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FASB meets to discuss MEPP disclosure proposal

The Financial Standards Accounting Board (FASB) met May 31 to discuss the proposed new disclosure requirements for participants in multiemployer pension plans. After months of analysis, the Board is now entering the final stages of deliberation. Although no official decision was made at the meeting, TAUC is cautiously optimistic that FASB is moving in the right direction.

As most TAUC members know by now, the association believes FASB's proposed standards are seriously flawed because they will require disclosure of information that is two years out of date, is not auditable and will ultimately be misleading to any end-user of financial statements. TAUC has joined with other trade associations to form the Construction Industry FASB Coalition (CIFC) to engage in positive and constructive collaboration with FASB regarding changes to plan participant reporting requirements.

At its May 31 meeting, FASB tentatively adopted (with a slim 4-vote majority) a compromise disclosure table offered by CIFC. In addition, the worst aspects of the proposed requirements - withdrawal liability and other items of quantitative disclosure - were tentatively withdrawn by FASB. This means that withdrawal liability will almost certainly be eliminated from any final proposals put forth by the Board.

FASB will meet a final time at the end of June to discuss the multiemployer plan proposal and decide on whether to adopt a final rule or publish another round of disclosures for public comment. Based on the observations of the CIFC advisory panel, all indications are that FASB staff will recommend publishing a final rule.

More information about the May 31 meeting -- including a detailed summary of the Board's tentative decisions and other actions -- can be found on the FASB website by clicking here.

TAUC will keep its members updated on the very latest developments regarding this important issue. If you have any questions about the FASB proposals or the CIFC, please contact Todd Mustard, Senior Director of Government Affairs and Member Services, at tmustard@tauc.org or (703) 524-3336 x112.

06/01/2011