Other post-employment benefits (OPEB) refers to the benefits, other than pensions, that a state or local government employee receives as part of his or her package of retirement benefits. Typically retiree medical insurance is the most significant OPEB offering, though other benefits such as life insurance are also covered by this umbrella term.
In June 2015 GASB approved two new statements applicable to OPEB plans and participating governments. Statements No. 74 and 75 will replace No. 43 and 45 and make changes to the financial reporting framework for OPEB plans, including the reporting of a net OPEB liability (or a proportionate share of the net OPEB liability, if a sponsoring government). The new statements also require more extensive disclosures and required supplementary information including reporting the effects of changes in assumptions on the net OPEB liability and a schedule of a government's OPEB contributions compared to the contributions required.
Statement No. 74 applies to OPEB plans that administer benefits on behalf of participating governments. It takes effect for financial statements with fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2016.
Statement No. 75 applies to governments who participate in OPEB plans. It takes effect for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2017.
News Release: GASB Publishes New Standards for Reporting for Health Insurance and Other Retiree Benefits, June 29, 2015
Additional resources on GASB's OPEB proposals include:
Spotlight On Retiree Health Care Benefits for State & Local Employees in 2014, NASRA and Center for State and Local Government Excellence (December 2014)
Rising U.S. State Post-Employment Benefit Liabilities Signal An Unsustainable Trend, S&P Global, September 2016
How Big a Burden are State and Local OPEB Benefits?, Center for Retirement Research, March 2016
GASB's Updated Accounting Standards for Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB), The Segal Company, April 2016
Retiree Health Survey Reveals Awareness and Concern Related to GASB OPEB, The Segal Company, April 2016
Diverging Trends Underlie Stable Overall US OPEB Liability, Standard & Poor's, November 2015
Understanding Finances and Changes in Retiree Health Care, Joshua Franzel and Alexander Brown, Government Finance Review, February 2012
State and Local Retiree Health Benefits, Government Accountability Office, November 2009
Retiree Health Plans: A National Assessment, Center for State and Local Government Excellence, September 2008
Best Practice: Ensuring the sustainability of other post-employment benefits, Government Finance Officers Association