Pension Accounting at At&T

16 Pages Posted: 30 May 2017 Last revised: 10 Nov 2021

See all articles by Justin Hopkins

Justin Hopkins

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business


This case provides students with the opportunity to analyze the pension footnote disclosures for AT&T Inc. In particular, it focuses on the components of pension expense, the balance sheet accounts, and the various assumptions that drive these figures. What is most unique about the example is that the case is set in 2008, and in 2010, AT&T elected to immediately recognize actuarial gains and losses in net income. To provide comparable prior year financial statements, AT&T restated 2008 accounting for immediate recognition of actuarial gains and losses. Therefore, students can see the significant effect of this change in accounting policy by comparing the $12.8 billion in net income originally reported in 2008 with the $2.3 billion loss AT&T reported for the restated 2008.



Rev. Jul. 11, 2018

Pension Accounting at AT&T

Company Description

AT&T Inc. (AT&T) is the largest communications company in the world, responsible for transferring more than 100 petabytes of traffic daily. It is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and operates on six continents, representing nearly the entire world economy, and is known for innovation by sponsoring over 12,000 patents worldwide. The company, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, has roots in the American Telephone and Telegraph Company established by Alexander Graham Bell in 1885.


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Keywords: AT&T, pension disclosures, balance sheet accounts, pension expense, pension

Suggested Citation

Hopkins, Justin, Pension Accounting at At&T. Darden Case No. UVA-C-2391, Available at SSRN: or

Justin Hopkins (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

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