Improvements in IAS 19 ‘Employees Benefits’

Sabir Saleem June 18, 2011 0

Experts says that this change could affect about £10 billions of companies profits in aggregate.

Date of amendment announcement: June 16, 2011

Effective date:

financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2013 (earlier application is permitted)

Improvement Area: Post-employment benefits


Following are the key improvements:

  1. eliminating an option to defer the recognition of gains and losses, known as the ‘corridor method’, improving comparability and faithfulness of presentation.
  2. streamlining the presentation of changes in assets and liabilities arising from defined benefit plans, including requiring re-measurements to be presented in other comprehensive income (OCI), thereby separating those changes from changes that many perceive to be the result of an entity’s day-to-day operations.
  3. enhancing the disclosure requirements for defined benefit plans, providing better information about the characteristics of defined benefit plans and the risks that entities are exposed to through participation in those plans.


The amendments will provide investors and other users of financial statements with a much clearer picture of an entity’s obligations resulting from the provision of defined benefit plans and how those obligations will affect its financial position, financial performance and cash flow.

The project also formed part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the IASB and the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the US national standard-setter. The elimination of the corridor method further aligns IFRSs and US generally accepted accounting principles.

Commenting on the announcement, Sir David Tweedie, IASB Chairman, said:

Many companies have defined benefit pension commitments entered into long ago that can now represent their largest single financial liability. The amendments to IAS 19 issued today will ensure that investors and other users of financial statements are fully aware of the extent and financial risks associated with those commitments, in particular by requiring the surplus or deficit of a pension fund to be shown in the financial statements. At the same time the amendments help to separate out the background noise of changes in pension liabilities from the underlying financial performance of the core business.

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