The US Governmental Accounting Standards Board
(GASB) has approved two standards for the reporting of unfunded
pension liabilities by US state and local governments that provide
defined benefit pensions.

In statement No. 67, Financial Reporting
for Pension Plans, the GASB has revised existing guidance for
the financial reports of most pension plans. In Statement No. 68,
Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, the standard
setter amends financial reporting requirements for governments that
provide their employees with pension benefits.

The GASB explained that governments will have
to disclose a “net pension liability” on their balance sheets,
meaning recognition of more pension expense than is currently
required. This includes annual service cost and interest on the
pension liability, plus the effect of changes in benefit terms on
the net pension liability.

GASB chairman Robert Attmore said the
standards will improve the way state and local governments report
their pension liabilities and expenses, resulting in a more
faithful representation of the full impact of these

“Among other improvements, net pension
liabilities will be reported on the balance sheet, providing
citizens and other users of these financial reports with a clearer
picture of the size and nature of the financial obligations to
current and former employees for past services rendered,” Attmore