Convergence: Employee Benefits

Date recorded:

The Board began its deliberations of the exposure draft to add an option to IAS 19 to allow actuarial gains and losses to be recognised directly in equity and presented in a statement of recognised income and expense (SORIE). The Board decided to confirm its intention to undertake a comprehensive review of accounting for post-employment benefits in the future. The Board also decided (11-3) to continue towards finalising the proposals in the exposure draft as immediate recognition in equity would be more transparent than deferred recognition.

The Board also decided to:

  • Amend IAS 19 so that entities that adopt the option must treat the effect of the asset ceiling in the same way as the other options;
  • Prohibit recognition of actuarial gains or losses recognised in the SORIE in profit or loss in a later period (that is, no 'recycling'); and
  • Require presentation of the actuarial gains and losses in the balance sheet as a component of retained earnings.

The Board also discussed the issue of allocating benefit obligations among members of a group plan. No decisions were taken. The staff will present to the Board examples of allocations that can be made reasonably and those the staff believe can not be made reasonably. Two Board members expressed intent to dissent to the final standard.

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