An Overview of the New GASB Pension Accounting Standards: Part I

This archived Governmental Audit Quality Center (GAQC) Web event is part of a two-part Web event series which is intended to provide key information to both auditors and financial statement preparers on the new Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) pension standards for governmental plans and participating governmental employers. While the effective dates of the new standards are over a year away, preparers and auditors need to understand the new requirements in order to be ready to implement the changes and have needed information ready for audit.

Archive of Part II of this Series: The New GASB Pension Standards - An Auditor's Perspective addresses the key audit considerations, as well as the type of evidence auditors will need to opine on governmental financial statements upon implementation of the standards.

About the Web Event

Part I of this GAQC Web series focused on the accounting side of this topic and was presented by GASB staff, accompanied by the chairman of the AICPA State and Local Government Expert Panel who moderated the session.  A key focus area of the event will be exploring the major changes in the calculation and reporting of pension obligations and expenses that are important to be aware of in order to prepare for implementation. This Web event explored how these changes might affect financial reporting going forward.

Some of the details that were addressed in Part I include:

  • Reporting the net pension liability in the government-wide financial statements;
  • How to measure pension liabilities;
  • Use of different discount rates for the portion of pension liability where plan net position is expected to pay benefits as they come due;
  • Recognition of interest on the total pension liability as a current-period expense;
  • Deferral of some of the differences between actual and expected investment returns;  and
  • The financial presentation and disclosures related to employer and pension plan financial reports.

About the Presenter

Michelle Czerkawski, CPA, is a project manager at the Governmental Accounting Standards Board in Norwalk, CT, where her primary research activities are in the area of employee benefits. She was one of the key lead staff members on the GASB’s pension standard project.  Her current project assignments include a reexamination of postemployment benefit accounting and financial reporting and implementation issues related to the GASB’s recently issued pension standards.  Her other technical projects have included issues related to other postemployment benefits and termination benefits. Before joining the GASB staff in 1999, Michelle worked as a staff auditor for Deloitte & Touche LLP in San Francisco. She holds an undergraduate degree in government studies from Smith College and an MBA from the University of Connecticut.

About the Moderator

Jeff Markert
, CPA, is a partner with KPMG LLP (KPMG) with more than 23 years of experience serving state and local governments. In April 2010, Jeff transferred to KPMG’s Department of Professional Practice in New York City. In this role, he devotes significant time to emerging issues related to governments, including working with GASB in the development and implementation of new standards and providing technical assistance and training to KPMG personnel throughout the United States. Jeff also currently serves as the Chair of the AICPA State and Local Government Expert Panel.

Archived Web Event Listening Instructions

The presenters addressed many of the questions within the time allotted for the event. We encourage you to visit the forum to post additional follow-up questions at GAQC Member Discussion Forum.

Thank you for your interest in this GAQC Event.

Click on the below link, to listen to the archived Web event: