This column presents most of our comment letter to the Financial Accounting Standards Board concerning its exposure draft on accounting for pensions and other post-retirement benefit plans. The draft was published on March 31 of this year, with a target release date of September and an anticipated effective date that will alter 2006 annual reports. It constitutes Phase 1 of FASB's plan that shores up the balance sheet, while deferring repairs to the income statement until Phase 2.Although we applaud the progress in the FASB draft, it is just the first of several necessary steps to converge generally accepted accounting principles representations with economic reality.

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