AICPA Groups Comment on FASB Exposure Draft

January 28, 2015

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) endorsed a Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU), Compensation—Retirement Benefits (Topic 715): Practical Expedient for the Measurement Date of an Employer’s Defined Benefit Obligation and Plan Assets, that would allow plan sponsors to measure defined benefit plan assets and obligations as of the month-end that is closest to their fiscal year-end for plan sponsors whose year-ends do not fall on a month-end.

In its December 15, 2014 comment letter, the AICPA’s Private Companies Practice Section Technical Issues Committee, in conjunction with the Employee Benefit Plans Expert Panel, wrote that the two groups are supportive of the proposal since it will provide much needed cost relief and simplification for employers (plan sponsors) that have adopted these alternative fiscal year-ends. 

The letter also recommended expanding the scope of the final standard to all employee benefit plans, including defined benefit plans, defined contribution plans and health and welfare plans with fiscal year-ends that also are not at a month-end.  “We recommend that employee benefit plans be allowed to measure plan assets and obligations, if applicable, as of the closest month-end date (measurement date) to the plan’s fiscal year-end, as well as to include or exclude recurring transactions that occur between the fiscal year-end period and measurement date, as long as the plan reflects this consistently year to year,” the letter stated.