Accounting News Roundup: Pension Accounting Switcheroo; Baucus: Pass-throughs ‘not been helpful’ to Economy; Most Americans Oppose Shutdown | 03.09.11
Rewriting Pension History [WSJ]
Some big companies are changing how they account for their pension plans in a way that could make their earnings look better in coming years. AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Honeywell International Inc. recently ended a longstanding practice in which they “smooth” large gains and losses generated by pension assets into their financial results over a period of years. From now on, these companies will count all such gains and losses in the same year they are incurred.