The FASB released a proposed ASU – Compensation-Retirement Benefits-Defined Benefit Plans-General (Subtopic 715-20): Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Defined Benefit Plans in January 2016. The proposal was issued as part of the FASB’s Disclosure Framework project and intended to improve the effectiveness of pension disclosures by eliminating unimportant information and adding other pertinent information in the notes to the financial statements, as well as organizing the disclosures around certain broad objectives.
We support the Board’s overall objective in the Disclosure Framework project to make the disclosures more effective, balancing the information needs of financial statement users with the costs and complexity of producing that information. We also support the Board’s intent to clarify that entities have flexibility to determine what information is material for disclosure. We believe the proposed changes in the exposure draft will enable preparers to eliminate less relevant information from the footnotes. However, we also believe the specific new disclosures proposed to be added or removed will not result in significantly better decision-useful information.
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