Public University OPEB Burden: Recognition, Funding and Future Obligations

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Public universities began reporting the costs for non-pension retiree benefit obligations known as other postemployment benefits (OPEB) in their fiscal 2008 financial statements. The reported OPEB obligation is the projected benefits to be paid after an employee retires. This descriptive study examines the status of OPEB funding at land grant universities, composition of the benefits provided, and whether modifications are under consideration. Results indicate land grant institutions cover their costs on a pay-as-you-go basis, OPEB liabilities are significantly underfunded, and universities provide comparable types of benefits in their OPEB plan. Revenue shortfalls and current fiscal pressures raise concerns about how they can support the OPEB liabilities. Thus many institutions are evaluating the OPEB cost and the benefits currently provided.


Fischer, Mary, Treba Marsh, George L. Hunt, Bambi A. Hora, and Lucille Montondon. "Public University OPEB Burden: Recognition, Funding and Future Obligations." Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management 25, no. 1 (2013): 91.



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