GASB Statement 57 Addresses Multiple Employer Plans
January 13, 2010
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has issued Statement No. 57, "OPEB Measurements by Agent Employers and Agent Multiple-Employer Plans." The statement is intended to improve consistency in the measurement and financial reporting of other postemployment benefits (OPEB) such as retiree health insurance.
Statement 57 addresses issues related to measurement of OPEB obligations by certain employers participating in agent multiple-employer OPEB plans. In agent multiple-employer plans, separate liabilities are calculated and separate asset accounts are kept for each participating government, such as each public institution in a state. Such separate accounting makes these plans different from cost sharing plans, which are administered and accounted for as a single plan within a governmental organization, such as a state or higher education system. Statement 57 amends Statement No. 43, "Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans," and Statement No. 45, "Accounting and Financial Reporting by Employers for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions," as follows:
- Enables certain agent employers to use the alternative measurement method, a less complex and potentially less expensive alternative to a full actuarial valuation
- Adjusts the requirement that a defined benefit OPEB plan obtain an actuarial valuation, in light of the change allowing more qualifying employers to use the alternative measurement method
- Clarifies that the same frequency and timing of determining OPEB measures are required for both agent multiple-employer plans and their participating employers.
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