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Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB)


Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) refer to the benefits, apart from pensions, that a company promises to provide to its employees after they retire. These benefits could include health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, and legal services among others. OPEB can be a significant liability for companies, particularly for public sector organizations.


Other Post-Employment Benefits can be phonetically expressed as:”Ah-thur Post-Employment Benefits” (OPEB) which is read as “Oh-Pee-Ee-Bee”.

Key Takeaways

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  1. Definition: Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) refer to the benefits, excluding pension benefits, that an employee begins to receive at the start of retirement. This could include life insurance, health insurance, medicare, and so on.
  2. Importance: OPEB obligations can have significant financial implications for companies. If they’re not adequately funded, they can become a major liability, putting potential strain on the company’s financial outlook.
  3. Accounting: Accounting for OPEB can be complex. As per Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), public sector employers are required to disclose their OPEB liabilities in their financial statements. For private sector, Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) guidelines must be followed. Understanding the present value of future OPEB costs is critical for maintaining fiscal responsibility.



Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) represents a significant commitment for many companies, especially those in the public sector. These benefits, which primarily include health insurance and life insurance for retirees, can represent a substantial long-term liability for an organization. Understanding OPEB is critical for financial analysis and planning as it can significantly impact a company’s financial health and stability. This is especially true under the rules of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), which require public entities to account for these future benefits costs in their current budgets. Therefore, accurate quantification and prudent management of OPEB is a key aspect of fiscal responsibility and financial sustainability for any organization offering such benefits.


Other Post-Employment Benefits, commonly known as OPEB, serve a critical function in the design and implementation of extensive employee benefit programs. Essentially, OPEB represents a company’s commitment to providing benefits, other than pension distributions, to its employees after they retire. The enhancement of employees’ post-retirement living conditions and medical concerns is the primary objective of these advantageous provisions. These benefits may encompass post-retirement healthcare coverage, life insurance, and legal services, making them essential elements of an attractive compensation package capable of sustaining employee retention, loyalty, and gratitude.In financial terms, the provision of OPEB is an essential investment in human capital. It signifies assured security for employees, encouraging long-term, productive employee relationships, which are vital to a company’s stability and growth. Furthermore, it plays a significant part in financial reporting as, according to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), public agencies must disclose their OPEB liabilities in financial statements. This calls for measurement and recognition of the cost of benefits and financial commitments towards OPEB during an employee’s working years. Overall, OPEB serves as a critical tool in solidifying an organization’s reputation, enticing talented recruits, mitigating long-term labor costs, and responsibly managing financial obligations.


1. Healthcare Benefits: One of the most common examples of OPEB are healthcare benefits provided to retired employees. For instance, a company like General Motors or Boeing may have a healthcare plan that provides medical, dental, and vision care to retired employees until they become eligible for Medicare.2. Life Insurance Premiums: Another typical example is the lifetime premiums for life insurance. For instance, a company like IBM might pay life insurance premiums for its retired employees. This benefit continues to shield families or beneficiaries financially even after the employee retires.3. Post-Retirement Education Benefits: Some companies, like Intel, offer continuing education benefits for their retirees. This can include reimbursement for tuition fees for certain courses or academic programs. It can be seen as an effort by the company to encourage lifelong learning and personal development.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What are Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB)?

Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) are benefits (other than pensions) that U.S. state and local governments provide to their retired employees. These benefits principally involve health care benefits, but also may include life insurance, disability, legal, and other services.

How do OPEB differ from pensions?

Pensions primarily provide income flows post retirement whereas OPEB typically offers health care and similar non-pension benefits to workers after their employment term has ended.

Who is responsible for funding OPEB?

The employer, in this case the state or local government, is typically responsible for funding OPEB. The funding can be done either on a fully funded basis, with assets set aside for future payments, or on a pay-as-you-go basis, where the benefits are funded as they are needed.

Are companies legally required to provide these benefits?

While many companies do offer other post-employment benefits, they are not legally required to do so unless specified by an employee’s contract or the company’s stated benefits policy.

What is OPEB liability?

OPEB liability is the total amount that an employer expects to pay for other post-employment benefits. The liability is calculated based on several factors, including the employees’ length of service, compensation, mortality rates, and projected health care costs.

How do changes in health care costs affect OPEB?

Any changes in health care costs can have a significant impact on the value of OPEB. If healthcare costs rise, the value of these healthcare-related benefits can increase, causing a larger OPEB liability for the employer.

How does an employer report OPEB on financial statements?

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) require that OPEB be reported as a liability on the company’s balance sheet. The company also has to provide explanations and disclosures about the plans in the footnotes of the financial statements.

Can a company change or eliminate its OPEB?

Typically, a company can change or eliminate benefits that are not protected by specific laws or contracts. However, this is a complex issue and can vary depending on the specific circumstances and locations, and may require precise negotiation and legal guidance.

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