26 June 2019
KPMG’s global IFRS insurance leader
KPMG’s global lead, insurance accounting change
The proposed amendments to IFRS® 17 Insurance Contracts have been published. The key proposals are a one-year deferral of the effective date of IFRS 17 to 1 January 2022 and changes to the standard’s requirements in seven important areas.
The International Accounting Standards Board (the Board) has been monitoring and supporting IFRS 17 implementation over the past two years – its exposure draft (ED) of amendments to IFRS 17 responds to the concerns and implementation challenges raised by insurers and other stakeholders.
“With the Board having published its proposed amendments to IFRS 17, we now have a complete picture of what the final standard will look like. For any insurers experiencing project fatigue, the proposed amendments are a wake-up call to assess their progress and reinvigorate their implementation of IFRS 17. For those that have yet to make meaningful progress, consider it the starting gun for a marathon.”
IFRS 17 aims to deliver greater comparability and transparency in insurers’ financial statements. Investors, analysts and other users should also take notice of the Board’s proposals – assessing how the changes could impact their investment decision-making, and relaying their views to the Board.
The Board proposes deferring the effective date of IFRS 17 by one year to 1 January 2022.
The fixed expiry date for the optional temporary exemption from applying IFRS 9 Financial Instruments, granted to insurers meeting certain criteria, would also be deferred by one year to 2022.
This means that all companies preparing financial statements under IFRS Standards would be required to apply both IFRS 9 and IFRS 17 for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2022.
“There’s a lot here for insurers to be pleased about. The extra year would give them much-needed time to complete their IFRS 17 implementation projects and the amendments would provide practical solutions to significant challenges that many would have encountered in a variety of areas. It’s time for insurers to start addressing the impact on their business and inform the Board of any remaining concerns.”
Our Amendments to IFRS 17 web page gives a visual summary of the Board’s proposals, the impact for preparers and users of financial statements, and the next steps for insurers implementing the new standard.
We’ll also publish our detailed analysis of the proposed amendments soon.
Although the proposed amendments provide practical solutions to significant implementation challenges for many insurers, IFRS 17 still represents the biggest accounting change for insurers in most people’s working life. The impacts will be felt far beyond accounting – in areas such as actuarial, IT, investor relations and even human resources – and will vary significantly for different insurers.
“The amendments are helpful, but implementing IFRS 17 is still a complex and significant undertaking requiring substantial effort and new or upgraded data, systems, processes and controls. It’s vital that insurers make good use of the extra year. Even with this, many insurers will need to step up the pace of their implementation efforts to reach the finish line with systems and processes tested and results understood by management and investors.”
The Board is accepting comments on the proposed amendments until 25 September 2019.
If they haven’t already done so, insurers should develop a clear picture of how the proposals will impact their specific business and IFRS 17 action plans. This will help them to hit the ground running on implementation and identify if there are any concerns they may want to communicate during the comment period.
The Board intends to issue the amended IFRS 17 in mid-2020.
Visit our Amendments to IFRS 17 web page for a high-level visual summary of the proposals and look out for our detailed analysis and insight in New on the Horizon, coming soon.
The ED is available for download at ifrs.org.
You can always find our latest insights on the new insurance contracts standard at home.kpmg/ifrs17. Also, our insights on insurers’ progress with IFRS 17 and IFRS 9 implementation can be found on our In it to win it web page.
Please watch this space for further updates and speak to your usual KPMG contact to find out more about how we can help you with IFRS 17 implementation.