The accounting standard FRS issued in March states that the ABI SORP will be withdrawn ‘once FRS is effective’ for accounting periods. FRS is based on IFRS 4, FRS 27 Life. Assurance (now withdrawn by FRS ) and elements of the ABI SORP. It broadly allows entities to continue with their. practices from FRS 27 ‘Life Assurance’ and the ABI SORP. withdrawing FRS 27 , alongside the expected withdrawal of ABI SORP, once draft.
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FRS 103: 10 things (re)insurers need to know…
As entities are well on their way to completing their financial statements under the new Irish GAAP, Martina Fitzpatrick highlights 10 timely and important points for insurers to consider. FRS sets out the accounting requirements for entities that apply FRS and issue insurance contracts, including reinsurance contracts; hold reinsurance contracts; and issue financial instruments with discretionary participation features.
Appendix II of FRS provides guidance on the definition of an insurance contract along with helpful examples of contracts that do and do not meet the definition. As entities are well on their way to completing their financial statements under the new GAAP, the following is a timely list of 10 important points for insurers to consider.
Entities are allowed to continue with their existing accounting policies and practices for insurance contracts. Improvements and changes can be made provided the new policies are not in conflict with local regulatory and legal requirements; the change will produce information that is more relevant to the decision-making needs of users; and the information provided is no less reliable.
The improvements that are permitted, but not required, include:.
Contracts written as insurance business that do not meet the definition of an insurance contract will apply Sections 11 and 12 Financial Instruments of FRS and can be valued at amortised cost or fair value, depending on the nature — complex or not — of the financial instrument. Ssorp will remove foreign exchange volatility where the assets held to back insurance liabilities are also monetary items. It will create a GAAP difference on transition for insurers converting from FRS 23, however, as UPR and DAC would not have previously been re-translated after initial recognition given that they were considered to be non-monetary items.
Recognition and Measurement, which required a review of the classification between insurance and investment contracts, will need to perform a contract classification exercise on adoption of FRS This exercise will determine which contracts are within the scope of FRS However, those that have not previously had to apply FRS 26 are now ani to disclose their exposure to insurance and financial risks; detail their policies for managing those risks; outline sensitivity to changes in financial and insurance risk variables; and retain historic non-life claims development information for a period of 10 years.
Transitional relief is available on first-time adoption, which allows the reporting of this information for an initial period of five years. FRS requires life insurers, which are subsidiaries of an entity that provides capital disclosures, to make disclosures in the notes of the financial statements about their capital position.
Where an insurance contract contains a separable embedded derivative, FRS requires the separable embedded derivative to be accounted for separately in accordance with Sections 11 and 12 of FRSunless the embedded derivative is itself an insurance contract and for certain policyholder surrender options.
This aabi in contrast to the FRS requirements to fair value non-insurance contracts. When an insurance contract contains a discretionary participation feature DPF as well as a guaranteed element, entities may recognise the guaranteed element separately as a liability. If the DPF and the guaranteed element are separated, the guaranteed element will be classified as a liability and the DPF classified as a liability or a separate component of equity.
If the DPF and guaranteed element are not sop, on the other hand, the accounting treatment is to classify the whole contract as a liability. Insurers may recognise the entire premium received as revenue without separating any portion that relates to the equity component.
Furthermore, non-insurance contracts with a DPF should be treated similarly but they can avail of some additional options and exceptions on disclosures.
GIM – General Insurance Manual – HMRC internal manual –
In addition, life insurers will have to decide whether to change their accounting policies for insurance contracts as a result of the implementation of Solvency II. The amendments reflect changes in the regulatory framework arising from the introduction of Solvency II, including updated terminology. While entities are permitted to continue with their established accounting policies, it may make sense to update some terminology now.
Although it is expected that sogp transition to FRS will not require significant changes to the way in which most entities account for insurance contracts, it allows them the slrp to take advantage of improvement options similar to those available slrp entities applying IFRS 4. Although the points mentioned in this article are not a comprehensive list of all points that may be applicable for every circumstance, they can be used as a guide to highlight the key points entities should have considered.
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