Project Updates

Amendment of Statements 87 and 35

Project Summary

Last Updated: December 21, 2005 (Updated sections are indicated with an asterisk *)

The staff has prepared this summary of Board decisions for information purposes only. Those Board decisions are tentative and do not change current accounting. Official positions of the FASB are determined only after extensive due process and deliberations.

*Current Status
*History
Board Meetings/Public Meeting Dates
*Contact Information

Current Status

The Board intends to address the issues in this project as part of its broader project on postretirement benefits, including pensions.

History

The Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF) discussed EITF Issue No. 03-4, "Determining the Classification and Benefit Attribution Method for a ‘Cash Balance’ Pension Plan," at the March 20, 2003 and May 15, 2003 EITF meetings. In the course of preparing the discussion materials for Task Force consideration of Issue 03-4, the staff became aware of pension plans that provide annual interest credits that are variable, based on a market rate. The staff decided to narrow the scope of Issue 03-4 to address only plans with fixed interest crediting rates because plans with variable interest crediting rates present unique measurement issues that were considered to be beyond the scope of the specific EITF issue. In subsequent research and discussions, the staff learned of the pervasiveness of plans with variable interest crediting rates, and the wide variety of interest crediting formulas, none of which are addressed specifically in Statement 87. Therefore, the staff recommended that the Board add an interpretive project to its agenda to address the measurement of costs and obligations under those types of arrangements. At the September 24, 2003 meeting, the Board decided to add that project to its application and implementation agenda.

The original objective of this project was to provide measurement guidance regarding cash balance pension plans, which are not specifically addressed in FASB Statement No. 87, Employers' Accounting for Pensions. At its October 13, 2004 Board meeting, the Board expanded the scope of the project and directed the staff to consider the appropriate pension obligation measurement model for all defined benefit plans that provide plan participants with a lump sum benefit feature at the date of separation from employment.

On November 10, 2005, the Board decided to address the issues in this project as part of the broader pensions project that was added to the agenda on that date.

Board Meeting/Public Meeting Dates

The Board meeting minutes are provided for the information and convenience of constituents who want to follow the Board’s deliberations. All of the conclusions reported are tentative and may be changed at future Board meetings. Decisions become final only after a formal written ballot to issue a final Statement or Interpretation.

The following are links to the minutes for each meeting. Minutes for meetings generally are posted within two weeks following the meeting.

May 11, 2005 Board Meeting—Project direction
October 13, 2004 Board Meeting—Project direction
May 12, 2004 Board Meeting—Scope, effective date and transition, and implementation issues
March 31, 2004 Board Meeting—Measurement issues, disclosures, effective date and transition
March 3, 2004 Board Meeting—Measuring a cash balance pension plan obligation
February 11, 2004 Board Meeting—Discussion of a revised proposed working definition of cash balance pension plan
January 21, 2004 Board Meeting—Discussion of a cash balance pension plan characteristics and a proposed working definition of a cash balance pension plan
September 24, 2003 Board Meeting—Decision to add project to Board agenda

*Contact Information

Peter Proestakes
Project Manager
pcproestakes@fasb.org