GASB Forms OPEB Implementation Guidance Consultative Group—September 2016

GASB Chair David A. Vaudt recently announced the appointment of a consultative group to assist with the Board’s development of implementation guidance relating to the accounting and financial reporting standards for other postemployment benefits (OPEB). The members of the consultative group are:
  • John Bartel, President, Bartel Associates, LLC
  • Bruce Eastes, Compliance and Reporting Specialist, California Public Employees Retirement System
  • Joan Fontes, Deputy Director, Department of the State Treasurer, State of North Carolina (for issues related to OPEB plan reporting)
  • Jodie Hartman, Finance Director, Village of Lake Zurich, IL
  • Staci Henshaw, Director of Reporting and Standards, Auditor of Public Accounts, Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Daniel Jaroche, Accounting Manager, Office of Financial Management, State of Michigan
  • Frederick Lantz, Partner, Sikich, LLP
  • Preeta Nayak, Senior Accounting and Financial Management Advisor, Department of the State Treasurer, State of North Carolina, (for issues related to employer reporting of OPEB)
  • Jun Peng, Associate Professor, University of Arizona
  • Heather Ricard, Chief Financial Officer, Municipal Association of South Carolina
  • James Rizzo, Senior Consultant and Actuary, Gabriel, Roeder, Smith and Company
  • David Showalter, Partner, Vavrinek, Trine, Day & Co., LLP
  • Jenny Starr, Chief Financial Officer, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System
  • Sean Walker, Partner, CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP
  • Jim Whelpley, Consulting Actuary, Rael & Letson

About the Project


The implementation guidance developed in this GASB project will address the standards contained in Statement No. 74, Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans; Statement No. 75, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions; and related pronouncements. The GASB expects to issue two drafts for public comment—one containing proposed implementation guidance for OPEB plans and governments applying Statement 74 (fourth quarter of 2016) and the other proposing implementation guidance for governments applying Statement 75 (third quarter of 2017).

What Do Consultative Groups Do?


The GASB assembles consultative groups at the discretion of the GASB Chair for projects expected to lead to implementation guidance. Consultative groups serve as a sounding board, providing suggestions and feedback to the GASB staff as materials are developed. As part of this process, consultative group members review drafts of materials prepared by GASB staff, commenting as appropriate.

How Are Participants Selected?


Consultative groups are officially appointed by the GASB Chair after consultation with the other GASB members and GASB staff. Consultative group members typically have a particular expertise or experience with the standards being addressed and also are capable of articulating the views of other, similar constituents.

Members primarily are identified from the GASB’s database of stakeholders, including persons who have indicated a willingness to volunteer for a consultative group. In general, the GASB attempts to maintain an appropriate balance of financial statement preparers, auditors, and users on each consultative group. However, consultative groups related to the development of implementation guides generally are composed primarily of preparers and auditors because they are consulting on relatively technical accounting matters. Consultative groups for projects related to postemployment benefits also include actuaries and employee benefit consultants.

Within each group, the GASB seeks to include a variety of types of stakeholders, such as finance officers from governments, as well as employee retirement systems, and auditors in government and private practice. The GASB also tries to balance other factors that may be relevant, such as governments of various sizes and from geographic areas of the country.