ASC 965-20: Plan Expenses Journal Entries for Health and Welfare Benefit Plans

ASC 965-20: Plan Expenses Journal Entries for Health and Welfare Benefit Plans

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Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 965, Plan Accounting, covers the financial reporting requirements for health and welfare benefit plans. These plans are designed to provide participants with benefits such as medical, dental, and disability coverage. ASC 965-20 specifically focuses on the measurement of plan expenses and the accounting treatment for these expenses. This article will discuss the various types of plan expenses, their significance in health and welfare benefit plans, and the journal entries used to record these transactions.


Plan Expenses

Plan expenses are the costs incurred by health and welfare benefit plans in providing benefits to participants and maintaining the plan's operations. These expenses can be broadly categorized into three types:

Benefit Payments: These are the amounts paid by the plan to cover the participants' eligible medical, dental, and other health-related expenses. Benefit payments are the most significant component of plan expenses.

Administrative Expenses: These are the costs incurred in administering the plan, including expenses related to plan management, recordkeeping, legal, and auditing services.

Investment Expenses: These are the expenses associated with managing the plan's investments, such as investment management fees and other transaction costs.


Journal Entries for Plan Expenses Transactions

To illustrate the accounting treatment for plan expenses, let's assume a health and welfare benefit plan has the following data for a specific period:


Benefit payments: $500,000

Administrative expenses: $20,000

Investment expenses: $10,000

Employer contributions: $520,000

Participant contributions: $20,000


The following journal entries can be used to record the plan expenses and the contributions:


1. Record the benefit payments:

Dr. Benefit Payments $500,000

Cr. Cash $500,000


Record the administrative expenses:

Dr. Administrative Expenses $20,000

Cr. Cash $20,000


2. Record the investment expenses:

Dr. Investment Expenses $10,000

Cr. Cash $10,000


3. Record the employer contributions:

Dr. Cash $520,000

Cr. Employer Contributions $520,000


4. Record the participant contributions:

Dr. Cash $20,000

Cr. Participant Contributions $20,000


The total plan expenses for the period can be calculated as:

Benefit Payments: $500,000

Administrative Expenses: $20,000

Investment Expenses: $10,000

Total Plan Expenses: $530,000

Understanding the various components of plan expenses and their appropriate accounting treatment is vital for health and welfare benefit plans to provide accurate financial statements in accordance with ASC 965-20. By considering benefit payments, administrative expenses, and investment expenses, plan sponsors and administrators can gain insights into the plan's financial performance and make informed decisions about the plan's operations. Properly recording plan expenses using the appropriate journal entries helps ensure transparency and compliance with accounting standards.