17/01/2017 - EFRAG calls for candidates for its Advisory Panel on Pension Plans
EFRAG has started a Research project to investigate possible improvements to the current requirements for accounting for pension plans under IFRS. EFRAG’s current focus is on plans that provide benefits linked to the return on specified assets. To provide expert advice on the project, EFRAG is setting up a pan-European Advisory Panel. If you are interested, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org by 20 February 2017.
Concerns have been raised about the application of the IFRS accounting requirements for pension plans that share characteristics of both defined contribution and defined benefit plans. Some refer to these as ‘hybrid plans’. Evidence suggests that these types of plan are becoming ever more widespread in Europe.
One specific concern is that, when the benefits are linked to the return on specified assets, IAS 19 Employee Benefits requires to project the benefits using the expected rate of return and to discount them back using the rate of high quality corporate bonds. This is perceived to create an accounting mismatch. These plans may or may not include a guaranteed minimum return on contributions.
The IASB has tried to address this concern in the past but found it difficult to define the scope of application of any proposed amendments. The IASB has a feasibility study on this topic on its agenda.
EFRAG has added a Research project to investigate the issue and develop proposals for possible changes to the existing accounting requirements for these types of plan. The ultimate objective is influence the IASB’s work. EFRAG’s Research project is not expected to reconsider fundamentally the accounting requirements for pension plans in IAS 19.
EFRAG has decided to set up a pan-European Group to advise its Technical Expert Group (EFRAG TEG) on this project and help ensure that the wider European perspective is reflected in the work.
• The Advisory Panel is expected to have 10 – 12 members;
• It is expected that the Advisory Panel will have quarterly in-person meetings, with the possibility to have more via conference calls and email exchange. Its meetings will be organised so as to enable most members to travel to and from Brussels on the same day;
• Members of the Advisory Panel should have good knowledge of the broader economics related to pensions, a strong technical expertise on pension accounting matters as well as more general IFRS issues and practice;
• Appointments are personal, no substitute is allowed;
• Advisory Panel members are expected to bear their own travel and other costs in participating in the activities.
Nominations for membership of the Advisory Group are invited from all backgrounds, including preparers, auditors, users, actuaries, pension consultants and academics. As EFRAG is keen to ensure that the information needs of users are taken into account in the project; nominations from users of financial statements would be particularly welcome.
The selection of members will aim to ensure a good mix of different professional backgrounds. A geographical balance will also be respected.
The Terms of Reference can be downloaded here.
Nominations can be sent by the candidates themselves or by organisations on their behalf. If you wish to nominate someone or yourself, please submit to EFRAG your CV and covering letter no later than 20 February 2017 at email@example.com
If you require further information or have any questions about the project, please contact:
Filippo Poli, Research Director (Filippo.Poli@efrag.org)
Rasmus Sommer, Senior Technical Manager (Rasmus.Sommer@efrag.org)