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IASB addresses concerns about the different effective dates of IFRS 9 and the new insurance contracts standard

  • IFRS - IASB Image

Sep 12, 2016

On September 12, 2016, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) published "Applying IFRS 9 'Financial Instruments' with IFRS 4 'Insurance Contracts'". The amendments are intended to address concerns about the different effective dates of IFRS 9 and the forthcoming new insurance contracts standard (expected as IFRS 17 within the next six months).

The amendments in Applying IFRS 9 "Financial Instruments" with IFRS 4 "Insurance Contracts" (Amendments to IFRS 4) provide two options for entities that issue insurance contracts within the scope of IFRS 4:

  • an option that permits entities to reclassify, from profit or loss to other comprehensive income, some of the income or expenses arising from designated financial assets; this is the so-called overlay approach;
  • an optional temporary exemption from applying IFRS 9 for entities whose predominant activity is issuing contracts within the scope of IFRS 4; this is the so-called deferral approach.

The application of both approaches is optional and an entity is permitted to stop applying them before the new insurance contracts standard is applied.

An entity would apply the overlay approach retrospectively to qualifying financial assets when it first applies IFRS 9. The application of the overlay approach requires disclosure of sufficient information to enable users of financial statements to understand how the amount reclassified in the reporting period is calculated and the effect of that reclassification on the financial statements.

An entity would apply the deferral approach for annual periods beginning on or after January 1, 2018. The application of the deferral approach needs to be disclosed together with information that enables users of financial statements to understand how the insurer qualified for the temporary exemption and to compare insurers applying the temporary exemption with entities applying IFRS 9. The deferral can only be use for the three years following January 1, 2018.

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