Employer reporting requirements for other post-employment benefits (OPEB) have taken effect

Social Man Drawing Social Security BenefitsGovernmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement 75, Accounting and Reporting for OPEB is effective for the Reporting Year 2018 (this year!). OPEB, or post-employment benefits other than pension, includes benefits such as healthcare provided through a pension plan or separately (medical, dental, vision, hearing, etc.) and other benefits when provided separately from a pension plan, such as: life insurance, long-term care, disability, and more. Continue reading

OPEB reporting update (GASB 45 to 75) serves as a reminder: Don’t forget about previous statements

Plenty of attention surrounds a new ReminderGovernmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) statement in the year it is implemented. Then we tend to forget about them in subsequent years. Not all GASB statements are relevant or material for all governments in the year they are implemented, but all governments should continue to monitor them.

A timely example is GASB Statement No. 45, Accounting and Financial Reporting by Employers for OPEB. When preparing for the 2018 implementation of GASB Statement No. 75, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions, which updates GASB 45, we asked questions such as “Who uses the State Actuary’s online tools for calculating OPEB liability under GASB 45?” and “How material are those governments’ Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) liabilities?” Continue reading

Pensions and other postemployment benefits (OPEB) update

The GAAP and cash basis BARS manuals have been updated, and the 2017 pension worksheet, notes and RSI templates are now available on our website at www.sao.wa.gov. The 2017 DRS Participating Employer Financial Information (PEFI) report is available at www.drs.wa.gov. Now that you have the information and tools you need to begin calculating your 2017 pension numbers, this is a great time to get started. As in the past, our Office will provide one-on-one assistance to local governments with their calculations. Please contact Debra.Burleson@sao.wa.gov or our online HelpDesk for assistance.

The BARS Manual also includes our new Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB) web page. This includes a list of frequently asked questions we’ve received about Other Postemployment Benefits and implementing the new standard, GASB Statement No. 75, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions, effective for fiscal years ending in 2018. These questions and answers are shown below. Continue reading