Summary of Board decisions 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 are included in an Exposure Draft for formal comment only after a formal written ballot. Decisions in an Exposure Draft may be (and often are) changed in redeliberations based on information provided to the Board in comment letters, at public roundtable discussions, and through other communication channels. Decisions become final only after a formal written ballot to issue an Accounting Standards Update.

June 29, 2011 FASB Board Meeting

Disclosures about an employer’s participation in a multiemployer plan. The Board continued its redeliberations of its September 2010 Exposure Draft of proposed Accounting Standards Update, Compensation—Retirement Benefits—Multiemployer Plans (Subtopic 715-80): Disclosure about an Employer’s Participation in a Multiemployer Plan, and made the following tentative decisions that would only apply to multiemployer pension plans:
  1. An employer would be required to disclose the following:
    1. A description of the nature and effect of any changes affecting comparability from period to period for each period for which a statement of income is presented, including a business combination or a divestiture, the rate of employer contributions, and the number of employees subject to multiemployer pension plans
    2. Information about plan assets and liabilities and total contributions to the multiemployer plan from all employers in circumstances in which the information is not available in the public domain.
  2. An employer would not be required to disclose any of the following:
    1. Known trends in future contributions
    2. Estimated amounts of future contributions
    3. The percentage of its employees covered by multiemployer plans.
  3. A subsidiary that participates in its parent entity’s single employer defined benefit pension plan would be required to disclose the name of the parent plan and the amount of contributions made in each period for which an income statement is presented.
  4. The required disclosures would only apply to multiemployer pension plans. For multiemployer health and welfare plans, certain aspects of the existing disclosure requirements will be clarified. In addition, the Board may address other aspects of the disclosure requirements related to multiemployer health and welfare plans as part of a future project.
The Board directed the staff to conduct outreach with respect to the auditability of the following:
  1. The percentage of the employer’s total contributions to a multiemployer plan
  2. The disclosure of information about plan assets and liabilities and total contributions to a multiemployer plan in circumstances in which the information is not available outside of the financial statements.
The results of that outreach will be discussed at a future meeting.

Goodwill impairment assessments. The staff provided a comment letter summary from the April 2011 proposed Accounting Standards Update (Update), Intangibles–Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Testing Goodwill for Impairment.

The Board discussed and affirmed the following aspects of the Exposure Draft in light of the comments received:
  1. The examples of events and circumstances to be assessed
  2. The implementation guidance would not include illustrative examples
  3. The scope would include both nonpublic entities and public entities
  4. Additional disclosures about the use of the qualitative assessment would not be required
  5. An entity may have the option to test goodwill for impairment using a qualitative assessment.
In connection with its decision reached in (a) above, the Board directed the staff to develop additional guidance for an entity having a reporting unit with a zero or negative carrying amount to take into consideration significant differences in the fair value of a reporting unit’s assets and liabilities compared with their carrying amounts.

The Board decided not to expand the scope of the proposed Update to include the impairment testing of other indefinite-lived intangible assets. However, in response to concerns raised by preparers, the Board directed the staff to explore whether there is an approach that would allow an entity to maintain its current practice of carrying forward a prior year fair value calculation when testing an indefinite-lived intangible asset for impairment.

On the basis of concerns raised by some accounting firms about their ability to audit an entity’s qualitative impairment assessment, the Board directed the staff to conduct workshops with accounting firms, preparers, and regulators to discuss implementation concerns and to clarify the Board’s intent about how to assess relevant events and circumstances. The Board directed the staff to hold these workshops in the near-term so that a final Update can be issued in the third quarter of 2011.