Summary of Statement No. 84

Statement No. 84
Fiduciary Activities
(Issued 01/17)

The objective of this Statement is to improve guidance regarding the identification of fiduciary activities for accounting and financial reporting purposes and how those activities should be reported.

This Statement establishes criteria for identifying fiduciary activities of all state and local governments. The focus of the criteria generally is on (1) whether a government is controlling the assets of the fiduciary activity and (2) the beneficiaries with whom a fiduciary relationship exists. Separate criteria are included to identify fiduciary component units and postemployment benefit arrangements that are fiduciary activities.

An activity meeting the criteria should be reported in a fiduciary fund in the basic financial statements. Governments with activities meeting the criteria should present a statement of fiduciary net position and a statement of changes in fiduciary net position. An exception to that requirement is provided for a business-type activity that normally expects to hold custodial assets for three months or less.

This Statement describes four fiduciary funds that should be reported, if applicable: (1) pension (and other employee benefit) trust funds, (2) investment trust funds, (3) private-purpose trust funds, and (4) custodial funds. Custodial funds generally should report fiduciary activities that are not held in a trust or equivalent arrangement that meets specific criteria.

A fiduciary component unit, when reported in the fiduciary fund financial statements of a primary government, should combine its information with its component units that are fiduciary component units and aggregate that combined information with the primary government’s fiduciary funds.

This Statement also provides for recognition of a liability to the beneficiaries in a fiduciary fund when an event has occurred that compels the government to disburse fiduciary resources. Events that compel a government to disburse fiduciary resources occur when a demand for the resources has been made or when no further action, approval, or condition is required to be taken or met by the beneficiary to release the assets.

Effective Date

The requirements of this Statement are effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, [2019]. Earlier application is encouraged.

How the Changes in This Statement Will Improve Financial Reporting

The requirements of this Statement will enhance consistency and comparability by (1) establishing specific criteria for identifying activities that should be reported as fiduciary activities and (2) clarifying whether and how business-type activities should report their fiduciary activities. Greater consistency and comparability enhances the value provided by the information reported in financial statements for assessing government accountability and stewardship.

Unless otherwise specified, pronouncements of the GASB apply to financial reports of all state and local governmental entities, including general purpose governments; public benefit corporations and authorities; public employee retirement systems; and public utilities, hospitals and other healthcare providers, and colleges and universities. Paragraph 2 discusses the applicability of this Statement.