The Governmental Accounting Standard Board recently published a guide to its statements 43 and 45, both which address post-employment benefits besides pensions.

The guide was prepared by the board's staff primarily to assist preparers and auditors of governmental financial statements as they implement the GASB's recently issued standards on accounting and reporting for healthcare and other non-pension benefits provided to retirees. These benefits are commonly referred to as other post-employment benefits.

The guide provides answers to over 250 questions on a number of topics, including:

  • The scope and applicability of Statements 43 and 45, including distinguishing between OPEB benefits and other forms of employee benefits -- such as compensated absences, termination benefits, and pensions,
  • Actuarial issues, including the timing and frequency of actuarial valuations associated with OPEB, selection of methods and assumptions, and application of criteria related to the projection of benefits for employers that participate in community-rated plans, and,
  • Treatment of implicit rate subsidies that arise when retirees are insured in a group with current employees.

The guide also includes questions and answers and expanded illustrations related to the option provided for certain employers and plans with small plan memberships. The guide can be ordered over the phone at (800) 748-0659, or by visiting the GASB's Web site at, www.gasb.org.

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