Norwalk, CT, June 16, 2010—The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has issued a Preliminary Views on Pension Accounting and Financial Reporting By Employers. The document presents the Board’s current views on what it believes are the most fundamental issues related to recognition and measurement of pension obligations by state and local government employers. The purpose of the document is to obtain comments from constituents on those views before developing more detailed proposals for changes to existing accounting and financial reporting standards. In addition to the issues addressed in the Preliminary Views, the Board will begin deliberations in July on pension note disclosures and supporting information for government employers and pension plan reporting issues.“The project to improve postemployment benefits accounting was launched by the GASB, in part, in response to feedback from users of state and local government financial reports who feel that current standards do not provide them with the information they need to adequately understand the cost and liability for benefits promised to active and retired employees,” states GASB Chairman Robert Attmore. “Following considerable staff research and review of financial reports prepared under existing standards, the Board has tentatively determined that changes are needed to improve the transparency, consistency, and comparability of reported pension information. We urge constituents to review and provide comments on the Preliminary Views on ways to increase transparency in financial reporting; enhance the decision usefulness of reported pension information; and better assist financial statement users in assessing the impact of the policy decisions and the commitments governments have made to their employees related to pension benefits.”
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.