Other Post-Employment Benefits
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board’s (GASB) Statement No. 45, Accounting and Financial Reporting by Employers for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions, will require that the cost of Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB) be recognized sooner (i.e., as promised benefits are being earned) rather than later (i.e., when promised benefits are actually paid). However, the real issue is not the new accounting for OPEB as such, but the underlying budgetary challenge that the new accounting should help bring into focus, namely how are governments to finance the cost of OPEB, especially in an environment characterized by an increasing retirement-age population and escalating healthcare costs.
Governments need to take deliberate steps to ensure that any OPEB that they offer are sustainable over the long term (i.e., benefits are, and reasonably may be expected to remain, affordable to the government, competitive and sufficient to meet employee needs).
In the News:
- The GFOA designs the OPEB Toolkit to be an online resource for decision making.