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German standards board differs on IAS19 proposal

GERMANY – The German accounting standards board says it has “differing views” with proposed amendments to the International Accounting Standards Board’s pension accounting standard IAS19.

The committee’s comments follow earlier critical remarks from its Dutch counterpart, the Netherlands Council for Annual Reporting.

In a letter IASB chairman Sir David Tweedie, Deutsches Rechnungslegungs Standards president Prof. Dr. Klaus Pohle said: “We share the IASB’s view that pension accounting is a major issue that needs to be discussed.”

“However, the members of the German Accounting Standards Board hold differing views, particularly with respect to deferred recognition of actuarial gains and losses on the one hand and complete recognition of assets and liabilities in the balance sheet on the other hand.”

“The differing views are predominantly due to the fact that the amendment has been proposed although major issues in conjunction with pension accounting yet need to be finalised.”

Pohle said the harmonisation with the UK’s FRS17 was “the only merit in the current proposal”.

“It can only be an interim solution that will potentially need to be revised when broader projects on pension accounting and performance reporting respectively are being developed.”

The IASB published a so-called exposure draft of its proposals for IAS19 in April this year which put forward the idea of allowing entities an option to show, in full, pension deficits and available surpluses.

Tweedie said at the time: “This specific proposal is meant to reduce implementation costs for companies adopting international standards and to enable companies to continue with what many consider to be a more transparent approach to pension accounting.” Comments were requested by the end of July 2004.

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