IFRS Bulletin 2019-02
13. Mai 2019
The development of IFRS 17, Insurance Contracts was a long-term project for the IASB and its predecessor organisation. IFRS 17 is the result of over 20 years of consultation with stakeholders, including preparers, auditors, regulators, investors
and other financial statement users. At the time the standard was issued in May 2017, an effective date of 1 January 2021 was set. A nearly three and a half year implementation period signalled the IASB’s perception of the complexity of the standard and the time and resources required to implement it.
As part of its consultation process before IFRS 17 was issued, the IASB’s activities included extensive outreach with preparers and other stakeholders to understand concerns about proposals put forth in previous versions of the draft standard, as well as the final exposure draft. The IASB considered these concerns in its implementation of IFRS 17; however, additional concerns surrounding IFRS 17 were raised to the IASB subsequent to IFRS 17 being published.
In October 2018, the IASB met to consider the implementation challenges faced by preparers and other concerns raised about IFRS 17 as currently issued. At this meeting, the IASB tentatively decided to consider potential amendments to IFRS 17, but set strict criteria that any potential amendment must satisfy in order to be considered. Proposals meeting these ‘gating’ criteria would then be considered for amendment, but not all items satisfying these criteria would necessarily result in tentative amendments to IFRS 17. The criteria established by the IASB were that:
- (a) the amendments would not result in significant loss of useful information relative to that which would otherwise be provided by IFRS 17 for users of financial statements—any amendments would avoid:
- (i) reducing the relevance and faithful representation of information in the financial statements of entities applying IFRS 17;
- (ii) causing reduced comparability or introducing internal inconsistency in IFRS Standards, including within IFRS 17; or
- (iii) increasing complexity for users of financial statements, thus reducing understandability.
- (b) the amendments would not unduly disrupt implementation already under way or risk undue delays in the effective date of the Standard, which is needed to address many inadequacies in the existing wide range of insurance accounting practices.
At the November 2018 meeting, the IASB tentatively decided to defer the effective date of IFRS 17 by one year to 1 January 2022. This would allow appropriate time for the Board to deliberate on issues brought forward, expose any potential amendments and release them in final form with sufficient time for preparers to incorporate the amendments into their IFRS 17 conversion plans.
Below is a summary of the IASB’s activities concerning the topics considered for potential amendment, which includes all topics considered, regardless of the IASB’s tentative decision on each area. Each item has a brief summary of the issue with the Board’s tentative decision. The IASB is expected to issue an exposure draft in mid-2019, with the aim of issuing any final amendments by the end of 2019. The IASB staff papers discussing each topic in more detail may be accessed on the IASB’s website.