In late June, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) approved the issuance of four new standards:
- GASB Statement No. 73, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions and Related Assets That Are Not within the Scope of GASB Statement 68, and Amendments to Certain Provisions of GASB Statements 67 and 68
- GASB Statement No. 74, Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans
- ASB Statement No. 75, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions
- ASB Statement No. 76, The Hierarchy of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles for State and Local Governments
GASB Statement No. 73 completes the GASB’s pension project by providing guidance for pension plans that are not administered through a trust. The new standard’s guidance for pension plans will take effect starting with the fiscal year that ends June 30, 2016, with guidance for employers taking effect the following year.
GASB Statements No. 74 and No. 75 provide guidance on other postemployment benefits (OPEB) for both OPEB plans and participating employers. The guidance in these two new standards closely parallels the GASB’s most recent guidance on pensions. GASB Statement No. 74 is scheduled to take effect starting with the fiscal year that ends June 30, 2017, while GASB Statement No. 75 will take effect one year later.
GASB Statement No. 76 compresses the current 4-level hierarchy of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) into just two levels. In doing so, it elevates the GASB’s Implementation Guides to authoritative status, meaning that any future implementation guidance will be subject to full due-process prior to release. GASB Statement No. 76 will take effect for the fiscal year that ends June 30, 2016.