GASB project Update for employers
GASB 68 information now available
The data necessary for employers to comply the GASB 68 standard affecting accrual basis employers is now available to employers via the secure Employer Contribution System
An Employer Notice was sent in June 2015 with instructions on how to add the “Online GASB Report” role to users who need to access this information. The assigned users can access the OPERS GASB 68 information by clicking on the “GASB Reports” button on the ECS home page.
We know these new standards are complex and we will continue developing comprehensive educational offerings to assist you in your understanding and implementation.
GASB educational and outreach materials
We have compiled several Frequently Asked Questions from feedback and queries we have received via emails, during our live webinars and from partnering with our Employer Advisory Council.
- Learn More: GASB FAQ
Talking points for stakeholders
OPERS worked closely with stakeholders, in addition to employers, to ensure GASB's pension standards (GASB 68 and 67), the impact of the standards, and the initial implementation of the standards were understood. OPERS is now implementing the new health care standard, GASB 74, in our 2017 CAFR. Most of our employers will implement GASB 75 in their 2018 reports. Take a look at the refreshed GASB Stakeholder Talking Points included below for additional information on the new health care standards.
Resources for stakeholders:
- GASB Stakeholder Talking Points
- Infographic: OPERS – A tradition of strength (for external audiences/inquiries)
- Infographic: OPERS – A tradition of strength (for internal audiences/inquiries)
Contact us with questions
The most efficient way to reach us with questions about GASB 68 is to submit an online OPERS GASB Inquiry.
GASB 68 Background
In June 2012, GASB issued two standards changing the accounting and financial reporting requirements for pensions. The intent of the standards is to enhance the pension-related information in financial reports by providing greater transparency and to standardize the valuation practices from entity to entity. The standards require separate public pension accounting and financial reporting and require employers to recognize a net pension liability on their financial statements. These are new accounting and financial reporting standards, and will not impact your funding requirements.
Why the change?
From the GASB perspective, pension benefits are a component of the compensation package and employment relationship between the employer and employee. Therefore, to the extent the pension system is not 100 percent funded, under the standards employers have to report a liability for the unfunded portion of the pension benefits earned by employees. Under Ohio law, the current employer funding requirement is the statutorily required contributions. While GASB requires employers to present this unfunded liability on financial statements, the employer’s responsibility is to remit the statutory contributions.
How OPERS approached the implementation
We recognized the impact this requirement would have on employers. Before GASB issued their implementation guides, OPERS staff worked closely with employers to perform a test implementation involving a cross section of employers. As a result of the test implementation, we were able to:
- Identify required disclosure elements for both OPERS and employers
- Develop a specific and sustainable way to allocate the proportionate pension liability share to each employer entity
OPERS’ work with the employer test group resulted in pro forma financial statements and disclosures compiled by the test group using the data provided. With that information, OPERS developed the educational and outreach materials for a broad-based implementation for all impacted employer entities. This included two comprehensive recorded presentations, an executive and operations track presenting an overview of the standards, the requirements and what to expect from OPERS. Also included we more technical details, employer responsibilities, example calculations and journal entries for employers.
Throughout 2014 and 2015, OPERS continued to partner with employers and stakeholders to deliver education on these new standards. We also worked extensively with our external auditors and the state auditor’s office to finalize and execute audit procedures over the GASB 67 and 68 information, including testing of census data at almost 100 employers. We continued to partner with the Public Pension Financial Forum to advocate for reasonable audit requirements as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants finalized the Audit and Accounting Guide for State and Local Governments for these standards.
The good news
Please understand OPERS did not create these standards and worked hard to positively influence the standards by working directly with GASB’s officials during both the comment period prior to the finalization of the standards and during our test implementation.
We are partnering with employers by making available the information necessary for compliance – a shared responsibility. OPERS was a national leader in the testing and implementation of these standards.
OPERS is working to help ensure our partners, all OPERS-reporting and contributing employers, are well positioned to comply with these standards.
OPERS GASB Inquiry
Please complete the fields below to communicate with OPERS' finance staff regarding your GASB inquiry. The information you enter will be used to respond exactly as you enter it so please be sure to enter the data accurately.