Because SFAS 158 has become effective for fiscal years ending after Dec. 15, 2006, it won't be long until annual reports start arriving with re-measured and reclassified defined-benefit pension liabilities or assets on the balance sheet. The revised amounts will generally be much larger, capturing items that were formerly disclosed in the footnotes, but that now must be recognized. Furthermore, the reporting will done in a single net item, and not, as before, in multiple components spread across the balance sheet.Although SFAS 158 will be shining a spotlight on funded status, we think a great many people won't understand what that information means, or doesn't mean. We also think many managers won't know what to do about their situation. To help out, we present five key fundamental - but generally unappreciated - truths about pension funding.

1. THE LIABILITY IS A TARGET

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