Implementation of the new UK GAAP by trust-based occupational pension schemes in the private sector

By the ICAS Pensions Commitee

13 May 2016

The ICAS Pensions Committee has prepared a schedule to assist the preparers and auditors of pension scheme accounts keep track of the relevant standards and guidance.

Since the new Pensions SORP (2015) was published there have been a number of additional developments impacting on the preparation of scheme accounts arising from:

  • The publication of guidance on the fair value hierarchy disclosures by the Pensions Research Accountants Group (PRAG) and the Investment Association
  • Minor amendments to FRS 102
  • Changes to the fair value hierarchy disclosure requirements in FRS 102 for pensions schemes
  • Changes to disclosure requirements set out in the Occupational Pension Schemes (Requirement to obtain Audited Accounts and a Statement from the Auditor) Regulations 1996

The ICAS Pensions Committee’s schedule sign-posts accounts preparers and auditors to the standards and guidance applicable to Pension Scheme accounts prepared under FRS 102.

FRS 102: The financial reporting standard applicable in the UK and the Republic of Ireland (September 2015)

Date of implementation:

Periods commencing on or after 1 January 2015. Early adoption is permitted.

Source of document:

FRS 102 (September 2015) is published by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).

Other comments:

Specific requirements for pension scheme accounts are included in UK GAAP for the first time.  See Section 34: Specialised activities (Retirement benefit plans: Financial statements).

Financial reports of pension schemes: A statement of recommend practice (SORP) (2015) (July 2014).

Date of implementation:

Periods commencing on or after 1 January 2015. Early adoption is permitted if a scheme early adopts FRS 102.

Source of document:

Published by the Pensions Research Accountants Group (PRAG).  Details of how to purchase a copy of the Pensions SORP are available on the PRAG website. The SORP is available free of charge to PRAG members.

Other comments:

Application of the Pensions SORP falls short of being a statutory requirement but in practice it should normally be applied.

Practical guidance: Investment disclosures (May 2016).

Date of implementation:

Periods commencing on or after 1 January 2015. Early adoption is permitted if a scheme early adopts FRS 102.

Source of document:

Published by PRAG and the Investment Association. The guidance is not publically available.  PRAG members can access the guidance on the PRAG website.

Other comments:

Application of the guidance is not mandatory.  However, it is designed to assist schemes apply the investment disclosure guidance in the SORP.

N.B. the guidance has been updated to reflect the changes to the fair value hierarchy disclosures approved by the FRC.

Guidance for the users of the Pensions SORP in relation to amendments to FRS 102 (January 2016).

Date of implementation:

Periods commencing on or after 1 January 2015. Early adoption is permitted if a scheme early adopts FRS 102.

Source of document:

Publically available on the PRAG website.

Other comments:

The FRC has made minor amendments to FRS 102 which have been included in the September 2015 version of FRS 102.  Rather than amend the Pensions SORP, PRAG has issued guidance on how users of the SORP should implement the amendments.

Changes to the fair value hierarchy disclosures in FRS 102 for pension schemes.

Date of implementation:

These changes apply from 1 January 2017, with early adoption permitted for accounts with periods commencing on or after 1 January 2015 approved on or after 8 March 2016, the date of issue of the final amendments.

Source of document:

Changes to the fair value hierarchy disclosures are published by the FRC.

Other comments:

The changes align the fair value hierarchy disclosures with IFRS but the fair value determination is unchanged for the time-being.

Information from PRAG on how the proposed amendments to the fair value hierarchy could be approached by pension schemes.

Date of implementation:

These changes apply from 1 January 2017, with early adoption permitted for accounts with periods commencing on or after 1 January 2015 approved on or after 8 March 2016, the date of issue of the final amendments.

Source of document:

PRAG’s response on FRED 62 to the FRC on FRED 62.

Other comments:

PRAG prepared a detailed response to FRED 62 with a view to providing information to pension schemes as quickly as possible.

Changes to the audited accounts regulations 1996

Date of implementation:

These apply to accounts approved on or after 1 April 2016.

Source of document:

The amendment regulations (UK Statutory Instrument 229 of 2016) are available at legislation.gov.uk.

Other comments:

The changes remove most of the detailed investment disclosures required by the regulations and now require a statement in the audited accounts that the accounts have been prepared in accordance with FRS 102 and the Pensions SORP, noting any material departures.

Additional guidance on changes to the audited accounts regulations.

Date of implementation:

These apply to accounts approved on or after 1 April 2016.

Source of document:

Additional guidance on the changes to the audited accounts regulations is published by PRAG.

Topics

  • Guidance
  • Pensions
  • Legislation
  • Corporate and financial reporting

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