Project Update

Disclosure Framework—Disclosure Review: Defined Benefit Plans

Last updated on January 12, 2017. Please refer to the Current Technical Plan for information about the expected release dates of exposure documents and final standards.

(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.

Project Objective and Overview
Due Process Documents
Decisions Reached at Last Meeting
Tentative Board Decisions Reached to Date
*Next Steps
Board/Other Public Meeting Dates
*Contact Information
 

Project Objective and Overview

The objective and primary focus of the Disclosure Framework project is to improve the effectiveness of disclosures in notes to financial statements by clearly communicating the information that is most important to users of each entity’s financial statements. Achieving the objective of improving effectiveness will require development of a framework that promotes consistent decisions about disclosure requirements by the Board and the appropriate exercise of discretion by reporting entities.

To achieve this objective, the Disclosure Framework project comprises two components: the Board’s Decision Process and the Entity’s Decision Process.

Currently, four disclosure areas are being evaluated as part of the Disclosure Framework project. Each review will include (1) evaluation of existing disclosure requirements within the Topic after applying the concepts in the Board’s decision process and (2) promotion of the appropriate use of discretion by entities specifically within the Topic.

This page provides updates on the disclosure review of defined benefit plans (Section 715-20-50). For information on the other three disclosure reviews, see the following:
  1. Inventory (Section 330-10-50)
  2. Fair value measurement (Section 820-10-50)
  3. Income taxes (Section 740-10-50)
Additionally, disclosure requirements for interim reporting are being evaluated for modifications.

The FASB staff has developed a “Q&A: FASB’s Disclosure Framework Project” fact sheet which can be viewed here.

Due Process Documents

On January 26, 2016, the Board issued a proposed Accounting Standards Update, Compensation–Retirement Benefits–Defined Benefit Plans–General (Subtopic 715-20): Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Defined Benefit Plans. The due date for comment letters was April 25, 2016.

Decisions Reached at Last Meeting (July 13, 2016)

The Board discussed a summary of comments received on the proposed Accounting Standards Update, Compensation–Retirement Benefits–Defined Benefit Plans–General (Subtopic 715-20): Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Defined Benefit Plans. The Board made no technical decisions; however, it directed the staff to perform research on particular aspects of the proposed Update.

Tentative Board Decisions Reached to Date (As of July 18, 2016)

See Tentative Board Decisions Reached to Date

*Next Steps

The staff plans to perform research on particular aspects of the proposed Update.

Additionally, the FASB will host a public roundtable meeting on the Board’s decision process under the disclosure framework and on materiality in Norwalk, Connecticut on March 17, 2017. The roundtable meeting is an important part of the Board’s due process on the Exposure Drafts. The first session of the roundtable will be an opportunity for those who have submitted a comment letter on the Exposure Draft of Chapter 8 or any of the four Topical reviews (defined benefit plans, fair value measurement, income taxes, and inventory) to discuss with the FASB the effects of the proposed concepts on disclosures. The second session is an opportunity for those who have submitted a comment letter on either materiality Exposure Draft (Chapter 3 or proposed Update on Topic 235) to discuss their feedback with the FASB.

To ensure that a variety of perspectives is received, the Board is seeking participation from preparers, auditors, investors, and others. Those who desire to participate in one of the roundtable sessions should notify the FASB by submitting an online participation form by February 27, 2017. The roundtable meeting can accommodate a limited number of participants. Depending on the number of responses received, the Board may not be able to accommodate all requests to participate.

Board/Other 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 standard.

July 13, 2016 Board Meeting—Defined Benefit Plan Disclosures
November 2, 2015 Board Meeting—Defined Benefit Plan Disclosures
July 9, 2015 Board Meeting—Defined Benefit Plan Disclosures
June 29, 2015 Board Meeting—Defined Benefit Plan Disclosures and Transition
August 20, 2014 Board Meeting—Defined Benefit Plan Disclosures and Appropriate Use of Discretion by Reporting Entities
June 11, 2014 Board Meeting—Defined Benefit Plan Disclosures and Potential Changes on the Basis of the Proposed Concepts Statement
April 4, 2014 Board Meeting—Field Study Results and Next Steps

*Contact Information

Nick Cappiello
Supervising Project Manager
ntcappiello@fasb.org

Lucy Cheng
Assistant Project Manager
lcheng@fasb.org

Mallory Bennett
Postgraduate Technical Assistant
mbennett@fasb.org

Haoran Jiang
Postgraduate Technical Assistant
hjiang@fasb.org