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Given our heritage we have decades of experience on both sides of the accounting and audit spectrums. This gives us a unique perspective on some of the issues facing UK Finance functions in relation to their Defined Benefit (DB) pension schemes as well as employee share plans.

Our 2023 series of panel discussions will explore these issues in further detail, looking in particular at the role that company auditors as well as accounting standards play in the accounting process.

How auditor scrutiny is impacting pensions accounting

Thursday 19 October | 10am

Auditor scrutiny of company pensions obligations has increased significantly over the past 6 years. In this session we explored how audit expectations have changed over the past decade, how this has changed the role of a Corporate Actuary and the challenges that remain, as well as what steps Finance teams can take to achieve a smoother audit process for their DB pensions obligations.

We also looked ahead to current issues and trends to consider for upcoming year ends – with a particular focus on mortality, as recent UK mortality data suggests a sustained trend towards heavier mortality due to the broader impact of Covid-19 filtering through to medium and longer term mortality outcomes. Should consultants and auditors be more responsive to this paradigm shift in mortality expectations, even if this means moving away from long-held industry norms – or otherwise risk balance sheets overstating DB pensions liabilities.

Watch the recording of the session below.

Is your pension surplus real and should it be a deterrent to insurance transactions?

Tuesday 7 November | 10:30am

Improvements in funding positions mean more and more entities are seeing balance sheet surpluses for their UK pension schemes. But does this reflect genuine economic value, or is it just a consequence of accounting standards with no material value expected to be derived in practice?

With endgame options also increasingly within reach and UK pensions insurance transactions set to hit record volumes in 2023 the question of economic value is no longer just a theoretical one. But even in this area the accounting standards require careful navigation.

In this session we explored the tension which can often arise between conceptual accounting standards and outcomes for UK pension schemes in practice, including how to manage stakeholder expectations accordingly.

Employee share plans design, valuation and accounting – Does it have to be so complicated?

Wednesday 15 November | 10:30am

The employee share plans section of the accounts is complicated and little understood. With different performance conditions, valuation models and unusual assumptions, it can be very difficult for the typical user of the accounts to gain much useful information from these disclosures.

This session looks to explore from a non-technical perspective what causes some of these complexities and asks the question: do employee share plans have to be so complicated?


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