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New insurance accounting standard delayed

More time allowed: the new accounting standard for insurers has been delayed by a year

Insurers will get an extra year to prepare for a new accounting standard.

Implementation of IFRS [International Financial Reporting Standard] 17 is set to be put back to January 1, 2022, after a meeting of the International Accounting Standards Board. The decision is subject to IASB due process.

Damian Cooper, IFRS 17 leader at PwC Bermuda, said: “Today’s announcement of a one-year delay to the implementation of IFRS 17 will be welcomed by many in the insurance community. 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.”

Alex Bertolotti, global IFRS 17 leader at PwC, said, “Some insurers have been lobbying for this delay for a while, as the initial timeframe was exceedingly tight. Others have been requesting clarification over certain aspects of the standard, without which it would have been difficult or prohibitively costly to move ahead.

“The impact of the one year delay can only be fully assessed after reviewing potential changes to the standard which the IASB board will consider in December. Our message to insurers would be not to stop — there’s so much to do. To stand still is to fall behind.”

IFRS 17 will result in significant changes to the way that financial information is presented, and adoption will require significant planning, PwC added.