GASB 67 and GASB 68: What the New Accounting Standards Mean for Public Pension Reporting
6 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2018
Date Written: June 15, 2017
In 2012 GASB updated its guidance for the reporting and measurement of public pension plan data, and in fiscal year (FY) 2015, state and local governments began to adopt the new standards, known as GASB 67 and GASB 68, in their comprehensive annual financial reports (CAFRs). The new standards were released in response to criticism that the previous standards, GASB 25 and GASB 27, did not fully measure or report plan liabilities and generated misleading information.
While GASB 67 and 68 improve financial transparency by requiring fuller pension reporting in government financial statements, what is being reported still falls short of accuracy in measurement. GASB should improve the current guidance to reflect economic measurement of risk and eliminate the use of deferrals and delayed reporting.
A review of 144 public pension plans contained in 34 state CAFRs for FY 2014 reveals considerable variation in how the new guidance is applied by governments. In this paper we review each of the standards and consider their effects on state and local financial reporting.
Keywords: GASB, government accounting, budgets, debt, pensions, retirement, liabilities
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