In June 2012, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issued new standards for pension accounting and reporting — standards that significantly change the way state and local governments calculate and report the costs and obligations associated with providing pension benefits for their employees.
The standards have been implemented in two phases. Statement 67, which addresses financial reporting for pension plans, was implemented by the Department of Retirement Systems for its fiscal year ending June 30, 2014.
Statement 68 establishes accounting and financial reporting requirements for government employers that prepare GAAP-compliant financial statements. Statement 68 is effective for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2014.
Included in Statement 68 is the requirement that employers recognize their proportionate share of any unfunded pension obligation (also called the “net pension liability”) as a balance sheet liability in their financial statements. In addition, employers will be required to recognize certain pension expenses immediately rather than extending them over a period of time.
Implementation of the standards is especially complex here in Washington given the number of pension plans administered by the state and the large number of employers participating in each plan. With that in mind, DRS has compiled resource links (on the right of this page) to assist employers in implementing these requirements.
We encourage you to review these resources, particularly those from GASB, and to discuss the reporting requirements with your auditors.
To assist employers in understanding and implementing the standards, DRS has compiled a list of frequently asked questions. If you have any questions you would like to submit for consideration, please contact DRS Employer Support Services by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 360-664-7200 (in the Olympia area) or 800-547-6657.