The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has completed its discussions on the amendments to IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts that were proposed for public consultation in June 2019.
It was decided on the 17th March 2020 that the effective date of the Standard will be deferred to annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2023. The IASB also decided to extend the exemption currently in place for some insurers regarding the application of IFRS 9 Financial Instruments to enable them to implement both IFRS 9 and IFRS 17 at the same time.
The IASB has in previous meetings confirmed that it will proceed with the proposals outlined in the June 2019 consultation document albeit with some minor modifications in response to feedback received. They have also added some additional amendments, again in response to feedback on those proposals.
Timely implementation of IFRS 17 is vital to improve the quality and comparability of accounting for insurance contracts. However, the IASB’s decision to defer the effective date by two years from the original date to 2023 will enable insurers around the world to implement the new Standard at the same time, which the Board considers to be beneficial for investors, insurers and other stakeholders.
The IASB expects to issue the amendments to IFRS 17 in the second quarter of 2020. We will post updates of this as soon as they are made available.
This comes as welcome reprieve for many, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, we have noted a number of businesses are not kicking the can down the road and are still expecting to deliver according to their original time tables.
A podcast covering the April 2020 Board meeting’s discussion of the Amendments to IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts project is available here.