GASB Issues Pension EDs

Journal of Accountancy, May 1994 | Go to article overview

GASB Issues Pension EDs


The Governmental Accounting Standards Board issued three exposure drafts that, if adopted as statements, would supersede most existing standards for reporting pension information in government employers' financial statements. The comment deadline is June 30, 1994, for all three proposals.

Final statements should improve consistency in measuring and disclosing pension information and reduce redundancy in information reported by plans and employers, said George Scott, chairman of the American Institute of CPAS government accounting and auditing committee.

Conflicting accounting. Currently, government pension plans can be accounted for in accordance with statements issued by the National Council on Governmental Accounting (NCGA), which preceded GASB, or under Financial Accounting Standards Board Statement no. 35, Accounting and Reporting by Defined Benefit Pension Plans. There are, however, differences between the NCGA and FASB approaches, Scott, a partner of Deloitte & Touche in Fort Worth, Texas, pointed out.

The GASB proposals, if adopted, would "synthesize conflicting guidance into a single consistent approach," Scott said. "The problem with not having consistency is that you have one government using NCGA and another using FASB Statement no. 35, and there's limited comparability."

It also appeared significant, Scott said, that the proposals would for the first time break out postemployment health care plans, often included in the measurement and reporting of defined-benefit plans, for separate disclosure. …

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