EUROPE - Four pension associations in the US and Europe have confirmed they will respond jointly to the London-based International Accounting Standard Board's proposals for accounting rules for pensions under IAS19.

The European associations include the Brussels-based European Association of Paritarian Institutions of Social Protection (AEIP) and the European Federation for Retirement Provision (EFRP), while their US-based counterparts include the US National Coordinating Committee for Multi-employer Plans (NCCMP) and the American Benefits Council (ABC).

The four institutions are working on a joint draft letter to the IASB to recommend changes to the board's likely proposed wording concerning assessment of pension liabilities.

Francesco Briganti, director at the AEIP, told IPE the quartet of associations would suggest different rules to cover the liability issue.

He added that the close working relationship would also result in a common position between the AIEP and the NCCMP on the European Commission's Green Paper on pension policy.

The proposal for joint feedback emerged in Lisbon at a conference led by the ABC.

The co-operation theme was developed at the mid-June Second Annual Transatlantic Conference on pensions, hosted by the AIEP in Brussels.

The AEIP, which promotes social protection for its member employer and trade union organisations located in 17 European countries, organised the conference, working together with the NCCMP.

The AEIP and the NCCMP signed a bilateral cooperative agreement last year.

The IASB, which has been reviewing rules for pensions accounting for more than two years, published a discussion paper on the subject in March 2009 to outline general problems in the field.

In April 2010, it published an exposure draft setting out proposed rules, focusing on defined benefit schemes.

The board plans to arrive at a final standard for IAS19 by mid 2011.