NEWS RELEASE 08/08/05

GASB Publishes Implementation Guide to Statements 43 and 45 on Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions

Norwalk, CT, August 8, 2005—As a part of its mission to guide and educate the public about its standards, the Governmental Accounting Standard Board has published a Guide to Implementation of GASB Statements 43 and 45 on Other Postemployment Benefits. The guide was prepared by GASB staff primarily to assist preparers and auditors of governmental financial statements and those that advise them as they implement the GASB’s recently issued standards on accounting and reporting for healthcare and other non-pension benefits provided to retirees. These benefits are commonly referred to as other postemployment benefits or OPEB.

The guide provides the answers to over 250 questions about important topics, including:

  • Scope and applicability of Statements 43 and 45, including distinguishing between OPEB benefits and other forms of employee benefits—such as compensated absences, termination benefits, and pensions
     
  • Actuarial issues, including the timing and frequency of actuarial valuations associated with OPEB, selection of methods and assumptions, and application of criteria related to the projection of benefits for employers that participate in community-rated plans 
     
  • Treatment of implicit rate subsidies that arise when retirees are insured in a group with current employees.

In addition, the guide includes questions and answers and expanded illustrations related to the option provided for certain employers and plans with small plan memberships, allowing them to apply an alternative measurement method to estimate liabilities and expenses associated with their OPEB obligations.

The Implementation Guide (product code GQA43/45) can be ordered through the GASB’s order department at 800-748-0659 or via its website at www.gasb.org.

About Statements 43 and 45 

Statement No. 43, Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans, addresses accounting by plans that administer OPEB, and Statement No. 45, Accounting and Financial Reporting by Employers for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions, establishes accounting and reporting requirements for state and local government employers that provide OPEB. Implementation of Statement 43 for plans will proceed in three phases, based on the revenues of the plan’s largest participating employer, starting with fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2005. Employer implementation of Statement 45 also will proceed in three phases, starting one year later.


About the Governmental Accounting Standards Board
 

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