This month marked the full implementation of two new Government Accounting Standards Board rules affecting the reporting of pension liabilities. These rules, or, as known in the bland vernacular of accountancy, Statements 67 and 68, require state and municipal governments to report their pensions in ways more like that of private-sector pensions.
The most important issue surrounding rule change is the way governments must report the level and type of future payment obligations on pensions.
For most governments these rules don’t matter much. For a responsible municipal government that has almost fully funded its pensions, the most notable impact will be that the value of the reported pension value will be subject to more pronounced ups and downs with the market.