PHILADELPHIA, July 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --The Exposure Draft relating to proposed pension accounting standards changes that the Governmental Accounting Standards Board ("GASB") issued on July 8, 2011 will likely have a significant impact on many public pension and associated employers. These far-reaching changes impact every public employer providing pensions and similar defined retirement benefits to employees. They could have major implications for most governments, as they will likely raise reported liabilities and costs and could dramatically increase annual pension expenses on the financial statements.
PFM's Senior Strategist for retirement and benefits plans, Girard Miller, CFA, has drafted an analysis outlining the proposed changes and making some recommendations for steps municipal managers and finance officers might employ to better deal with them. For summary information, PFM's recommendations, and helpful links, go to https://fm.pfm.com/gasb.
"We've already had over 200 inquiries from clients who want to know more about what these changes can mean for them, and who want to begin gathering the information they need to make a reasonable assessment and plan going forward," noted PFM Managing Director Michael Nadol. "Finance and budget directors, those with responsibility for labor negotiations and many other critical aspects of the municipal and state finance process, all see the need for structural budget planning and very much want to put their governments and agencies on the road to financial sustainability in a very difficult economic climate," he explained.
The desire for longer range planning is echoed in the pension and OPEB space as well, according to PFM's Managing Director for Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) and pension consulting, Jim Link. "They want to be sure they understand the disclosure requirements as well," he says. "Clients want to know that their assumptions going forward are reasonable, rational, and defensible," he continued. "That's why PFM established this special section on our website, and why we are being asked to meet with so many of our clients, both on the financial advisory and on the pension side."
Public Financial Management, Inc., part of the PFM Group of companies, was the top-ranked independent financial advisory firm in the nation in almost every major category at March 31, 2011, according to Thomson-Reuters, advising on more than $5 billion of total debt in 119 separate transactions during the first quarter of this year alone. Since its founding in 1974, PFM has provided independent financial advisory services to local, state, and regional government and non-profit clients throughout the United States in their dealings with the capital markets. PFM Asset Management LLC (PFMAM), also part of the PFM Group of companies, is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. PFMAM had $42.0 billion in assets under management and provided investment consulting services for an additional $19.9 billion in securities as of March 31, 2011. PFM's clients are state and local governments, non-profit corporations, pension funds, and similar institutional investors. The PFM Group of companies also provides best practices strategic consulting and pension advisory consulting services and currently employs more than 440 individuals serving a broad base of clients from locations in every region of the country.
SOURCE The PFM Group