arrangements that are not administered as trusts. The Board tentatively decided that the tentative decisions in relation to accounting and financial reporting for OPEB arrangements that are not administered as trusts should be applied to pension arrangements that are not administered as trusts.

At its November 2013 teleconference, the Board discussed issues related to defined contribution other postemployment benefit (OPEB) plans. Specifically, the Board discussed the definition of a defined contribution plan, classification of plans that have both defined benefit and defined contribution characteristics, accounting and financial reporting by governmental employers and governmental nonemployer contributing entities participating in defined contribution OPEB plans, and accounting and financial reporting by defined contribution OPEB plans. The Board tentatively decided that the accounting and financial reporting and note disclosures for employers, governmental nonemployer contributing entities, and defined contribution OPEB plans be the same as the requirements in Statement 68 for employers, nonemployer contributing entities, and defined contribution pension plans.

At its December 2013 meeting, the Board considered the impact of federal government subsidies received by an employer or another postemployment benefits (OPEB) plan for OPEB provided. Specifically, the Board discussed how the receipt of a retiree drug subsidy (RDS) payment and a subsidy in an employer group waiver plan (EGWP) should be recognized. The Board tentatively decided to propose that the receipt of an RDS payment be recognized as (1) a voluntary nonexchange transaction when received by an employer or (2) an on-behalf payment when received by an OPEB plan. Based on the differences between the programs that were identified in the staff paper, the Board also tentatively decided to propose that a subsidy in an EGWP be considered a reduction in the employer’s projected benefit costs related to OPEB.

The Board also discussed other issues related to the accounting and financial reporting for OPEB in financial statements prepared using the current financial resources measurement focus and modified accrual basis of accounting. The Board tentatively decided to propose that an employer recognize a net OPEB liability in financial statements prepared using the current financial resources measurement focus and modified accrual basis of accounting to the extent the liability is normally expected to be liquidated with expendable available resources. A net OPEB liability is normally expected to be liquidated with expendable available resources when OPEB benefits have matured—that is, benefit payments are due and plan net position is not sufficient for payment of those benefits. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that OPEB expenditures be recognized for (1) amounts paid by the employer to the OPEB plan or for benefits directly paid by the employer and (2) the change between the beginning and ending balances of amounts normally expected to be liquidated with expendable available resources.

The Board also discussed the allocation of OPEB liabilities and other measurements to funds and activities and tentatively decided to propose not including information related to the allocation of net OPEB liabilities and related measures among funds in the fund financial statements and between governmental and business-type activities in the government-wide statement of net position.

The Board also discussed issues related to implementation of the proposed Statement. In relation to transition provisions for the recognition of amounts in financial statements of OPEB plans, the Board tentatively decided to propose that the provisions of the proposed Statement related to amounts recognized in financial statements be applied retroactively. In addition, information to be presented as required supplementary information for OPEB plans should be presented for as many years for which information measured in conformity with the proposed Statement is available. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that the proposed Statement for OPEB plans be effective for periods beginning after June 15, 2016, with earlier implementation encouraged.

In relation to transition provisions for the recognition of amounts in financial statements of employers, the Board tentatively decided to propose that the provisions of the proposed Statement related to amounts recognized in financial statements for OPEB liabilities be applied retroactively. In addition, the Board tentatively decided to propose that beginning balances for deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources related to OPEB not be applied retroactively, with the exception of employer contributions subsequent to the initial measurement date, unless all amounts of deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources related to OPEB can be determined. For employer contributions subsequent to the initial measurement date of the beginning net OPEB liability but before the start of the employer’s fiscal year of implementation, a beginning deferred outflow of resources should be recognized. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that prior year information to be presented as required supplementary information be presented for as many years for which information measured in conformity with the requirements of the proposed Statement is available.

The Board also reviewed a preliminary draft standards section of the Exposure Draft for accounting and financial reporting for other postemployment benefits for plans. The Board provided recommendations and suggestions for clarification on the draft document. Subject to those clarifications and revisions, the Board directed the project staff to prepare a ballot draft for consideration at the March 2014 Board meeting.

Current Developments: At its January 2014 meeting, the Board discussed the effective date for the implementation of the proposed Statement on accounting and financial reporting for OPEB. The Board tentatively decided to propose that the proposed Statement for OPEB accounting and financial reporting be effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2016, with earlier implementation encouraged, for all employers regardless of whether or not a trust is used to administer the OPEB. The Board also modified its previous tentative decision for the effective date of the proposed Statement for OPEB plans from fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2016, to fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2015, with earlier implementation encouraged. In addition, the Board tentatively decided to propose that the proposed Statement for accounting and financial reporting for pensions that are not administered through trusts be for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2016, with earlier implementation encouraged.

The Board also reviewed preliminary draft standards sections of the Exposure Drafts for (1) accounting and financial reporting for OPEB and (2) accounting and financial reporting for pensions that are not administered through trusts. The Board provided recommendations and suggestions for clarification on the draft documents. Subject to those clarifications and revisions, the Board directed the project staff to prepare a preballot draft for consideration at the March 2014 Board meeting.

The Board also reviewed proposed illustrations for the proposed Statement for OPEB plans and provided recommendations and suggestions for clarification on the illustrations.

At its March 2014 meeting, the Board continued its discussion of the alternative measurement method to measure postemployment benefits other than pensions (OPEB) in relation to (1) default probabilities of an employee remaining employed until the assumed retirement age to use as turnover assumptions and (2) default factors for calculating age-adjusted premiums when the same premiums are charged to active and inactive employees and the employer or plan sponsor is unable to obtain age-adjusted premium information for inactive employees from the insurer or service provider. The Board tentatively agreed that when experience data on the covered group is not available, default probabilities for the turnover assumption in applying the alternative measure should be withdrawal rates by gender, age, and years of service in the most recently available annual report of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. The Board also tentatively agreed that project staff should continue to further explore options in relation to use of default probabilities in calculating age-adjusted premiums used in applying the alternative measurement method.

The Board also discussed expected benefits and perceived costs from proposed standards for (1) accounting and financial reporting for OPEB, (2) financial reporting for OPEB plans, and (3) accounting and financial reporting for pensions and financial reporting for pension plans that are not administered through trusts that meet specified criteria. The Board tentatively agreed that subject to additional information that will be obtained as the result of due process, including a scheduled field test, the expected benefits of information to stakeholders from the proposed standards exceed the anticipated costs to preparers and users.

The Board then discussed potential clarifying amendments to Statements No. 67, Accounting for Pension Plans, and No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, addressing requirements related to (1) notes to required supplementary information schedules for pension plans, (2) payables to the pension plan, (3) employers that have a special funding situation and receive support from nonemployer contributing entities that are not in a specific special funding situation, and (4) revenue recognition for the support of nonemployer contributing entities that make contributions that are not legally required.

The Board discussed requirements for notes to required supplementary information schedules for pension plans and determined that Statement 67 should be amended to clarify that information presented in these notes related to factors that significantly affect trends in the annual money-weighted rate of return on pension plan investments is limited to factors within the control of management. Next, the Board agreed to amend Statements 67 and 68 to remove contractually deferred contributions with separate payment schedules from the category of separately financed specific liabilities to a pension plan.

The Board also tentatively decided Statements 67 and 68 should clarify that amounts to reduce payables for contractually deferred contributions with separate payment schedules should be excluded from measures of actuarially determined contributions, contractually required contributions, and statutorily required contributions that are required to be presented in schedules of required supplementary information. The Board also tentatively decided that Statement 68 should be amended to adjust the amounts recognized as revenue and expense by an employer that has a special funding situation for a separately financed liability. For employers that provide pensions through a cost-sharing plan, the Board tentatively agreed that Statement 68 should be amended to require the employer to recognize revenue and pension expense equal to the support provided by the nonemployer contributing entity.

For employers that provide pensions through single or agent employer plans, Statement 68 should be amended to require the employer to recognize revenue for the support of the nonemployer contributing entity. The Board also tentatively agreed that Statement 68 should be amended to adjust the amounts recognized as expense by each employer and nonemployer contributing entity that does not have a separately financed liability by reducing expense in an amount equal to its proportionate share of the contributions recognized by the pension plan for separately financed specific liabilities of other employers or nonemployer contributing entities.

Next, the Board tentatively decided that guidance should be added to the Comprehensive Implementation Guide to clarify the accounting and financial reporting for an employer that has a special funding situation and also receives support from a nonemployer contributing entity that is not in a special funding situation. The Board also tentatively decided that Statement 68 should be amended to clarify that revenue should be recognized in the period in which the change in the net pension liability is reported for the support of nonemployer contributing entities that are not in a special funding situation, rather than in conformity with the revenue recognition requirements of Statement No. 24, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Certain Grants and Other Financial Assistance.

The Board also reviewed preballot drafts for proposed Statements on (1) accounting and financial reporting for OPEB, (2) financial reporting for OPEB plans, and (3) accounting and financial reporting for pensions and financial reporting for pension plans that are not administered through trusts that meet specified criteria. The Board tentatively agreed to various clarifying changes to the drafts and directed the project staff to prepare ballot drafts for the proposed Statements.

At its April 2014 meeting, the Board will review a ballot draft for proposed a Statement on accounting and financial reporting for pensions and financial reporting for pension plans that are not administered through trusts that meet specified criteria.

Work Plan:

Board meetings

Topics to be considered

May 2014:

Review ballot drafts and approve Exposure Drafts

June–July 2014:

Comment period.

September 2014:

Public hearing(s).

September 2014–March 2015:

Redeliberation of issues raised in response to the Exposure Drafts.

April 2015:

Review preballot drafts of final Statements.

June 2015:

Review ballot drafts and issue final Statements.


Other Postemployment Benefit Accounting and Financial Reporting—Recent Minutes


Minutes of Meetings, May 28-29, 2014

The Board reviewed the ballot drafts of three proposed Statements: Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions and Financial Reporting for Pension Plans That Are Not Administered through Trusts That Meet Specified Criteria, and Amendments to Certain Provisions of GASB Statements 67 and 68, Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans, and Accounting and Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions.

The Board tentatively agreed on various clarifying changes to the Exposure Drafts. Finally, the Board unanimously agreed to move forward with the issuance of the three Exposure Drafts for comment.

Minutes of Meetings, April 8-10, 2014

The Board reviewed a ballot draft of an Exposure Draft, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions and Financial Reporting for Pension Plans That Are Not Administered through Trusts That Meet Specified Criteria and Amendments to Certain Provisions of GASB Statements 67 and 68, tentatively agreeing on various clarifying changes to the draft.

Minutes of Meetings, March 3-5, 2014

The Board continued its discussion of the alternative measurement method to measure postemployment benefits other than pensions (OPEB) in relation to (1) default probabilities of an employee remaining employed until the assumed retirement age to use as turnover assumptions and (2) default factors for calculating age-adjusted premiums when the same premiums are charged to active and inactive employees and the employer or plan sponsor is unable to obtain age-adjusted premium information for inactive employees from the insurer or service provider. The Board tentatively agreed that when experience data on the covered group is not available, default probabilities for the turnover assumption in applying the alternative measure should be withdrawal rates by gender, age, and years of service in the most recently available annual report of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. The Board also tentatively agreed that project staff should continue to further explore options in relation to use of default probabilities in calculating age-adjusted premiums used in applying the alternative measurement method.

Next, the Board discussed expected benefits and perceived costs from proposed standards for (1) accounting and financial reporting for OPEB, (2) financial reporting for OPEB plans, and (3) accounting and financial reporting for pensions and financial reporting for pension plans that are not administered through trusts that meet specified criteria. The Board tentatively agreed that subject to additional information that will be obtained as the result of due process, including a scheduled field test, the expected benefits of information to stakeholders from the proposed standards exceed the anticipated costs to preparers and users.

The Board then discussed potential clarifying amendments to Statements No. 67, Accounting for Pension Plans, and No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, addressing requirements related to (1) notes to required supplementary information schedules for pension plans, (2) payables to the pension plan, (3) employers that have a special funding situation and receive support from nonemployer contributing entities that are not in a specific special funding situation, and (4) revenue recognition for the support of nonemployer contributing entities that make contributions that are not legally required. The Board discussed requirements for notes to required supplementary information schedules for pension plans and determined that Statement 67 should be amended to clarify that information presented in these notes related to factors that significantly affect trends in the annual money-weighted rate of return on pension plan investments is limited to factors within the control of management. Next, the Board agreed to amend Statements 67 and 68 to remove contractually deferred contributions with separate payment schedules from the category of separately financed specific liabilities to a pension plan.

The Board also tentatively decided Statements 67 and 68 should clarify that amounts to reduce payables for contractually deferred contributions with separate payment schedules should be excluded from measures of actuarially determined contributions, contractually required contributions, and statutorily required contributions that are required to be presented in schedules of required supplementary information. The Board also tentatively decided that Statement 68 should be amended to adjust the amounts recognized as revenue and expense by an employer that has a special funding situation for a separately financed liability. For employers that provide pensions through a cost-sharing plan, the Board tentatively agreed that Statement 68 should be amended to require the employer to recognize revenue and pension expense equal to the support provided by the nonemployer contributing entity. For employers that provide pensions through single or agent employer plans, Statement 68 should be amended to require the employer to recognize revenue for the support of the nonemployer contributing entity. The Board also tentatively agreed that Statement 68 should be amended to adjust the amounts recognized as expense by each employer and nonemployer contributing entity that does not have a separately financed liability by reducing expense in an amount equal to its proportionate share of the contributions recognized by the pension plan for separately financed specific liabilities of other employers or nonemployer contributing entities. Next, the Board tentatively decided that guidance should be added to the Comprehensive Implementation Guide to clarify the accounting and financial reporting for an employer that has a special funding situation and also receives support from a nonemployer contributing entity that is not in a special funding situation. The Board also tentatively decided that Statement 68 should be amended to clarify that revenue should be recognized in the period in which the change in the net pension liability is reported for the support of nonemployer contributing entities that are not in a special funding situation, rather than in conformity with the revenue recognition requirements of Statement No. 24, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Certain Grants and Other Financial Assistance.

The Board also reviewed preballot drafts for proposed Statements on (1) accounting and financial reporting for OPEB, (2) financial reporting for OPEB plans, and (3) accounting and financial reporting for pensions and financial reporting for pension plans that are not administered through trusts that meet specified criteria. The Board tentatively agreed to various clarifying changes to the drafts and directed the project staff to prepare ballot drafts for the proposed Statements.

Minutes of Meetings, January 27-29, 2014

The Board continued a discussion from its December Board meeting on the effective date for the implementation of the proposed Statement on accounting and financial reporting for postemployment benefits other than pensions (OPEB). Project staff presented feedback from the OPEB Accounting and Financial Reporting Task Force regarding proposing an effective date for employers that administer OPEB outside of qualifying trusts, or equivalent arrangements, one year earlier than for those employers that administer OPEB through trusts. The Board tentatively decided to propose that the proposed Statement for OPEB accounting and financial reporting be effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2016, with earlier implementation encouraged, for all employers regardless of whether or not a trust is used to administer the OPEB. The Board also changed its previous tentative decision for the effective date of the proposed Statement for OPEB plans from fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2016, to fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2015, with earlier implementation encouraged. In addition, the Board tentatively decided to propose that the proposed Statement for accounting and financial reporting for pensions that are not administered through trusts be for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2016, with earlier implementation encouraged.

The Board also reviewed preliminary draft standards sections of the Exposure Drafts for (1) accounting and financial reporting for OPEB and (2) accounting and financial reporting for pensions that are not administered through trusts. The Board provided recommendations and suggestions for clarification on the draft documents. Subject to those clarifications and revisions, the Board directed the project staff to prepare a preballot draft for consideration at the March 2014 Board meeting.

The Board also reviewed proposed illustrations for the proposed Statement for OPEB plans and provided recommendations and suggestions for clarification on the illustrations.

Minutes of Meetings, October 29-31, 2013

The Board continued discussions related to the use of an alternative measurement method for calculating an employer’s other postemployment benefit (OPEB) liability for small employers. The Board tentatively decided to propose that in using the alternative measurement method to measure OPEB liabilities, the expected point in time at which benefits will be provided should reflect past experience and future expectations for the covered group. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that the expected point in time in which benefits will be provided be a single assumed retirement age for all active employees or an assumption that all active employees will retire upon attaining a certain number of years of service.

The Board tentatively decided to propose that the use of historical age-based turnover experience of the covered group be used to determine turnover assumptions in the alternative measurement method. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that if such experience data is not available to determine turnover assumptions, the alternative measurement method utilize default tables (provided by the GASB) to determine turnover assumptions.

The Board tentatively decided to propose that the expected future working lifetime of plan members be the difference between the employee’s current age and the employee’s assumed retirement age for purposes of allocating the present value of expected benefits to periods. In addition, the Board tentatively decided to propose that the alternative measurement method utilize default factors (provided by the GASB) for calculating age-adjusted premiums when active employees and retirees are charged the same premiums and the employer is unable to obtain age-adjusted premium information for retirees from the insurer.

The Board also considered the coordination of the tentative decisions made to date in the OPEB project with other accounting and financial reporting standards related to employee benefits. The Board tentatively decided that existing guidance in Statement No. 10, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Risk Financing and Related Insurance Issues, as amended, related to accounting and financial reporting for insurance and risk financing should continue to exclude OPEB. The Board also tentatively decided that no changes should be made to the current approach in Statement No. 47, Accounting for Termination Benefits, related to accounting and financial reporting for the effect of a termination benefit on an employer’s defined benefit OPEB.

The Board also discussed issues related to accounting and financial reporting of plans that administer defined benefit OPEB in trusts. For financial reporting of assets of an OPEB plan, the Board tentatively decided to propose that an OPEB plan display major categories of assets held, with the principal components of the receivables and investments categories displayed separately. In relation to receivables of the OPEB plan, the Board tentatively decided to propose that amounts recognized as receivables for contributions to the OPEB plan include only contributions due to legal requirements, and receivables for contributions that are payable to the plan more than one year after the end of the reporting period be recognized in full in the period the receivable arises. In relation to investments of the OPEB plan, the Board tentatively decided to propose that purchases and sales be recognized on a trade-date basis. In addition, the Board tentatively decided to propose that investments of the OPEB plan be reported at their fair value except (1) open-ended mutual funds, external investment pools, and interest-earning investment contracts should be measured as provided in Statement No. 31, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Certain Investments and for External Investment Pools, paragraphs 7-11, as amended, and in Statement No. 59, Financial Instruments Omnibus, paragraph 5; (2) investments in life insurance should be reported at cash surrender value; and (3) unallocated insurance contracts should be reported as interest-earning investment contracts. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that allocated insurance contracts be excluded from plan assets if (1) the contract irrevocably transfers to the insurer the responsibility for providing the benefits, (2) all required payments to acquire the contract have been made, and (3) the likelihood is remote that the employer or the pension plan will be required to make additional payments to satisfy the benefit payments covered by the contract.

For financial reporting of liabilities of an OPEB plan, the Board tentatively decided to propose that plan liabilities be recognized when due and payable, and benefit payables from allocated insurance contracts that are excluded from assets be excluded from recognition as plan liabilities.

The Board tentatively decided that assets, plus deferred outflows of resources, less liabilities, less deferred inflows of resources should be reported as net position restricted for OPEB.

For financial reporting of additions to an OPEB plan’s fiduciary net position, the Board tentatively decided to propose that plan additions include separate display of contributions from employers, contributions from nonemployer contributing entities, contributions from plan members (including those transmitted by employers) and net investment income. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that the net investment income components of investment income and investment expense, if separable from investment income and the administrative expenses, be separately displayed. In addition, the Board tentatively decided to propose that realized and unrealized gains and losses not be separately displayed but may be disclosed if the disclosure states that the calculation of realized gains and losses is independent of the calculation of the net change in the fair value of plan investments and realized gains and losses on investments that have been held in more than one reporting period and sold in the current period were included as a change in the fair value reported in the prior period(s) and the current period.

For financial reporting of deductions to an OPEB plan’s fiduciary net position, the Board tentatively decided to propose that reporting of plan deductions of the statement of changes in fiduciary net position include separate display of benefit payments and administrative expense. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that amounts paid to an insurance company pursuant to allocated insurance contracts excluded from plan assets be included in amounts recognized as benefits paid, and benefit payments not include benefits paid by an insurance company. In addition, the Board tentatively decided to propose that dividends from allocated insurance contracts be recognized as a reduction of benefit payments in the period.
The Board also discussed information to be provided as notes to financial statements. The Board tentatively decided to propose that the following information be included in the notes to the financial statements of a defined benefit plan administered as a trust:
  • Information related to plan description:
    • Name of plan
    • Identification of the entity that administers the plan
    • Identification of the plan as a single-employer, agent multiple-employer, or cost-sharing multiple-employer defined benefit OPEB plan
    • The number of participating employers (if the OPEB plan is a multiple-employer OPEB plan) and the number of nonemployer contributing entities, if any
    • Information regarding the OPEB plan’s board and its composition
    • Classes of plan members covered by the benefit terms including separately identifying numbers of inactive plan members currently receiving benefits, inactive plan members entitled to but not yet receiving benefits, and active plan members
    • That the OPEB plan is closed to new entrants, if applicable
    • Authority under which benefit provisions are established or may be amended and types of benefits provided through the OPEB plan
    • If the OPEB plan or the entity that administers the OPEB plan has the authority to establish or amend benefit terms, a brief description of the benefit terms, including the key elements of the OPEB formulas and the terms of policies, if any, with respect to automatic postemployment benefit changes, including automatic cost-of-living adjustments, ad hoc postemployment benefit changes, including ad hoc cost-of-living adjustments, and the sharing of the benefit cost between the employer(s) and plan members, if applicable, and whether that sharing of costs is based on terms or policies or that the sharing of costs is based on an historical pattern.
  • Information related to investments:
    • A brief description of how fair value of investments is determined, including the methods and significant assumptions used to estimate the fair value of investments if that fair value is based on other than quoted market prices.
    • Investment policies, including:
      • Procedures and authority for establishing and amending investment policy decisions
      • Policies pertaining to asset allocation
      • Description of significant investment policy changes during the reporting period.
    • Identification of investments (other than those issued or explicitly guaranteed by the U.S. government) in any one organization that represents 5 percent or more of the OPEB plan’s fiduciary net position.
    • The annual money-weighted rate of return on OPEB plan investments calculated as the internal rate of return on OPEB plan investments, net of OPEB plan investment expense, and an explanation that a money-weighted rate of return expresses investment performance, net of OPEB plan investment expense, adjusted for the changing amounts actually invested. OPEB plan investment expense should be measured on the accrual basis of accounting. Inputs to the internal rate of return calculation should be determined at least monthly with the use of more frequently determined inputs encouraged.
  • Information related to contributions and reserves:
    • A brief description of contribution requirements, including (1) identification of the authority under which contribution requirements of employers, nonemployer contributing entities, if any, and plan members are established or may be amended and (2) the contribution rates (in dollars or as a percentage of covered payroll) of those entities for the reporting period.
    • If the OPEB plan or the entity that administers the OPEB plan has the authority to establish or amend contribution requirements--the basis for determining contributions. Also, legal or contractual maximum contribution rates, if applicable.
    • The terms of any long-term contracts for contributions to the OPEB plan between (1) an employer or nonemployer contributing entity and (2) the OPEB plan, and the balances outstanding on any such long-term contracts at the end of the OPEB plan’s reporting period.
    • In circumstances in which there is a policy of setting aside, for purposes such as benefit increases or reduced employer contributions, a portion of the OPEB plan’s fiduciary net position that otherwise would be available for existing OPEB or for OPEB plan administration: a description of the policy related to such reserves, the authority under which the policy was established and may be amended, the purposes for and conditions under which the reserves are required or permitted to be used, and the balances of the reserves.
  • Information related to the purchase of allocated insurance contracts that are excluded from plan assets:
    • The amount reported in benefit payments in the current period that is attributable to the purchase of allocated insurance contracts
    • A brief description of the OPEB for which allocated insurance contracts were purchased in the current period
    • The fact that the obligation for the payment of benefits covered by allocated insurance contracts has been transferred to one or more insurance companies.
  • For single-employer and cost-sharing employers:
    • The total OPEB liability, the OPEB plan’s fiduciary net position, the net OPEB liability, and the OPEB plan’s fiduciary net position as a percentage of the total OPEB liability.
    • Actuarial assumptions:
      • Significant assumptions and other inputs used to measure the total OPEB liability, including assumptions about inflation, salary changes, and ad hoc postemployment benefit changes (including ad hoc COLAs).
        • With regard to mortality assumptions—the source of the assumptions (for example, the published tables on which the assumption is based or that the assumptions are based on a study of the experience of the covered group).
        • The dates of experience studies on which significant assumptions are based also should be disclosed.
        • If different rates are assumed for different periods—information about what rates are applied to the different periods of the measurement.
      • Information related to the discount rate:
        • The discount rate applied in the measurement of the total OPEB liability and the change in the discount rate since the OPEB plan’s prior fiscal year-end, if any
        • Assumptions made about projected cash flows into and out of the OPEB plan, such as contributions from employers, nonemployer contributing entities, and plan members
        • The long-term expected rate of return on OPEB plan investments and a description of how it was determined, including significant methods and assumptions used for that purpose
        • If the discount rate incorporates a municipal bond rate, the municipal bond rate used and the source of that rate
        • The periods of projected benefit payments to which the long-term expected rate of return and, if used, the municipal bond rate, are applied to determine the discount rate
        • The assumed asset allocation of the OPEB plan’s portfolio, the long-term expected real rate of return for each major asset class, and whether the expected rates of return are presented as arithmetic or geometric means, if not otherwise disclosed
        • Measures of the OPEB plan’s net OPEB liability resulting from a 1-percentage-point increase and a 1-percentage-point decrease in the discount rate. In addition, for each of these measurements, the plan’s net OPEB liability and a measurement of the plan’s net OPEB liability resulting from a 1-percentage-point increase and a 1-percentage-point decrease in the healthcare trend rate.
    • The date of the actuarial valuation on which the total OPEB liability is based and, if applicable, the fact that update procedures were used to roll forward the total OPEB liability to the OPEB plan’s fiscal year-end.
The Board also discussed required supplementary information to be presented by defined benefit OPEB plans that are administered as trusts. The Board tentatively decided to propose that defined benefit OPEB plans administered as trusts present the following information as required supplementary information:
  • A 10-year schedule of the annual money-weighted rate of return on OPEB plan investments.
  • For single-employer and cost-sharing employer defined benefit OPEB plans administered as trusts:
    • A 10-year schedule that separately presents:
      • The total OPEB liability
      • The OPEB plan’s fiduciary net position
      • The net OPEB liability
      • The OPEB plan’s fiduciary net position as a percentage of the total OPEB liability
      • The covered-employee payroll
      • The net OPEB liability as a percentage of the covered-employee payroll
    • A 10-year schedule presenting information related to actuarially determined contributions, if calculated:
      • The actuarially determined contribution of the employers or nonemployer contributing entities
      • For cost-sharing plans, the contractually required contributions of employers or nonemployer contributing entities, if different from the actuarially determined contributions
      • The amount of contributions recognized by the OPEB plan in relation to the actuarially determined contribution of the employer
      • The difference between the actuarially determined contribution of the employers and nonemployer contributing entities and the amount of contributions recognized by the OPEB plan in relation to the actuarially determined contribution of the employers and nonemployer contributing entities
      • The covered-employee payroll
      • The amount of contributions recognized by the OPEB plan in relation to the actuarially determined contribution of the employers and nonemployer contributing entities as a percentage of covered-employee payroll.
    • A 10-year schedule of changes in the net OPEB liability, separately presenting the following information for each year:
      • The beginning balances of total OPEB liability, OPEB plan fiduciary net position, and net OPEB liability.
      • The effects during the period on the total OPEB liability, OPEB plan fiduciary net position, and net OPEB liability of the following items:
        • Service cost
        • Interest on the total OPEB liability
        • Changes of benefit terms
        • Differences between expected and actual experience in the measurement of the total OPEB liability
        • Changes of assumptions or other inputs
        • Contributions from the employer
        • Contributions from nonemployer contributing entities
        • Contributions from employees
        • OPEB plan net investment income
        • Benefit payments, including refunds of employee contributions
        • OPEB plan administrative expense
        • Other changes, separately identified if individually significant.
      • The ending balances of total OPEB liability, OPEB plan fiduciary net position, and net OPEB liability
The Board also tentatively decided to propose that notes to required supplementary information include information about factors that significantly affect trends in the amounts presented for the schedules in required supplementary information. In addition, the Board tentatively decided to propose that single employer and cost-sharing employer plans include significant methods and assumptions used in calculating the actuarially determined contributions in notes to required supplementary information.

The Board also considered issues related to accounting and financial reporting for OPEB arrangements that are not administered as trusts. The Board tentatively decided to propose that funds used to accumulate assets and pay OPEB for multiple employers be reported as agency funds with assets and liabilities recognized in the same manner as assets and liabilities held by defined benefit OPEB plans administered as trusts. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that assets held in excess of liabilities in these circumstances be offset by liabilities to participating employers.

The Board tentatively decided to propose that the notes to the financial statements for multiple-employer OPEB arrangements that do not meet the criteria to be reported as a trust include the following:
  • Disclosure of the number of participating employers and nonemployer contributing entities, if any
  • A brief description of how the fair value of investments is determined, including the methods and significant assumptions used to estimate the fair value of investments, if that fair value is based on other than quoted market prices
  • Authority under which obligations of the plan members, employers, and other contributing entities, if any, to contribute are established or may be amended
  • Brief description of how the contributions of plan members, employers, and nonemployer contributing entities are determined and how the costs of administering the plan are financed
  • Required contribution rate(s) of active or retired plan members, as applicable, expressed as a rate (amount) per member or as a percentage of covered payroll
  • Description of any long-term contracts for contributions to the plan and disclosure of the amounts outstanding at the reporting date.
The Board also discussed issues related to accounting and financial reporting of pension arrangements that are not administered as trusts. The Board tentatively decided to propose that the tentative decisions in relation to accounting and financial reporting for OPEB arrangements that are not administered as trusts be applied to pension arrangements that are not administered as trusts.

Minutes of Meetings, September 17-19, 2013

The Board discussed issues related to projecting other postemployment benefits (OPEB) in the measurement of an OPEB liability by an employer that provides those benefits through a community-rated plan. The Board tentatively decided to allow employers that provide OPEB through a community-rated plan to use unadjusted premiums to project benefits, to the extent permitted by Actuarial Standards of Practice No. 6, Measuring Retiree Group Benefit Obligations, or its successor documents, if both (1) the premium rates reflect the projected health claims experience of all participating employers, rather than that of the individual employer, and (2) the insurer or provider organization charges the same unadjusted premium rates for both active employees and retirees.

The Board also considered the effect of a cap on the employer’s share of benefits and the effect of a cap on the employer’s contributions to an OPEB plan on the projection of benefits in the measurement of a total OPEB liability. The Board tentatively decided to propose that a legal or contractual cap on an employer’s share of the benefits to be provided to plan members be considered in the projection of benefits in the measurement of an employer’s total OPEB liability if the cap is assumed to be effective, taking into consideration the employer’s record of enforcing the cap in the past and other relevant factors and circumstances. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that a cap on an employer’s contributions to an OPEB plan not be considered in the projection of benefits in the measurement of an employer’s total OPEB liability.

The Board also discussed issues related to OPEB to be provided by allocated insurance contracts. The Board tentatively agreed to propose that benefits to be provided by allocated insurance contracts be excluded from the projection of benefits in the measurement of an employer’s total OPEB liability under the following conditions:
  1. All required payments to acquire the contracts have been made
  2. The responsibility for providing the benefits irrevocably has been transferred to the insurer
  3. The likelihood is remote that the employer will be required to make future payments to satisfy the benefit payments covered by the contract.
In addition, the Board discussed recognition of payables to an OPEB plan. The Board tentatively decided that an employer should recognize payables to an OPEB plan that are legally or contractually required as a liability separate from the employer’s net OPEB liability.

The Board also considered issues related to the classification of a primary government and its component units as employers in the same defined benefit OPEB plan. The Board tentatively agreed to propose that a primary government and its component units, both blended and discretely presented, be classified as one employer for plan classification purposes. The Board also tentatively agreed to propose that for stand-alone financial reports, the requirements of cost-sharing employers for recognition and measurement of a net OPEB liability be applied by both the primary government and its component units, blended and discretely presented.

The Board also discussed information related to OPEB that employers should be required to include as disclosures in notes to basic financial statements or present as required supplementary information when the employer provides OPEB through a defined benefit plan. The Board tentatively decided that note disclosures should be provided for each individual defined benefit OPEB plan in which the employer participates as of the measurement date, unless otherwise noted. In addition, the Board tentatively decided to propose that disclosures related to more than one OPEB plan be combined in a manner that avoids unnecessary duplication. Also, the Board tentatively decided that in circumstances in which the employees of both the primary government and its component units are provided OPEB through the same single or agent employer plan, a reporting entity should separately identify amounts associated with the primary government and those associated with its discretely presented component units in the notes to financial statements.

The Board tentatively decided that the following should be required to be disclosed in the notes to the financial statements, grouped by type of employer to provide the disclosure:
  • For all employers:
    • Aggregated information related to an employer’s net OPEB liability, OPEB expense, and deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources related to OPEB, if not otherwise identifiable on the financial statements.
    • General plan description including:
      • Name of plan
      • Identification of the public employee retirement system (PERS) or other entity that administers the plan
      • Identification of the plan as a single-employer, agent multiple-employer, or cost-sharing multiple-employer defined benefit OPEB plan
      • Brief description of the types of benefits
      • Brief description of the authority under which benefit provisions are established or may be amended
      • Whether the OPEB plan issues a stand-alone financial report or is included in the report of a PERS or another entity, and, if so, how to obtain the report
      • Classes of employees covered by the benefit terms
      • Key elements of the OPEB formula including the sharing of the benefit costs between the employer and plan members, if applicable, and whether that sharing of costs is based on terms or policies or that the sharing of costs is based on an historical pattern
      • Terms or policies, if any, with respect to automatic postemployment benefit changes, including automatic cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), and ad hoc postemployment benefit changes, including ad hoc COLAs
      • That the OPEB plan is closed to new entrants, if applicable.
    • Information about the funding policy of the plan:
      • Basis for determining the employer’s contributions to the OPEB plan
      • Authority under which contribution obligations of plan members, employer(s), and nonemployer contributing entities, if any, are established or may be amended
      • If applicable, legal or contractual maximum contribution rates of the employer
      • Required contribution rate(s) of plan members, employer(s), and nonemployer contributing entities, if any, in dollars or as a percentage of payroll
      • Amount of contributions recognized as additions by the OPEB plan from the employer during the reporting period.
    • Disclosures related to significant assumptions and other inputs used to measure the total OPEB liability:
      • Significant assumptions and inputs used in measuring the total OPEB liability, specifically mentioning assumptions related to:
        • Inflation
        • Salary changes, when relevant to the level of benefits
        • Postemployment benefit changes, if applicable
        • Healthcare cost trend rates; and the discount rate with information about what periods different rates apply to in circumstances in which different rates are used for the same assumption
        • Discount rate, including:
          • Change in the rate since the prior measurement date, if any
          • Assumptions made about projected cash flows into and out of the OPEB plan
          • The long-term expected rate of return on OPEB plan investments and a brief description of how it was determined, including significant methods and assumptions used in the determination
          • If applicable, the municipal bond rate used and the source of that rate
          • The periods of projected benefit payments to which the long-term expected rate of return and, if used, the municipal bond rate applied to determine the discount rate
          • The assumed allocation of the OPEB plan’s portfolio, the long-term expected real rate of return for each major asset class, and whether the expected rates of return are presented as arithmetic or geometric means, if not otherwise disclosed
      • Dates of experience studies on which significant assumptions are based
      • Source of mortality assumptions
    • The employer’s net OPEB liability and measurement of the employer’s net OPEB liability resulting from a 1-percentage-point increase and a 1-percentage-point decrease in the discount rate. In addition, for each of these measurements, the employer’s net OPEB liability and a measurement of the employer’s net OPEB liability resulting from a 1-percentage-point increase and a 1-percentage-point decrease in the healthcare trend rate should be disclosed
    • Information related to the OPEB plan’s fiduciary net position:
      • Information related to the elements as required by any other financial reporting standard except when a financial report that includes disclosure about the elements of the OPEB plan’s basic financial statements is available on the Internet. When such a report is available on the Internet and the employer discloses how to obtain that report, references should be made to that report for these disclosures. In this circumstance, the following additional disclosures are required:
        • The plan’s fiduciary net position has been determined on the same basis used by the OPEB plan
        • Brief description of the OPEB plan’s basis of accounting, including policies with respect to benefit payments (including refunds of employee contributions) and the valuation of OPEB plan investments
        • If applicable, information about the substance and magnitude of changes that occurred between the date of the OPEB plan’s financial report and the measurement date that indicate disclosures in the OPEB plan’s financial report do not represent the facts and circumstances at the measurement date.
    • Other information related to an employer’s OPEB measurements:
      • Measurement date of the net OPEB liability or collective net OPEB liability, as applicable
      • Date of the actuarial valuation on which the measurement of the total OPEB liability is based
      • If applicable, the fact that update procedures were used to roll forward the total OPEB liability from the actuarial valuation date to the measurement date
      • If the employer has a special funding situation, the employer’s proportion (percentage) of the collective net OPEB liability, the basis on which its proportion was determined, and the change in its proportion since the prior measurement date
      • A brief description of changes of assumptions or other inputs that affected measurement of the total OPEB liability since the prior measurement date
      • A brief description of changes of benefit terms that affected measurement of the total OPEB liability since the prior measurement date
      • A brief description of the nature of changes between the measurement date of the net OPEB liability or collective net OPEB liability, as applicable, and the employer’s reporting date that are expected to have a significant effect on that liability, and the amount of the expected resultant change in that liability, if known
      • The amount of OPEB expense recognized by the employer in the reporting period
      • The employer’s balances of deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources related to OPEB, classified by type
      • A schedule presenting the following:
        • For each of the subsequent five years, and in the aggregate thereafter, the net amount of the employer’s balances for each type of deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources that will be recognized in the employer’s OPEB expense
        • The amount of the employer’s balance by type of deferred outflows of resources that will be recognized as a reduction of the net OPEB liability or collective net OPEB liability, as applicable, recognized in the financial statements
        • The amount of revenue recognized for the support provided by nonemployer contributing entities, if any.
      • The amount of payables to a defined benefit OPEB plan outstanding at the end of the reporting period, significant terms related to the payables, and a description of what gave rise to the payables.
  • Additional note disclosures for single and agent employers:
    • The number of plan members in a defined benefit OPEB plan, separately identifying inactive employees (or their beneficiaries) currently receiving benefits, inactive employees entitled to but not yet receiving benefits, and active employees.
    • Information related to changes in the net OPEB liability:
      • The beginning balances of the total OPEB liability, OPEB plan fiduciary net position, and net OPEB liability
      • Effects during the current period on the total OPEB liability, OPEB plan fiduciary net position and net OPEB liability of the following items, if applicable:
        • Service cost
        • Interest on the total OPEB liability
        • Changes in benefit terms
        • Differences between expected and actual experience in the measurement of the total OPEB liability
        • Changes of assumptions or other inputs
        • Contributions from the employer
        • Contributions from nonemployer contributing entities
        • Contributions from employees
        • OPEB plan net investment income
        • Benefit payments, including refunds of employee contributions
        • OPEB plan administrative expense
        • Other changes, separately identified if individually significant
      • The ending balances of the total OPEB liability, OPEB plan fiduciary net position, and net OPEB liability
    • The amount of benefit payments during the period attributable to the purchase of allocated insurance contracts, a brief description of the benefits for which allocated insurance contracts were purchased in the measurement period, and the fact that the obligation for the payment of benefits covered by allocated insurance contracts has been transferred from the employer to one or more insurance companies.
  • Additional note disclosures for cost-sharing employers:
    • The proportionate share (amount) of the collective net OPEB liability
    • If a special funding situation exists:
      • The nonemployer contributing entities’ total proportionate share of the collective net OPEB liability that is associated with the employer
      • The total of the cost-sharing employer’s proportionate liability and the nonemployer contributing entities’ total proportionate share of the collective net OPEB liability that is associated with the employer
  • Governmental nonemployer contributing entities:
    • Governmental nonemployer contributing entities that recognize a substantial portion of the collective net OPEB liability should make the same note disclosures as a cost-sharing employer with the exception of (1) not requiring aggregated information related to the financial statement amounts to be disclosed and (2) not requiring disclosure of the financial statement amounts recognized by other entities.
    • Governmental nonemployer contributing entities that do not recognize a substantial portion of the collective net OPEB liability should disclose the following:
      • Name of the OPEB plan
      • Identification of the public employee retirement system or other entity that administers the OPEB plan
      • Identification of the OPEB plan as a single-employer, agent, or cost-sharing OPEB plan
      • Basis for determining the governmental nonemployer contributing entity’s contributions to the OPEB plan
      • Authority under which the governmental nonemployer contributing entity’s contribution requirements are established or may be amended
      • Amount of contributions recognized by the OPEB plan from the governmental nonemployer contributing entity during the reporting period (measured as the total of amounts recognized as additions to the OPEB plan’s fiduciary net position resulting from actual contributions and from contributions recognized by the OPEB plan as current receivables)
      • The governmental nonemployer contributing entity’s:
        • Proportionate share (amount) of the collective net OPEB liability
        • Proportion (percentage) of the collective net OPEB liability
      • The basis on which the governmental nonemployer contributing entity’s proportion was determined, and the change, if any, in its proportion since the prior measurement date
      • The amount of expense recognized by the governmental nonemployer contributing entity in the reporting period as a result of the special funding situation
      • The balances of deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources recognized by the governmental nonemployer contributing entity as a result of the special funding situation.
The Board tentatively decided that the following should be required to be presented as required supplementary information, grouped by type of employer to provide the information:
  • Single and agent employers:
    • A 10-year schedule that separately presents:
      • The total OPEB liability
      • The OPEB plan’s fiduciary net position
      • The net OPEB liability
      • The OPEB plan’s fiduciary net position as a percentage of the total OPEB liability
      • The covered-employee payroll
      • The net OPEB liability as a percentage of the total OPEB liability
      • In special funding situations, both the employer and nonemployer contributing entities’ total proportionate share (amount) of the collective net OPEB liability.
    • A 10-year schedule presenting information related to actuarially determined contributions, if calculated:
      • The actuarially determined contribution of the employer
      • The amount of contributions recognized by the OPEB plan in relation to the actuarially determined contribution of the employer
      • The difference between the actuarially determined contribution of the employer and the amount of contributions recognized by the OPEB plan in relation to the actuarially determined contribution of the employer
      • The covered-employee payroll
      • The amount of contributions recognized by the OPEB plan in relation to the actuarially determined contribution of the employer as a percentage of covered-employee payroll
    • If an actuarially determined contribution is not calculated and the contribution requirements of the employer are statutorily or contractually established, a 10-year schedule presenting the following information:
      • The statutorily or contractually determined contribution of the employer
      • The amount of contributions recognized by the OPEB plan in relation to the statutorily or contractually determined contribution of the employer
      • The difference between the statutorily or contractually determined contribution of the employer and the amount of contributions recognized by the OPEB plan in relation to the statutorily or contractually determined contribution of the employer
      • The covered-employee payroll
      • The amount of contributions recognized by the OPEB plan in relation to the statutorily or contractually determined contribution of the employer as a percentage of covered-employee payroll
    • A 10-year schedule of changes in the net OPEB liability, separately presenting the following information for each year:
      • The beginning balances of the total OPEB liability, the OPEB plan’s fiduciary net position, and the net OPEB liability.
      • The effects during the period on the net OPEB liability of the following items:
        • Service cost
        • Interest on the total OPEB liability
        • Changes of benefit terms
        • Differences between expected and actual experience in the measurement of the total OPEB liability
        • Changes of assumptions or other inputs
        • Contributions from the employer
        • Contributions from nonemployer contributing entities
        • Contributions from employees
        • OPEB plan net investment income
        • Benefit payments, including refunds of employee contributions
        • OPEB plan administrative expense
        • Other changes, separately identified if individually significant.
      • The ending balances of the total OPEB liability, the OPEB plan’s fiduciary net position, and the net OPEB liability
  • Cost-sharing employers:
    • A 10-year schedule that separately presents:
      • The employer’s proportion (percentage) of the collective net OPEB liability
      • The employer’s proportionate share (amount) of the collective net OPEB liability
      • The employer’s covered-employee payroll
      • The employer’s proportionate share (amount) of the collective net OPEB liability as a percentage of the employer’s covered-employee payroll
      • The OPEB plan’s fiduciary net position as a percentage of the total OPEB liability
      • In special funding situations, the following additional information:
        • The portion of the nonemployer contributing entities’ total proportionate share (amount) of the collective net OPEB liability that is associated with the employer
        • The sum of the employer’s proportionate share (amount) of the collective net OPEB liability and the nonemployer contributing entities’ proportionate share (amount) of the collective net OPEB liability that is associated with the employer
    • If the contribution requirements of the employer are statutorily or contractually established, a 10-year schedule presenting the following information:
      • The statutorily or contractually determined contribution of the employer
      • The amount of contributions recognized by the OPEB plan in relation to the statutorily or contractually determined contribution of the employer
      • The difference between the statutorily or contractually determined contribution of the employer and the amount of contributions recognized by the OPEB plan in relation to the statutorily or contractually determined contribution of the employer
      • The covered-employee payroll
      • The amount of contributions recognized by the OPEB plan in relation to the statutorily or contractually determined contribution of the employer as a percentage of covered-employee payroll
  • Governmental nonemployer contributing entities in OPEB special funding situations that recognize a substantial proportion of the collective net OPEB liability:
    • A 10-year schedule presenting the following:
      • The governmental nonemployer contributing entity’s proportion (percentage) of the collective net OPEB liability
      • The governmental nonemployer contributing entity’s proportionate share (amount) of the collective net OPEB liability
      • The OPEB plan’s fiduciary net position as a percentage of the total OPEB liability.
    • If the contribution requirements of the governmental nonemployer contributing entity are statutorily or contractually established, a 10-year schedule presenting the following:
      • The governmental nonemployer contributing entity’s statutorily or contractually required contribution
      • The amount of contributions recognized by the OPEB plan in relation to the governmental nonemployer contributing entity’s statutorily or contractually required contribution
      • The difference between the governmental nonemployer contributing entity’s statutorily or contractually required contribution and the amount of contributions recognized by the OPEB plan in relation to its statutorily or contractually required contribution
  • Governmental nonemployer contributing entities in OPEB special funding situations that recognize a less-than-substantial proportion of the collective net OPEB liability, a 10-year schedule presenting the following information:
    • The governmental nonemployer contributing entity’s proportionate share (amount) of the collective net OPEB liability
    • The amount of contributions to the OPEB plan from the governmental nonemployer contributing entity.
      • The following should be presented in notes to required supplementary information:
    • Information about factors that significantly affect trends in the amounts presented for the schedules in required supplementary information.
    • For single or agent employers, significant methods and assumptions used in calculating the actuarially determined contributions.
Minutes of Meetings, August 6-8, 2013

The Board discussed issues related to parameters for certain assumptions to be used in an alternative measurement method calculation of an employer’s other postemployment benefit (OPEB) liability for small employers that is not based on an actuarial valuation. The Board tentatively decided that the alternative measurement method proposal should include the same general considerations for employers in regard to selection of assumptions for the measurement of OPEB liabilities as were provided in Statement No. 45, Accounting and Financial Reporting by Employers for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that the following assumptions be used in applying the alternative measurement method for use in the measurement of an employer’s total OPEB liability:
  • The current marital and dependency status
  • Mortality assumptions based on current published tables and that plan members would be projected to live until their expected age in relation to those tables
  • Select and ultimate assumptions about healthcare cost trends in future years derived from one or more objective sources
  • Experience-rated, age-adjusted current healthcare insurance premium rates as the assumption for initial per capita healthcare rates for the purposes of projecting future healthcare benefit payments
  • Experience of an employer’s covered group in determining coverage option assumptions, considering the choices of pre- and post-Medicare eligible plan members.
The Board also tentatively decided to propose that the discount rate, and process for determining the rate, used in the alternative measurement method be the same as the discount rate used by employers that do not apply the alternative measurement method. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that the alternative measurement method be allowed for only those governments with fewer than 100 total plan members defined as active employees eligible to receive benefits, inactive employees eligible for benefits but not yet receiving benefits, and inactive employees receiving benefits.

The Board also discussed issues related to recognition and measurement, and frequency and timing of those measurements, for OPEB offered by employers that participate in multiple-employer, cost-sharing defined benefit OPEB plans. The Board tentatively decided that employers that participate in a cost-sharing OPEB plan should be viewed as having an obligation for a portion of the collective unfunded OPEB obligation of the plan. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that the net OPEB liability of a cost-sharing OPEB plan be measured using the same timing and measurement requirements as single or agent employer plans. In addition, the Board tentatively decided to propose that a cost-sharing employer measure its OPEB liability as the proportion of its contributions to the total contributions of all contributing entities to the cost-sharing OPEB plan consistent with the manner in which contributions to the plan are determined.

The Board tentatively agreed to propose that the calculation of an employer’s proportionate share of a cost-sharing plan’s collective net OPEB liability allow for professional judgment to determine the proportion of the employer’s contributions to all participating entity contributions to the cost-sharing OPEB plan. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that the collective OPEB expense of a cost-sharing OPEB plan be measured using the same requirements as single or agent employer plans. The Board tentatively agreed to propose that an employer measure its OPEB expense and deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources related to OPEB for its participation in a cost-sharing OPEB plan using the same proportionate share used to measure the employer’s net OPEB liability. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that contributions made by a cost-sharing employer subsequent to the measurement period but before the end of its reporting period be recognized as a deferred outflow of resources. In addition, the Board tentatively decided to propose that a cost-sharing employer recognize amounts from its participation in a cost-sharing OPEB plan reported as deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources related to OPEB over the same periods as single and agent employers.

The Board also discussed issues related to special funding arrangements in relation to defined benefit OPEB obligations. The Board tentatively decided to propose that a nonemployer contributing entity recognize a portion of the net OPEB liability of the employer and the employer recognize a reduction in its net OPEB liability in circumstances in which there is a special funding situation. The Board tentatively decided to propose that a special funding situation be defined as a circumstance when a nonemployer entity is legally responsible for making contributions directly to an OPEB plan and either of the following conditions exist: (1) the amount of contributions for which the nonemployer entity legally is responsible is not dependent upon one or more events or circumstances unrelated to OPEB or (2) the nonemployer entity is the only entity with a legal obligation to make contributions directly to the OPEB plan. The Board also tentatively decided to propose that a nonemployer contributing entity measure a net OPEB liability, OPEB expense, and deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources related to OPEB in the same manner as cost-sharing employers. In addition, the Board tentatively agreed to propose that an employer measure its net OPEB liability in a special funding situation as (1) the collective OPEB liability less the nonemployer contributing entity’s proportionate share related to the employer in single or agent OPEB plans or (2) the employer’s proportion of contributions in relation to the collective contributions of the plan in a cost-sharing OPEB plan. The Board also tentatively agreed to propose that an employer measure OPEB expense in a special funding situation as its proportionate share of the collective expense of the OPEB plan. In addition, the Board tentatively decided the employer should recognize revenue and expense equal to the amount of the expense recognized by the nonemployer contributing entity.

Minutes of Meetings, June 25-27, 2013

The Board discussed issues related to an alternative measurement method for calculating an employer’s other postemployment benefit (OPEB) liability for small employers that is not based on an actuarial valuation. The Board tentatively decided that an alternative measurement method should be permitted for the measurement of OPEB liabilities.

Minutes Archive
 

Other Postemployment Benefit Accounting and Financial Reporting—Tentative Board Decisions


On May 28, 2014, the Board unanimously approved for issuance the following Exposure Drafts:

  • Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions and Financial Reporting for Pension Plans That Are Not Administered through Trusts That Meet Specified Criteria, and Amendments to Certain Provisions of GASB Statements 67 and 68
  • Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans
  • Accounting and Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions.
The comment deadline for the three proposals is August 29, 2014.