For Immediate Release: January 15, 2019
Employer/auditor inquiries: Gerard Murphy, Director of Finance, (603) 410-3656; [email protected]
Media inquiries: Marty Karlon, Public Information Officer, (603) 410-3594;
CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS, the retirement system) has released reports for Fiscal Year 2018 related to Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statements No. 68 and No. 75.
These GASB reports are for employers with fiscal years ending anytime between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019. The reports are available at: https://www.nhrs.org/employers/gasb/gasb-67-68-reports
GASB is an independent, non-profit organization that sets financial accounting and reporting standards for state and local governments. GASB is the source of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) used by state and local governments in the United States. While GASB has no enforcement authority, public employee pension plans – including NHRS – typically follow GASB rules in order to obtain unmodified opinions from their auditors. Adhering to GASB standards is also an important consideration for the bond rating agencies.
GASB Statement No. 68, “Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions,” impacts financial reporting of participating state and local governments.
The standards – which in 2014 replaced previous guidance from GASB – changed the way pension plans report financial information for accounting purposes, but did not force pension plans to change their funding policies, which are typically defined by statute. Under GASB 68, individual employers must report a proportionate share of the net pension liability (NPL) and the pension expense on their financial statements, along with related deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources.
The GASB 68 reports are:
- GASB Statement No. 68 Employer Reporting Accounting Schedules (June 30, 2018) (“GRS Report”) – Prepared by Gabriel Roeder Smith & Company (GRS), the retirement system’s independent actuary.
- Schedule of Employer Allocations and Schedule of Pension Amounts by Employer (June 30, 2018) (“Plante & Moran Report”) – Prepared by NHRS and audited by Plante & Moran, the retirement system’s independent external auditor.
GASB Statement No. 75, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions, took effect for governmental employers with fiscal years ending June 30, 2018, or later. This statement makes changes to the financial reporting framework for OPEB benefits and requires additional disclosures and required supplementary information.
The GASB 75 reports deal with financial reporting for other post-employment benefits (OPEB). OPEB refers to the benefits – other than pensions – that a state or local government employee receives upon retirement. The most significant OPEB offering is typically retiree medical insurance, though other benefits such as life insurance are also covered by this umbrella term. For GASB purposes, the NHRS Medical Subsidy is an OPEB benefit.
Note: While NHRS is providing employer-level GASB 75 liability and expense information regarding the Medical Subsidy, an employer may have additional OPEB liabilities that the retirement system is unaware of, such as employer-funded health care or life insurance for retirees. NHRS advises employers to discuss the impact of GASB 75 with their auditors.
The GASB 75 reports are:
- GASB Statement No. 75, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefits other than Pensions (June 30, 2017) (“GRS Report”) – Prepared by GRS.
- Schedule of Employer Allocations and Schedule of OPEB Amounts by Employer (June 30, 2017) (“Plante & Moran Report”) – Prepared by NHRS and audited by Plante & Moran.
How to use the reports
Plante & Moran auditors have tested the GASB 68 and GASB 75 information in the employer schedules in the GRS Reports and issued unmodified, clean opinions in their audit reports. Employers should use the schedules in both reports; the Plante & Moran Report to prepare the financial statements, footnote disclosures, and required supplementary information (RSI) and the GRS Report to obtain the sensitivity analysis and schedule of deferred inflows and outflows by year.
Although these reports only impact financial accounting, NHRS recognizes that the release of reports has the potential to spur questions. The retirement system wants to emphasize that regardless of what the employer-level proportionate share and expense are for GASB 68 and GASB 75, those numbers are for accounting and financial reporting purposes only and do not impact future NHRS employer contribution rates or local property tax rates. The retirement system has a statutory funding schedule to pay down its Unfunded Actuarial Accrued Liability (UAAL) through 2039, which is not affected by GASB requirements.
NHRS provides retirement, disability, and death benefits to its eligible members and their beneficiaries. The State of New Hampshire and nearly 470 local government employers participate in NHRS for their employees, teachers, firefighters, and police officers. NHRS has approximately 48,000 active members and 37,000 pension recipients. NHRS administers a defined benefit plan qualified as a tax-exempt entity under sections 401(a) and 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.
# # #