Action Alert No. 05-46
November 17, 2005


(Board meetings are available by audio webcast and telephone.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005, 9:00 a.m.

The Board meeting will be held on Tuesday instead of Wednesday.

  1. Uncertain tax positions. The Board will discuss the comment letters received on its proposed Interpretation, Accounting for Uncertain Tax Positions. The Board also will discuss scope and recognition and measurement issues. (Estimated 2.5-hour discussion.)

  2. Fair value option. The Board will discuss several issues regarding the process for electing the fair value option and the scope of the financial and nonfinancial assets and liabilities for which the election is permitted. (Estimated 45-minute discussion.)

  3. Open discussion. If necessary, the Board will allow time to discuss minor issues with staff members on technical projects or administrative matters. Those discussions are held following regular Board meetings as topics come up.


Tuesday, November 22, 2005, following the Board meeting

The Board will hold an educational, non-decision-making session to discuss topics that are anticipated to be discussed at the November 29, 2005 Board meeting. Those topics will be posted to the FASB calendar four days prior to the education session.


The Board Actions are provided for the information and convenience of constituents who want to follow the Board's deliberations. All of the conclusions reported are tentative and may be changed at future Board meetings. Decisions are included in an Exposure Draft for formal comment only after a formal written ballot. Decisions in an Exposure Draft may be (and often are) changed in redeliberations based on information provided to the Board in comment letters, at public roundtable discussions, and through other communication channels. Decisions become final only after a formal written ballot to issue a final Statement, Interpretation, or FSP.

November 10, 2005 Board Meeting

Agenda decision: pensions and other postretirement benefits. The Board considered a staff analysis of a possible project to reconsider the existing guidance on accounting for postretirement benefits including pension benefits. The Board decided to add a comprehensive project to its technical agenda and to conduct that project in two phases.

The first phase is targeted for completion by the end of 2006. The Board's objective in undertaking that phase is to address the fact that under current accounting guidance, important information about the financial status of a company's postretirement benefit plans is reported in the notes to the financial statements but not in the statement of financial position. Accordingly, this phase seeks to improve financial reporting by requiring that the funded or unfunded status of postretirement benefit plans, measured as the difference between the fair value of plan assets and the benefit obligation (for example, projected benefit obligation for pensions), be recognized on the balance sheet. This phase of the project is not expected to change the amount of net benefit cost included in the determination of net income.

In the second, multiyear phase of the project, the Board expects to comprehensively consider a variety of issues related to the accounting for postretirement benefits, such as:

  1. How the various elements that affect the cost of postretirement benefits are best recognized and displayed in the statement of earnings and comprehensive income

  2. How to best measure an entity's benefit obligations, including whether more or different guidance should be provided regarding assumptions used in measuring the benefit obligations

  3. Whether postretirement benefit trusts should be consolidated by the plan sponsor.

Furthermore, consistent with its efforts toward international convergence, the FASB expects to conduct this comprehensive phase collaboratively with the IASB and other standard setters around the world.


FSP FIN 45-3, “Application of FASB Interpretation No. 45 to Minimum Revenue Guarantees Granted to a Business or Its Owners,” was issued on November 10, 2005, and is available on the FASB website.


The following is a list of open meetings tentatively scheduled through December. Because schedules may change, please check the FASB calendar before finalizing your plans. Revisions to this list since the last issue of Action Alert are highlighted in bold.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005—FASB Board Meeting
Tuesday, November 29, 2005—FASB Education Session
Wednesday, November 30, 2005—Small Business Advisory Committee
Thursday, December 1, 2005—Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council
Wednesday, December 7, 2005—FASB Board Meeting
Wednesday, December 7, 2005—FASB Education Session
Thursday, December 8, 2005—New York Society of Security Analysts
Tuesday, December 13, 2005—FASB Education Session
Wednesday, December 14, 2005—FASB Board Meeting
Wednesday, December 14, 2005—FASB Education Session
Tuesday, December 20, 2005—FASB Board Meeting
Wednesday, December 21, 2005—FASB Board Meeting
Wednesday, December 21, 2005—FASB Education Session
Wednesday, December 28, 2005—No FASB Board Meeting or Education Session scheduled