Category Archives: Other post-employment benefits (OPEB)

Post-employment benefits other than pensions, most notably retiree health insurance.

Top 5 Take-Aways from the GASB OPEB Accounting Exposure Draft

Last week the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) released its long-awaited exposure draft of proposed Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) accounting changes. Although there may be modifications before the rules are finalized, public employers should be aware of the potential consequences. Here’s our list of the top 5 items from the exposure draft: 1. Most of […]

Pension Discount Rates – September 2013 Preview

After several years of painfully-low pension discount rates, we’ve seen a modest rebound in 2013. Using the Citigroup Pension Liability Index (CPLI) and Citigroup Pension Discount Curve (CPDC) as proxies, pension accounting discount rates are up by about 80 basis points so far this year. This is great news for pension plan sponsors, especially if […]

OPEB Investments – The Danger of Playing It Safe

Under GASB 43 and 45, public sector employers are required to account for retiree medical benefits under special rules for Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB).  Many have chosen to pre-fund these liabilities in a trust similar to a retirement plan trust.  At the recent Minnesota School Board Association convention, Van Iwaarden Associates teamed up with an […]

“Measure It Before You Promise It” for GASB 45 OPEB

Over the past several years, GASB 45 has required public employers to recognize the cost of Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB: e.g., retiree health insurance, life insurance) while employees are accruing the benefits, not after they retire. For many public entities, the true cost of their healthcare promises has been an eye opener. However, public employers […]

Top Reasons to Change Your GASB 45 Valuation Schedule

GASB 45 requires a complete actuarial valuation of public retiree health plans to be completed every 2 to 3 years (depending on number of plan members), and sponsors usually don’t look forward to the administrative hassles of their next study. However, there are several situations where a new valuation could be advantageous and, likely, mandatory. […]

Public Safety Benefits Can Significantly Affect OPEB Liabilities

Federal, state and local regulations often include mandated health benefits for officers disabled in the line of duty. These benefits are a way to reward officers for protecting and serving the public at great risk of bodily harm. The value of these benefits must be accounted for under GASB accounting rules, and there are a […]

OPEB Participation Rates – “Kind of a Grey Area” Under Healthcare Reform

One of the highest impact assumptions in OPEB actuarial valuations is the participation rate.  This rate represents the percent of future retirees assumed to participate in the employer’s health plan during retirement. The participation assumption has a direct and leveraged effect on OPEB liabilities.  For example, if the assumption is that 60% of employees are assumed to elect coverage […]

How will the “Cadillac Tax” impact your OPEB plan?

 Although the effect of healthcare reform on retiree health plans is difficult to gauge at this point, there are several provisions that could impact the long-term costs   and strategies for employer plans. Let’s start with the so-called “Cadillac Tax” on high-cost insurance plans effective in 2018.  What it is:  A non-deductible 40% excise tax paid by the […]

Start Thinking About the Impact of Medicare Reform on OPEB Plans

Employers who offer retiree health benefits to their employees have something new to think about: How will proposed Medicare reforms impact my plan and its costs? Although changes to the Medicare system are likely a long way off, Medicare reform is a hot topic lately and changes to the program could have a dramatic effect […]

It’s now or never for ERRP application

We all knew this day would come, and now it’s here.  New applications for the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP) will be received only until 5 pm on Thursday, May 5th. The last time we blogged about this, the ERRP money was going fast.  Now the urgency is clear. So if you’ve been thinking about […]


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