The amendments would introduce an option for an entity to recognise actuarial gains and losses in full as they arise, outside profit or loss, in a statement of changes in equity that shows total recognised gains and losses (sometimes called comprehensive income). This proposal is similar to the requirements of the UK standard, FRS 17 Retirement Benefits.
The IASB concluded that, pending further work on post-employment benefits and on reporting comprehensive income, the Board believes that the approach in FRS 17 should be available as an option to IFRS preparers. IAS 19 would also continue to permit recognition of actuarial gains and losses in profit or loss, either in the period in which they occur or spread over the service lives of the employees. Almost all entities currently using IAS 19 choose to spread actuarial gains and losses.
The exposure draft also would:
- Extend the application of multi-employer plan accounting to entities within a consolidated group that meet certain criteria
- Add disclosures to (a) provide information about trends in the assets and liabilities in a defined benefit plan and the assumptions underlying the components of the defined benefit cost and (b) bring the disclosures in IAS 19 closer to those required by the US standard SFAS 132 Employers' Disclosures about Pensions and Other Postretirement Benefits, which was revised in December 2003.
The IASB seeks comments by 31 July 2004. Click for IASB Press Release (PDF 26k).