Pension Standards for State and Local Governments

Introduction

This webpage offers a variety of resources designed to support the understanding of GASB Statements No. 67, Financial Reporting for Pension Plans, and No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, which substantially improve the accounting and financial reporting of public employee pensions by state and local governments that apply U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

Background

On August 2, 2012, the GASB published accounting and financial reporting standards that improve the way state and local governments report their pension liabilities and expenses, resulting in a more faithful representation of the full impact of these obligations.

The guidance contained in these Statements will change how governments calculate and report the costs and obligations associated with pensions in important ways. It is designed to improve the decision-usefulness of reported pension information and to increase the transparency, consistency, and comparability of pension information across state and local governments.

For example, net pension liabilities will be reported on governments’ balance sheet, providing citizens and other users of these financial reports with a clearer picture of the size and nature of the financial obligations to current and former employees for past services rendered.

What are GASB’s New Standards on Financial Reporting for Pension Plans?

GASB Statement No. 67, Financial Reporting for Pension Plans, revises existing guidance for the financial reports of most pension plans for state and local governments. This Statement replaces the requirements of Statement No. 25, Financial Reporting for Defined Benefit Pension Plans and Note Disclosures for Defined Contribution Plans and Statement 50 as they relate to pension plans that are administered through trusts or similar arrangements meeting certain criteria.

The Statement builds upon the existing framework for financial reports of defined benefit pension plans, which includes a statement
of fiduciary net position (the amount held in a trust for paying retirement benefits) and a statement of changes in fiduciary net position. More

What are GASB’s New Standards on Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions?

Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, revises and establishes new financial reporting requirements for most state and local governments that provide their employees with pension benefits.

Statement 68 replaces the requirements of Statement No. 27, Accounting for Pensions by State and Local Governmental Employers and Statement No. 50, Pension Disclosures, as they relate to governments that provide pensions through pension plans administered as trusts or similar arrangements that meet certain criteria.

Statement 68 requires governments providing defined benefit pensions to recognize their long-term obligation for pension benefits as a liability for the first time, and to more comprehensively and comparably measure the annual costs of pension benefits. More