The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has given staff permission to start the process of balloting board members on an exposure draft to completely revamp the disclosure requirements in International Accounting Standard 19, Employee Benefits.

In line with the proposals put to the board, interested parties will have 180 days to comment.

The board’s work on defined benefit (DB) disclosure is based on draft guidance it released in 2018 to guide it in developing and drafting disclosure requirements.

The focus of this guidance is on using specific disclosure objectives to tease out the most relevant information together with a catch-all or high-level disclosure.

The board expects this process to encourage preparers to take a broader approach to the question of disclosures, which have tended to emerge on a piecemeal basis across the board’s many standards.

IASB vice chair Sue Lloyd, however, signalled that she might issue a dissenting opinion on the proposals, citing in particular concerns that the proposals might not produce the behavioural change the board wanted to see.

“I think it’s going to be really important that we find a way through the consultation process to assess not just do people like the words and ideas that we’ve written down, but really to find ways to try and work out whether the system is going to allow the approach that we’ve got here to work the way that we have designed it …”.

Lloyd went on to explain that she was concerned that preparers might focus more on issues of recognition and measurement than on the judgements that are necessary when making disclosures so as to deliver useful information.

EU adopts proposal package for new IFRS 9 rule book

Meanwhile, the European Union has formally adopted the package of proposals released on 28 April aimed at smoothing the transition of financial institutions across the bloc to the new IFRS 9, Financial Instruments, accounting rule book.

In overview, the proposals are intended to relieve banks from the full force of accounting and regulatory rules during the coronavirus pandemic and stimulate lending to businesses and households.

The new requirements took effect across the EU from 27 June.

Among the measures, which were approved by the European Parliament plenary on 18 June, is the option for institutions “to fully add back to their Common Equity Tier 1 capital any increase in new expected credit loss provisions that they recognise in 2020 and 2021 for their financial assets that are not credit-impaired.

Amendements to IFRS 17

Separately, the IASB also also issued amendments to International Financial Reporting Standard 17, Insurance Contracts.

IFRS 17 replaces IFRS 4, Insurance Contracts and is effective for annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2023.

The release of the new standard, which applies to insurance contracts as opposed to insurers, is the first comprehensive international standard dealing with this area of accounting.

The board introduced IFRS 4 as an interim solution. Its critics of existing literature have said it does not contain a single accounting model for insurance contracts, which results in a loss of comparability.

Since publishing IFRS 17, the board has heard a number of criticisms from constituents.

In response, it agreed to make a series of targeted amendments to:

  • cut costs,
  • make results easier to explain, and
  • smooth transition.

Alongside the amendments, the board has released an overview of the changes and a feedback statement explaining how it responded to those concerns.

Separately, the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group, which advises the EU on accounting matters, on Monday issued its formal endorsement advice in favour of adopting the package for use across the EU.

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