The Governmental Accounting Standards Board has released an implementation guide for the new GASB standards for accounting and financial reporting for pensions.

The Guide to Implementation of GASB Statement 68 on Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions is designed to help preparers and auditors of state and local government financial statements as they implement the new pension standards, which are effective for periods beginning after June 15, 2014.

Prepared by the GASB staff and cleared for issuance by the board, the implementation guide addresses key questions about putting the new standards into practice. Topics addressed include the scope and applicability of GASB Statement No. 68, considerations regarding the identification of special funding situations, measurement of defined benefit pension liabilities of employers and nonemployer contributing entities, pension expense and deferred inflows and outflows of resources related to pensions, note disclosures and required supplementary information, unique issues related to cost-sharing employers and certain nonemployer contributing entities, and the transition to the new standards.

The questions and answers are supplemented with several appendices, including a glossary of terms and nonauthoritative illustrative material. Illustrations include material based on that initially presented in Statement 68, accompanied by five additional illustrations developed for the guide.
“Preparers and auditors of governmental financial reports posed questions to the GASB staff regarding the application of the pension standards throughout their development and after their issuance,” said GASB chairman David A. Vaudt in a statement. “The Implementation Guide is in a question and answer format that includes illustrative examples to assist these stakeholders in understanding and applying the pension standards. We are pleased to announce that an electronic version of this Implementation Guide is available for download on the GASB Web site at no cost—as are all GASB Implementation Guides.”

Beginning in mid-February, a printed edition of the Guide will be available for purchase for $46.50 plus shipping by visiting the GASB store, or by calling the GASB Order Department at (800) 748-0659.

GASB also published an Implementation Guide on Statement No. 67, Financial Reporting for Pension Plans, in June 2013.

For more information on the new pension standards, visit GASB's Web site.