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GASB issues pension EDs.

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board issued three exposure drafts that, if adopted as statements, would supersede most existing standards for reporting pension information in government employers' financial statements. The comment deadline is June 30, 1994, for all three proposals.

Final statements should improve consistency in measuring and disclosing pension information and reduce redundancy in information reported by plans and employers, said George Scott, chairman of the American Institute of CPAS government accounting and auditing committee.

Conflicting accounting. Currently, government pension plans can be accounted for in accordance with statements issued by the National Council on Governmental Accounting (NCGA), which preceded GASB, or under Financial Accounting Standards Board Statement no. 35, Accounting and Reporting by Defined Benefit Pension Plans. There are, however, differences between the NCGA and FASB approaches, Scott, a partner of Deloitte & Touche in Fort Worth, Texas, pointed out.

The GASB proposals, if adopted, would "synthesize conflicting guidance into a single consistent approach," Scott said. "The problem with not having consistency is that you have one government using NCGA and another using FASB Statement no. 35, and there's limited comparability."

It also appeared significant, Scott said, that the proposals would for the first time break out postemployment health care plans, often included in the measurement and reporting of defined-benefit plans, for separate disclosure. Following are the three GASB proposals:

* Accounting for Pensions by State and Local Governmental Employers, a revision of an ED issued in 1990, establishes standards for the measurement, recognition and display of pension expenditures and expenses as well as related liabilities, assets, note disclosures and, if applicable, required supplementary information.

* Financial Reporting for Defined Benefit Pension Plans and Note Disclosures for Defined Contribution Plans establishes standards for defined-benefit pension plans and for the notes to state and local government entities' financial statements for defined-contribution plans.

* Financial Reporting for Postemployment Healthcare Plans Administered by Defined Benefit Pension Plans establishes standards for postemployment health care plans administered by state and local government defined-benefit pension plans. It would be an interim statement pending completion of the GASB'S project on accounting and financial reporting of other postemployment benefits by plans and employers.

One copy of each ED can be obtained without charge until June 30 by calling the GASB order department at 203) 847-0700, ext. 10.
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Title Annotation:Government Accounting Standards Board, exposure drafts
Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:May 1, 1994
Words:376
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