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UK board reviews buyout disclosure proposal

UK - The UK's Accounting Standards Board is reviewing its proposal that companies should disclose how much it would cost to buy out their pensions.

The ASB launched a consultation in May - via ‘exposure drafts' - on various aspects of pensions disclosure, including a proposal to disclose the buy-out amount.

It said today that it noted respondents' "strength of concern" about the idea.

ASB project director Michelle Crisp said in a newsletter that the board was now "researching the circumstances where an entity is required by legislation to disclose the buy-out amount".

The comments come as pension buyouts have become a hot topic, with the launch of several new companies specifically aimed at buying defined benefit pension funds from companies.

The ASB's consultation period ended on September 11, garnering 45 responses.

The board also proposed amending the FRS17 standard by replacing the existing disclosure requirements of FRS 17 with those of IAS 19 'Employee Benefits'. It reckons the move might be seen as "gold-plating" UK standards so it has "tentatively decided not to amend the disclosures requirements from those set out in the exposure draft".

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