Post-retirement benefits include all retiree health and welfare benefits other than pensions and can include:
- Medical Coverage
- Dental coverage
- Life insurance
- Group legal services
These benefits are much more difficult to estimate than pension obligations. Under SFAS 106, employers have some latitude in making these estimates. The expected post-retirement benefit obligation is computed by taking the present value of expected post-retirement benefits.
Accounting for post-retirement benefits
- Accounting for post-retirement benefits is, to the extent it is possible, the same as for pension benefits.
- While the accounting methods are similar, the latitude described above is due to the dynamic nature of these types of benefits in general. For example, pension fund accounting uses industry standard actuarial assumptions, discount rates and long-term market assumptions. While the treatment of pension funds is quite mature, methods under SFAS 106 are evolving and the expected future costs of these benefits are more fluid.
- The main difference from an accounting perspective is that post-retirement healthcare benefits usually are "all-or-nothing" plans in which a certain level of coverage is promised upon retirement, and the coverage is independent of the length of service beyond the eligibility date. Cost is unrelated to service and is attributed to the years from the employee's date of hire to the full-eligibility date.
Elements of post-retirement benefit cost:
- Service cost
- Interest cost
- Return on plan assets
- Amortization and deferral
- Amortization of unrecognized prior service cost
- Amortization of transition asset and liability
SFAS 106 permits the amortization of the transition liability over 20 years, versus the average remaining service period of active employment found under pension plans.
RetirementMost of us will rely on a pension plan in the future, so it's best to know the details of the various plans before signing up.
RetirementWhether it's out of financial necessity or to combat boredom, an increasing number of seniors are taking on post-retirement jobs.
RetirementDetermine the risk to a company's EPS and financial condition resulting from an underfunded pension plan.
RetirementThink you are prepared to retire? These warning signs may indicate otherwise.
Financial AdvisorFinancial advisors are on the front line in advising clients impacted by a frozen pension. Here's what they need to consider.
RetirementWe'll look at the industries and specific jobs that are attracting post-retirement employees, and post-retiree jobs with good prospects.
RetirementAn employer-sponsored retirement plan where employee benefits are based on a formula using factors such as salary history and duration of employment.
RetirementEmployees have a love/hate relationship with this retirement option.
RetirementUnfortunately, there are several factors that have eroded the presence of pension plans in America, and workers need to be prepared to replace that expected income for their retirement years. ...
Managing WealthBoth pensions and Social Security provide an income stream to retirees, but they differ widely on how they're structured and funded. Here's the lowdown.