Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)

General Information: The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is currently the source of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) used by State and Local governments in the United States of America. As with most of the entities involved in creating GAAP in the United States, it is a private, non-governmental organization.

GASB Statement 68 and Public Employers

GASB Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, is set to take effect for state and local governmental plan sponsors’ fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2014. Among other things, plan sponsors will be required to report their net pension liability (the difference between the total pension liability and the market value of assets as of the measurement date) on the employer’s balance sheet, as well as calculate a new “pension expense.”

Despite GASB’s recent decision that a delay in the implementation date of Statement 68 was unnecessary, the impending application of its requirements is still seen as very problematic for many. Key concerns include (1) accounting and auditing issues for employers that participate in cost-sharing plans; (2) balance sheet disclosures related to “special funding situations” in which an entity does not employ the members of the plan, but is required to make contributions to the plan under specific circumstances; and (3) public relations issues involving what will likely be a very material new number on employer balance sheets.

Links of Interest:

  •  Pension Communication Resources  (These documents are not copyrighted, and GASB encourages their broad distribution and use.  However, they are not official publications of GASB, and it is requested that they not be publicized as such.)