Milliman is pleased to announce that Principal William Hines has been named an observer to the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 17 Transition Resource Group (TRG). IFRS 17, which was adopted in May, represents a significant change from current accounting practices and is expected to require substantial effort from companies to comply. Hines is one of only three observers and 15 members that make up the TRG; the group was created to help support companies as they transition to the new Standard.
Hines was appointed an observer from the International Actuarial Association (IAA), where he chairs the Insurance Accounting Committee. He has spent the past 15 years actively involved in the insurance project, presenting research to the IASB’s Insurance Working Group, and to IASB members and staff. During the IFRS 17 development process, Hines was part of the American Academy of Actuaries (AAA) IFRS Task Force and Financial Reporting Committee, which provided input to the Board. He has been invited to speak at conferences around the world, and has published extensively on the topic of IFRS accounting for insurance.
William has extensive experience consulting, researching, writing, and presenting on IFRS 17. There are not many people who can say they’re passionate about financial reporting issues for insurers—but William is one such person. I’ve no doubt his expertise will be invaluable to the Transition Resource Group and the firms it supports as we make the significant transition to IFRS 17.
For more information on the appointment, click here.
On 18 May 2017 the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) published its new International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) on accounting for insurance contracts: IFRS 17. IFRS 17 will apply for accounting periods starting on or after 1 January 2021, but prior year comparative figures will be required.1
The Standard is directed at insurance contracts, rather than insurance entities. So it will apply, for example, to equity-release mortgages written by banks, as well as to those listed insurers required to report under the IFRS and to those insurers that adopt the IFRS voluntarily.
The publication was accompanied by webinars conducted by members of the IASB Staff, including Q&A sessions.2 The responses provided by the staff were caveated as being their own views, and not necessarily those of the IASB. Nevertheless, the answers offer some interesting insights, which are briefly summarised in this blog.
The aim of the Standard is consistent accounting for all insurance contracts, with increased transparency in financial information reported by insurance companies and calculated information based on current estimates. However, the staff acknowledges that the Standard is not directionally convergent with the aims of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the standard setter for the United States.
In summary, the principle-based Standard requires an assessment of the profitability of insurance contracts when they are first issued and, if positive, recognition of that value (the Contractual Service Margin or CSM) over the lifetime of the contracts in a manner that reflects the timing of the insurance services provided by the insurer.3
The staff expects firms to incur significant implementation costs.
Progress continues to be made by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) toward the next exposure draft of an accounting standard for insurance contracts. In addition, the boards are moving closer to further changes to the accounting for the assets backing insurance contracts. However, convergence between the FASB and IASB appears to be limited, both for the insurance contract project and more generally.
This white paper provides an update on recent activity on these topics.