Summary - Statement No. 71

Summaries / Status

Summary of Statement No. 71
Pension Transition for Contributions Made Subsequent to the Measurement Date—an amendment of GASB Statement No. 68

(Issued 11/13)


The objective of this Statement is to address an issue regarding application of the transition provisions of Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions. The issue relates to amounts associated with contributions, if any, made by a state or local government employer or nonemployer contributing entity to a defined benefit pension plan after the measurement date of the government’s beginning net pension liability.

Statement 68 requires a state or local government employer (or nonemployer contributing entity in a special funding situation) to recognize a net pension liability measured as of a date (the measurement date) no earlier than the end of its prior fiscal year. If a state or local government employer or nonemployer contributing entity makes a contribution to a defined benefit pension plan between the measurement date of the reported net pension liability and the end of the government’s reporting period, Statement 68 requires that the government recognize its contribution as a deferred outflow of resources. In addition, Statement 68 requires recognition of deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources for changes in the net pension liability of a state or local government employer or nonemployer contributing entity that arise from other types of events. At transition to Statement 68, if it is not practical for an employer or nonemployer contributing entity to determine the amounts of all deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources related to pensions, paragraph 137 of Statement 68 required that beginning balances for deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources not be reported.

Consequently, if it is not practical to determine the amounts of all deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources related to pensions, contributions made after the measurement date of the beginning net pension liability could not have been reported as deferred outflows of resources at transition. This could have resulted in a significant understatement of an employer or nonemployer contributing entity’s beginning net position and expense in the initial period of implementation.

This Statement amends paragraph 137 of Statement 68 to require that, at transition, a government recognize a beginning deferred outflow of resources for its pension contributions, if any, made subsequent to the measurement date of the beginning net pension liability. Statement 68, as amended, continues to require that beginning balances for other deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources related to pensions be reported at transition only if it is practical to determine all such amounts.

The provisions of this Statement are required to be applied simultaneously with the provisions of Statement 68.

How the Changes in This Statement Will Improve Financial Reporting

The requirements of this Statement will eliminate the source of a potential significant understatement of restated beginning net position and expense in the first year of implementation of Statement 68 in the accrual-basis financial statements of employers and nonemployer contributing entities. This benefit will be achieved without the imposition of significant additional costs.


 


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.