Public Sector Accounting Standards

Employment Benefits

Summary

Identified as the top priority in PSAB’s 2014 Project Priority Survey, the Board has approved a project to review Section PS 3250, Retirement Benefits, and Section PS 3255, Post-employment Benefits, Compensated Absences and Termination Benefits. Since the issuance of these Sections decades ago, new types of pension plans have been introduced and there have been changes in the related accounting concepts.

Staff Contact(s)

Lydia So, CPA, CA

Principal, Public Sector Accounting Board

Project Status

  • Information gathering

    Initial information gathering completed prior to December 2014

  • Approving project

    Project approved December 2014

  • Consulting stakeholders

    Invitation to Comment – Employment Benefits: Deferral Provisions in Sections PS 3250 and PS 3255 issued in November 2016

    Invitation to Comment – Employment Benefits: Discount Rate Guidance in Section PS 3250 issued in November 2017

    Invitation to Comment – Employment Benefits: Non-traditional Pension Plans issued in October 2018

  • Deliberating feedback

    Responses to the three Invitations to Comment to be discussed in 2019

  • Final pronouncement

Meeting & event summaries


September 27, 2018

PSAB Decision Summary – September 27-28, 2018

The Board approved the Invitation to Comment, “Employment Benefits: Non-traditional Pension Plans.”

Non-traditional pension plans are plans that involve employers sharing different degrees of risk related to pension benefits with other parties, including employees and other employers.

The accounting principles and guidance explored in the document may have significant effect on the accrued benefit obligation reported by public sector entities.

The Board expects to issue the document in October 2018, along with In Brief, a plain and simple overview of the document. On November 16, 2018, Task Force members will present a webinar about the document’s key features.

June 21, 2018

PSAB Decision Summary – June 21-22, 2018

The Board received a presentation from the Task Force Chair on the approach, structure and content of the invitation to comment on non-traditional plans. The Board provided feedback to the Task Force. The Board expects to approve the invitation to comment at its September 2018 meeting.

March 22, 2018

PSAB Decision Summary – March 22-23, 2018

The Board received an update on the project from the Task Force Chair and discussed the scope of the invitation to comment on non-traditional plans. The Board will receive an update on the invitation to comment’s development at its June 2018 meeting.

September 21, 2017

PSAB Decision Summary – September 21-22, 2017

The Board approved the Invitation to Comment, “Employment Benefits: Discount Rate Guidance in Section PS 3250.”

A key objective of issuing this invitation to comment is to seek stakeholder input prior to PSAB establishing its own preliminary views on the issues. The Board expects to issue the document in November 2017.

June 22, 2017

PSAB Decision Summary – June 22-23, 2017

The Board received a project update from the task force and provided input into the invitation to comment for discount rates.

The Board also provided input on options to streamline the process of this project.

March 16, 2017

PSAB Decision Summary – March 16-17, 2017

PSAB received an update about the project and reviewed a project plan. PSAB discussed if the process can be streamlined and requested staff to provide options and related risks for its consideration for the June 2017 PSAB meeting.

September 26, 2016

PSAB Decision Summary – September 26-27, 2016

PSAB approved the Invitation to Comment, “Employment Benefits: Deferral Provisions in Sections PS 3250 and PS 3255.” The document is expected to be issued in the fall of 2016.

June 16, 2016

PSAB Decision Summary – June 16-17, 2016

PSAB received an update on the project, including consideration of the approach to an invitation to comment, and provided feedback to the task force.

Volunteer Opportunity – Employment Benefits Task Force
December 23, 2014. PSAB is currently seeking members for its Employment Benefits Task Force. If you are interested, please submit a resumé by February 16, 2015.

December 15, 2014

PSAB Decision Summary – December 15-16, 2014

PSAB approved an Employment Benefits project. The objective is to review Section PS 3250, Retirement Benefits, and Section PS 3255, Post-employment Benefits, Compensated Absences and Termination Benefits. Key issues include, but are not limited to, deferral of experience gains and losses, discount rate, shared risk plans, multi-employer defined benefit plans and vested sick leave benefits.

News


December 13, 2018

Resource

Article – Principles-based Approach to Accounting for Non-traditional Pension Plans

Many public sector pension plans involve employers sharing risks with their employees and/or other employers. Read this article to learn how potential accounting guidance reflecting the risk assumed by employers could have a significant impact on their financial positions.

November 19, 2018

News

Article – The Evolution of Public Sector Pension Plans and Its Accounting Implications

November 19, 2018. Public sector pension plans have evolved substantially in the past decade. New plan features and arrangements have been introduced to address plan sustainability. Read this article to learn about why an update to the accounting standard may be needed.

October 19, 2018

News

Invitation to Comment – Employment Benefits: Non-traditional Pension Plans

October 19, 2018. We need your feedback! Read and respond to this Invitation to Comment to support PSAB in forming its preliminary views on potential accounting guidance for non-traditional pension plans. Submit your response by February 1, 2019.

October 19, 2018

News

In Brief – Invitation to Comment, Employment Benefits: Non-traditional Pension Plans

October 19, 2018. This In Brief provides a plain and simple overview of the Invitation to Comment, Employment Benefits: Non-traditional Pension Plans. It also presents background information about PSAB’s Employment Benefits project.

October 16, 2018

News

Webinar – Invitation to Comment on Non-traditional Pension Plans

October 16, 2018. Tune in to this webinar on November 16, 2018 (English) or November 22, 2018 (French) to learn about the key features of PSAB’s Invitation to Comment, “Employment Benefits: Non-traditional Pension Plans.”

February 5, 2018

News

Article – Employment Benefits Discount Rate: Any Case for a Current Rate?

February 5, 2018. Read this article to learn about the debate on whether a current rate, an average rate or a projected rate would be appropriate for the discount rate used in determining benefit obligation.

January 4, 2018

News

Article – Employment Benefits Discount Rate: Anything Wrong with Expected Return on Plan Assets?

January 4, 2018. Read this article to learn about the debate on whether the expected return on plan assets, commonly used in the public sector in discounting obligations for funded benefit plans, is an appropriate discount rate for determining benefit obligation.

December 11, 2017

News

Article – Is There a Right Way to Measure the Time Value of Money?

December 11, 2017. The choice of discount rate could have significant effects on the benefit obligation reported. Read this article to learn about the debate on which discount rate would best reflect the time value of money in determining the benefit obligation.

November 30, 2017

News

Invitation to Comment – Employment Benefits: Discount Rate Guidance in Section PS 3250

November 30, 2017. PSAB has issued an Invitation to Comment to seek stakeholder input before forming its preliminary views on the discount rate guidance provisions in the employment benefits standards. Stakeholders are encouraged to submit their responses by March 9, 2018.

November 30, 2017

News

In Brief – Invitation to Comment, Employment Benefits: Discount Rate Guidance in Section PS 3250

November 30, 2017. This In Brief provides a plain and simple overview of the Invitation to Comment, Employment Benefits: Discount Rate Guidance in Section PS 3250. It also presents background information about PSAB’s Employment Benefits project.

October 6, 2017

News

Webinar – Invitation to Comment on Employment Benefits Discount Rate Guidance

October 6, 2017. Tune in to this webinar on January 16, 2018 (English) or January 17, 2018 (French) to learn about the key features of PSAB’s Invitation to Comment, “Employment Benefits: Discount Rate Guidance in Section PS 3250."

February 2, 2017

News

PSAB Matters Article – Actuarial Gains and Losses: To Defer or Not to Defer?

February 2, 2017. Whether actuarial gains and losses should continue to be deferred and amortized is a subject of debate in the Canadian public sector. Read this article for the arguments and find out how you can participate in this debate and influence PSAB’s deliberations on this issue.

December 6, 2016

News

Webinar – Employment Benefits Project Update and Invitation to Comment on Deferral Provisions

December 6, 2016. Tune in to this webinar on January 30, 2017 (English) or January 31, 2017 (French) to get the latest information on PSAB’s Employment Benefits project, including information on the Invitation to Comment, “Employment Benefits: Deferral Provisions in Sections PS 3250 and PS 3255.”

November 25, 2016

News

Invitation to Comment – Employment Benefits: Deferral Provisions in Sections PS 3250 and PS 3255

November 25, 2016. PSAB has issued an Invitation to Comment to seek stakeholder input before forming its preliminary views on the deferral provisions in the employment benefits standards. Stakeholders are encouraged to submit their responses, on the form provided, by March 3, 2017.

August 26, 2016

News

PSAB Matters Article – Progress on our Employment Benefits Project

August 26, 2016. Stay informed on our Employment Benefits project and upcoming opportunities to share your views.

Disclaimer

This project summary has been prepared for information purposes only. Decisions reported are tentative and reflect only the current status of discussions on this project, which may change after further Board deliberations. Decisions to publish Handbook material are final only after a formal ballot process.