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IFRIC publishes proposed guidance on multi-employer plans

The International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC) 1 has released for public comment a draft Interpretation giving guidance on employee benefit plans that have more than one participating employer (multi-employer plans).

International Accounting Standard 19 Employee Benefits (IAS 19) allows participants in defined benefit multi-employer plans to use defined contribution accounting and provide additional disclosures if the information necessary for defined benefit accounting is not available.

The draft Interpretation, D6 Multi-employer plans, proposes guidance on when a plan meets the definition of a multi-employer plan, how defined benefit accounting should be applied to such plans and, in the light of that guidance, when the necessary information might not be available.

The proposals are open for public comment until 9 July 2004.

Introducing the proposals, the Chairman of the IFRIC, Kevin Stevenson, said:

The proposals address a concern that the paragraphs in IAS 19 on multi-employer plans may sometimes have been interpreted to allow all participating entities in multi?employer plans an automatic exemption from defined benefit accounting. This is not the case. The proposals will also resolve uncertainty over when the definition of multi-employer plans is met and how defined benefit accounting should be applied to such plans.

Subscribers to the IASB’s Comprehensive Subscription Service can view the draft Interpretation from the secure online services area of the IASB’s Website (www.iasb.org). From 7 May the complete text of the draft Interpretation will be freely available from the Website.

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