The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) in 2012 released new accounting standards for public pension plans and participating employers. These standards, GASB Statements No. 67 and 68, have substantially revised the accounting requirements previously mandated under GASB Statements No. 25 and 27. With GASB 67 effective for plan fiscal years ending after June 15, 2014, and GASB 68 effective for employer fiscal years ending after June 15, 2015, we began to see governments reporting under the new standards with their FY2015 audits.
Given that we have now seen a reasonable sample of governmental financial statements implementing the new GASB 67/68 reporting standards, we are pleased to announce that CreditScope now includes pension-related data fields for the City, County and School District sectors which will better accommodate the new GASB 67/68 pronouncements. The new data fields have been added to accommodate both Single/Multi-Employer Agent plans and the Multi-Employer Cost Sharing plans for the City, County and School District sectors. Merritt plans to populate the new pension-related data fields retrospectively for FY2015 City credits with populations exceeding 100,000 and County credits with populations exceeding 500,000. For all other City, County and School District credits that have been standardized (for FY2015) prior to July 2016, Merritt will update the new pension-related data fields with FY2016 financial information. A CreditScope System Update with a minimum Build Number of 1235 must be applied in order to see the new pension-related data fields.
You can check the Build Number of your CreditScope system by clicking on the [Maintenance] link of the left-bar navigation tree of the main screen. Then, click on [Advanced] and [About]. In the resulting pop-up box, check the line that reads: "Build". If the Build Number is not at least 1235, you may wish to consult with someone in your IT department to inquire about scheduling a software system/data update in order to see these new fields.
Updating the City, County and School District sectors with the new pension-related data fields will be the first step of many. The next step will be updating the State sector software to include pension-related data fields that mirror the new City, County and School District pension presentation (including support for the new GASB 67/68 pronouncements and separating the Single/Multi-Employer Agent plans and the Multi-Employer Cost Sharing plans). The State sector pension-related data field changes will be a significant and necessary enhancement to the usability of the data provided under the formerly used GASB 25/27 pronouncements. During the transition period, certain information previously reported in the State sector pension-related data fields, will be unavailable or inconsistent until the conversion is completed and your CreditScope System Update has been applied. For that reason, as with the City, County and School District changes released in CreditScope Build 1235, a CreditScope System Update will be strongly encouraged once the State sector changes have been released. Although the Build Number and Date of that release has yet to be determined, we will be implementing these changes over the coming months.
We envision the next step (after mirroring the State pension-related data field layout to the City, County and School District pension-related data field layout) to be the breakout of Multi-Employer Cost Sharing plans to its own plan level in CreditScope. While the development of this step is underway, the details and release date are yet to be determined.