ICAEW, ICAS and PRAG publish joint COVID-19 guidance on pension scheme financial reports and audit

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04 Jun, 2020

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) and the Pensions Research Accountants Group (PRAG) have jointly published guidance on the implications of COVID-19 on pension scheme financial reports and audit.

The guide has been prepared primarily to support pension scheme auditors navigate the additional challenges they are likely to experience as a consequence of COVID-19 in meeting their responsibilities towards the scheme’s annual report, including the audited financial statements. Trustees and accounts preparers may also find the guide useful.

The Guide is relevant to private sector occupational defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) trust-based pension schemes in the UK, including hybrid schemes and DC master trusts, applying Financial reports of pension schemes: A statement of recommended practice (the Pensions SORP), published by PRAG.

The guide covers a wide range of topics including:

  • responsibilities for reporting to The Pensions Regulator
  • the impact of COVID-19 on the control environment of pension schemes
  • the trustees' report and the chair's statement
  • going concern and the trustees' assessment of going concern
  • accounting for scheme investments
  • events after the end of the reporting period
  • audit issues
  • the auditor's statement about contributions.

It should be read alongside the latest available COVID-19 guidance from The Pensions Regulator, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and other key third parties.

A press release and the full guide is available on the ICAEW website.

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