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One-year delay proposed for IFRS 17 

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has today voted to delay the implementation deadline for IFRS 17 by one year to 1 January 2022.


14 NOV 2018 | CHRIS SEEKINGS
Board members agree to a one-year deferral ©Shutterstock
Board members agree to a one-year deferral ©Shutterstock


This comes after many in the insurance community warned last month that they faced “serious operational constraints” on their ability to meet the original 2021 date.

The IASB also announced an extension of the deferral of IFRS 9 implementation to 2022 so that the dates for the two accounting standards coincide.

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ IFRS 17 leader, Alex Bertolotti, said many insurers would welcome the move, but warned that firms must continue to press ahead with their planning.

“Some insurers have been lobbying for this delay for a while, as the initial time frame was exceedingly tight,” he continued. 

“The additional time will help alleviate some risk from existing plans, however, many companies still have a lot to do and cannot afford to press pause – to stand still is to fall behind.”

The one-year delay to IFRS 17 is still less than the two years requested by nine insurance organisations in a letter to the IASB last month.

These groups also highlighted a range of concerns they have with the standard, such as measurements of discount rates, and called for improvements before it comes into force.

The IASB is thought to be reluctant to make changes, and is concerned that revisions could undermine some of the standard’s core principles and disrupt existing plans.

However, the board has agreed to consider potential changes in December, which will need to be reviewed before the impact of the one-year delay can be properly assessed.

Oscar Weafer, director of risk solutions management and strategy for insurance at FIS, said insurers now risk kicking the can down the road for another year if they deprioritise IFRS 17.

“The important thing now is to start as soon as possible, or continue to implement and optimise the implementations already underway or completed,” he continued.

“The additional time should allow companies to move beyond minimum compliance to a true value added approach for the business, hence unlocking the value of their implementation investment.” 


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