Implementation [IASB only]

Date recorded:

Availability of a refund—Amendments to IFRIC 14 (Agenda Paper 12)


In June 2015, the Board proposed two amendments to IAS 19 Employee Benefits and to IFRIC 14 IAS 19—The Limit on a Defined Benefit Asset, Minimum Funding Requirements and their Interaction in ED/2015/5 Remeasurement on a Plan Amendment, Curtailment or Settlement/Availability of a Refund from a Defined Benefit Plan (Proposed amendments to IAS 19 and IFRIC 14). However, in 2017 the IASB confirmed it would pursue the amendments to IAS 19 while putting off the amendments to IFRIC 14. Amendments to IAS 19 regarding the calculation of current service cost and net interest when an entity remeasures the net defined benefit liability (asset) when a plan amendment, curtailment or settlement occurs were issued in February 2018. Amendments regarding whether a trustee's power to augment benefits or to wind up a plan affects the employer's unconditional right to a refund and thus, in accordance with IFRIC 14, restricts recognition of an asset are still outstanding and subject of this Board session.

The staff have performed further research considering how an entity might assess the availability of a refund of a surplus. The staff think it is possible for the Board to develop a principles-based approach in an efficient and effective manner. However such an approach would be broader in scope than the proposed amendments in ED/2015/5 and the proposals would have to be re-exposed.

Staff recommendation

The staff recommended that the Board does not finalise the proposed amendments to IFRIC 14 at this time and instead consider the direction of the project on IFRIC 14 when the outcome if its research project on ‘Pension Benefits that Depend on Asset Returns’ is known.


Many Board members raised concerns about the staff’s recommendation, particularly because, in their view, the proposed amendments to IFRIC 14 were very narrow in scope and had no touching points with the planned research project. In that regard, no operational synergies are expected from bundling the two projects. Some Board members were concerned about the impact on practice if the finalisation of the proposed amendments would be further delayed and proposed to finalise in due course. The staff acknowledged the concerns and highlighted that the recommendation was not to stop the work on this project. However, it was also said that it is uncertain at this point whether the proposed amendments could be finalised without a re-exposure. Hence, there might still be a significant delay to the finalisation.

One Board member said that the paper did not provide sufficient information to vote on the staff’s recommendation. Upon that, the Vice Chair suggested to take a vote on whether the staff should perform more work and bring back the issue at a future Board meeting.


The Board voted in favour of the staff performing further work. The issue will be brought back at a future meeting.

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