GASB Issues Statement 45
August 25, 2004
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has issued the long-anticipated Statement 45, "Accounting and Financial Reporting by Employers for Post-Employment Benefits Other Than Pensions." The new standard addresses how employers should account for and report costs and obligations for post-employment health care and other nonpension post-employment benefits promised to employees. Collectively, GASB refers to these benefits as "other post-employment benefits" or OPEB.
The provisions of the new standard can be applied prospectively. This means that beginning in the initial year of implementation, the OPEB liability can be established at zero and the unfunded actuarial liability amortized over future periods. The standard also establishes disclosure requirements for information about the plan in which an employer participates, the funding policy followed, the actuarial valuation process and assumptions, or the extent the plan may have been funded over time.
Statement 45 is effective in three phases based on toal annual revenues. The largest employers will be required to implement for periods beginning after December 15, 2006. The complete standard can be ordered from the GASB Web site.
A survey concerning OPEB sent to NACUBO members from public institutions indicated that 70 percent of 172 respondents offered some form of post-employment health care and other nonpension post-employment benefits. For further information contact Sue Menditto (202.861.2542).
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