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Office of the New York State Comptroller’s Seal

NYS Comptroller

Thomas P. DiNapoli

Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is GASB?
  2. What does Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) hope to accomplish by making employers follow these new regulations?
  3. When does Statement No. 67 go into effect?
  4. When does Statement No. 68 go into effect?
  5. What do I need to do with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 68 Information?
  6. Will employers have to pay more each year for pensions because of Governmental Accounting Standards Board’s (GASB’s) new standards?
  7. If required contributions have been paid in full, why is it necessary to record a liability?
  8. How do I figure out the information that needs to be reported?
  9. How will my proportionate share be determined?
  10. How is the net pension liability calculated?
  11. How will employers get the information required to be reported?
  12. When will I be able to view the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 68 data each year?
  13. Why doesn’t the amount listed as “Employer’s Contributions” on my portal page match my payment?
  14. What if I do not have ten years of consecutive contributions data or covered-employee payroll information that is to be included in the Required Supplementary Information — Schedule of Contributions employer note disclosure?
  15. Are the two new standards online somewhere where I can read them?
  16. Will the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) provide comparative Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 68 information for employers who prepare comparative financial statements?
  17. Where do I find information about the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS), including benefit information, tier information, governance and actuarial assumptions?
  18. The Excel download of our portal page only extends the employer allocation percentage out to 2 decimal places. Why does this differ from other information?
  19. What do I do if I need additional information or have any questions?
  1. What is GASB?

    GASB is an acronym for the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, which is the source of generally accepted accounting principles used by State and local governments such as the New York State & Local Retirement System (NYSLRS, or the System). All State and local government employers participating in the System that follow generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) are required to implement these provisions.

  2. What does Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) hope to accomplish by making employers follow these new regulations?

    The objective is to improve financial reporting by State and local governmental pension plans and participating employers. Employers, who previously had no reporting responsibility related to pension liability/assets, will now include their proportionate shares of the Net Pension Liability on their financial statements, as well as other statistics such as pension expense and deferred inflows/outflows.

  3. When does Statement No. 67 go into effect?

    The provisions in Statement No. 67 are effective for financial statements for periods beginning after June 15, 2013. For the New York State & Local Retirement System (NYSLRS), this was the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015.

  4. When does Statement No. 68 go into effect?

    The provisions in Statement No. 68 are effective for the fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2014 and are dependent on the individual employers’ fiscal year end. You can consult this implementation chart to find out when you are required to implement Statement No. 68.

  5. What do I need to do with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 68 Information?

    If you prepare financial statements in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), you may need to follow GASB guidance and comply with GASB Statement No. 68. If you do not prepare financial statements in accordance with GAAP, you may not need to follow GASB guidance. We suggest you check with your auditor or accountant.

    For additional information, please read The Office of the State Comptroller’s Division of Local Government and School Accountability Bulletin — Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions as Required by GASB 68, available in the GASB section of our website.

  6. Will employers have to pay more each year for pensions because of Governmental Accounting Standards Board’s (GASB’s) new standards?

    No. The System will continue to provide annual bills to you based on actuarially determined contribution rates. The change resulting from the new standards is an accounting change — you will need to report a liability or asset representing the funding deficit or surplus attributable to the employer.

  7. If required contributions have been paid in full, why is it necessary to record a liability?

    The current measure of pension expense is your annual required contributions to the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS). If you paid your required contributions, you had no additional liability to NYSLRS. The new standards require that employers report their proportionate share of the collective net pension liability to the extent that total plan pension liability exceeds plan net assets.

    Governmental Accounting Standards Board’s (GASB’s) position is that government employee pensions are a component of the employment relationship between the employer and employee; they are part of the employee compensation package. The employer’s participation in a pension plan provided by a separate entity or pension system, such as NYSLRS, does not limit the employer’s responsibility for the cost of these future pension benefits.

    If the total pension liability of the separate pension system is not 100 percent funded, employers have a liability for the unfunded portion of the pension benefits earned by their employees to date. This liability should be recognized in the employer’s financial statements along with an associated pension expense.

  8. How do I figure out the information that needs to be reported?

    Based on current actuarial and financial information, the System will annually calculate the net pension liability, pension expense, deferred inflows/outflows and other related disclosures for you.

  9. How will my proportionate share be determined?

    Proportionate shares will be determined based on the proportion of the actuarial present value of future employer billing salary to the actuarial present value of future system billing salary.

  10. How is the net pension liability calculated?

    The net pension liability represents the difference between the Plan’s total pension liability based on actuarial valuations and the assets currently available within the Plan to pay that liability.

  11. How will employers get the information required to be reported?

    The System will prepare a table that will calculate your proportionate share percentage and dollar amounts for you. We will provide your proportionate share of net pension liability, pension expense and deferred inflows/outflows. In addition, we will guide you with footnote disclosures.

    This information will be available via our employer web portal — the same portal you use to access your Annual Invoice, Salary Listing and other Employer Online Programs. As with all the online programs we offer, this new web application will be a secure site, so you must have a username and password to enter. If you use our Internet Salary and Service Listing program, you will automatically have access to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) program using your current Salary Listing username and password.

  12. When will I be able to view the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 68 data each year?

    We expect the year-to-year GASB Statement No. 68 information that we provide will be posted on our website no later than the end of each July.

  13. Why doesn’t the amount listed as “Employer’s Contributions” on my portal page match my payment?

    The “Employer’s Contributions” amount reflects Regular Pension Contribution, including Group Term Life Insurance (GTLI), Reconciliation, and Adjustments. It does not include payments made for Amortizations or Incentives; these amounts were recorded by the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) when the amounts were initially due.

  14. What if I do not have ten years of consecutive contributions data or covered-employee payroll information that is to be included in the Required Supplementary Information — Schedule of Contributions employer note disclosure?

    According to Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 68, this disclosure can be treated prospectively, i.e. employers are allowed to start with the current year and to add additional years until the required number of years is reached. The payroll for the employer’s fiscal years can be accumulated the same way. For an example, see Illustration 3 in the GASB Statement No. 68 Adobe pdf. Please note that according to paragraph 81(b) of GASB Statement No. 68, employers are responsible for maintaining and reporting this information as of their most recent fiscal year end.

  15. Are the two new standards online somewhere where I can read them?

    Links to both new accounting standards are featured in the About Statement No. 67, About Statement No. 68 and Links & Resources sections of this web presentation, as well as on the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) website.

  16. Will the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) provide comparative Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 68 information for employers who prepare comparative financial statements?

    NYSLRS is implementing GASB Statement No. 67 beginning with the March 31, 2015 financial statements. Based on this measurement date, NYSLRS will provide GASB Statement No. 68 information for employers by July 31, 2015. This information will include beginning Net Pension Liability as of March 31, 2014, Ending Net Pension Liability, Pension Expense and any Deferred Amounts as of March 31, 2015. NYSLRS historically has prepared single year presentation financial statements and, therefore, will not provide comparative information for Pension Expense or Deferred Amounts as of March 31, 2014.

    Employers should look for guidance from external auditors and other sources to evaluate the impact of GASB Statement No. 68 on the Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) and comparative footnote disclosures.

  17. Where do I find information about the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS), including benefit information, tier information, governance and actuarial assumptions?

    You can find this information by clicking the “Detailed Schedules” tab from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) application home page. This will take you to NYSLRS Financial Statements and the Schedules of Employer Allocations and the Schedules of Pension Amounts by Employer. Both of these documents include information about NYSLRS in the footnotes.

  18. The Excel download of our portal page only extends the employer allocation percentage out to 2 decimal places. Why does this differ from other information?

    The Excel download automatically truncates the percentage; you can extend the decimal places in that cell through the Excel commands on the home tab.

  19. What do I do if I need additional information or have any questions?

    Though the System didn’t create these two new standards, we know their implementation is a joint responsibility we share with you. We will continue to communicate with you about these new regulations, and will post new information as it becomes available. Remember, don’t hesitate to email us if you have questions. You may also wish to consult with an independent auditor or your own accountant about these Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) standards and their implementation.

(Rev. 9/15)

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