Constituents and consultation groups advising the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) say the standard setter should canvass views on adding two potential pensions accounting projects to its future work plan.
News of the calls for the board to tackle the two came during a discussion on 27 October to flesh out the board’s proposed consultation document – known as a Request for Information – on the shape of its 2022 to 2026 work plan.
A full summary of the outreach findings was presented to IASB members during the meeting.
IASB staff identified the two potential agenda topics as so-called hybrid pension plans and the prohibition on recycling so-called plan remeasurements through other comprehensive income (OCI).
The IASB is formally required to consult the public on its agenda every five years.
The IASB’s accounting rule book, International Accounting Standard 19, Employee Benefits, defines plan remeasurements as actuarial gains and losses, certain changes in plan assets, and the effects of the asset ceiling.
Since the 2011 amendments to IAS 19, which eliminated the so-called corridor, defined benefit plan sponsors must recognise plan remeasurements immediately in other comprehensive income.
The board’s discussion comes against a background of long-standing criticism that international standards lack a conceptual underpinning for the use of OCI.
Separately, the board is conducting research into pension benefits that depend on asset return and staff are due to bring a paper to the board on their efforts so far to this month’s meeting.
And last year it published a summary of its research findings into discounting under international standards.
In addition, the board unanimously also gave its tentative backing to a staff proposal to exclude from the Request for Information document a request for respondents to set out their views on reprioritising any of the board’s existing work plan.
Staff said: “For the reasons described in paragraphs 7-9 of the paper, we recommend that the Request for Information should not specifically ask stakeholders to reprioritise those projects.
“In particular, we note that the board is making progress on almost all of these projects and will have made even further progress by March 2021 when the Request for Information will be published.”
Details presented to the board show staff propose continuing with work to finalise the consultation document with a view to publication in March next year on a July deadline.
Staff also reported that their outreach had heard calls for the board to address sustainability reporting.
Staff noted, however, that this was “outside the current scope of the board’s work” remit.
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