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GASB Issues Guidance on Fiduciary Activities and Pensions

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) recently issued exposure drafts proposing accounting and financial reporting guidance related to fiduciary activities and pension issues.

The Exposure Draft “Fiduciary Activities,” issued Dec. 8, would establish guidance regarding what constitutes fiduciary activities for financial reporting purposes, the recognition of liabilities to beneficiaries, and how fiduciary activities should be reported. Its central objective is to enhance the consistency and comparability of fiduciary activity reporting by state and local governments. The proposal also is intended to improve the usefulness of fiduciary activity information, primarily for assessing the accountability of governments in their roles as fiduciaries. It would apply to all state and local governments.

The Exposure Draft “Pension Issues,” issued Dec. 7, is intended to improve consistency in the application of accounting and financial reporting requirements for employers related to pensions and for pension plans by addressing certain practice issues.

Specifically, this proposed Statement would address issues regarding:

  • presentation of payroll-related measures in required supplementary information;
  • selection of assumptions and the treatment of deviations from the guidance in Actuarial Standards of Practice for financial reporting purposes; and
  • classification of payments made by employers to satisfy employee contribution requirements.
Comments Welcome

The GASB invites public comment on these exposure drafts.

Pension Issues: due by Feb. 12, 2016; Comments should be addressed to the Director of Research and Technical Activities, Project No. 34E, and emailed to director@gasb.org or mailed to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, 401 Merritt 7, PO Box 5116, Norwalk, CT 06856-5116.

Fiduciary Activities: comments due by March 31, 2016; Comments should be addressed to the Director of Research and Technical Activities, Project No. 3-13E, and emailed to director@gasb.org or mailed to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, 401 Merritt 7, PO Box 5116, Norwalk, CT 06856-5116.

A public hearing concerning the proposed Exposure Draft on Fiduciary Activitites is scheduled for April 21, 2016, beginning at 8:55 a.m. Central Time at the Hyatt Rosemont Hotel, 6350 N. River Road, Rosemont, Ill. Interested individuals or organizations may participate in the hearing in person or by telephone. Details regarding participation will be provided after the GASB receives a notice of intent to participate. The deadline for written notice of intent to participate in the public hearing is March 31, 2016.

For more on GASB actions relevant to state and local retirement plans, click here.