Supporting Resources: IPSAS 42, Social Benefits

This International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) Social Benefits page is your source for tools and resources to promote awareness, understanding and effective implementation of the new Social Benefits standard, IPSAS 42.

IPSAS 42 provides much-needed guidance on accounting for social benefits expenditure, which comprises about one fifth of GDP across OECD countries. It defines social benefits as cash transfers paid to specific individuals and/or households to mitigate the effect of social risk. Specific examples include state retirement benefits, disability benefits, income support and unemployment benefits. The new standard requires an entity to recognize an expense and a liability for the next social benefit payment.

The new Social Benefits standard is effective for periods beginning on or after January 1, 2022.

Why Is A Social Benefits Standard Needed?

The delivery of social benefits to the public is a primary objective of most governments, and accounts for a large proportion of their expenditure.

Prior to IPSAS 42, Social Benefits, IPSAS did not provide guidance on accounting for social benefits. The absence of such guidance was seen as one of the major gaps in the IPSASB’s literature, and as a result, users may not have been able to obtain the information needed to assess the impact of social benefits on an entity’s finances. IPSAS 42 addresses this need.

What Are The Intended Benefits?

IPSAS 42 will enhance accountability and transparency, thereby increasing comparability.

What Can You Do?

Effective implementation is critical to the success of IPSAS 42. You have an important role in ensuring entities can provide the information needed to support accountability and decision making.

Join the IPSASB in promoting the new Social Benefits standard. Engage in dialogue with us, and among yourselves about what IPSAS 42 will mean for governments and other public sector entities.

Related Project

As well as social benefits, governments also provide services, for example healthcare and defense. Such services are outside the scope of IPSAS 42, Social Benefits.

The IPSASB is addressing the accounting for these services as part of its non-exchange expenses project.

ED 67, Collective and Individual Services and Emergency Relief (Amendments to IPSAS 19) was issued alongside IPSAS 42, to enable stakeholders to identify and account more consistently for the full range of social obligations of government.

On the ED 67 Publication Page you can find:

  • Exposure Draft ED 67;
  • At-a-Glance Summary;
  • Webinar, ED 67, Collective and Individual Services and Emergency Relief: An Introduction; and respond to the consultation.

Standards & Pronouncements


Additional Resources

Entities applying the insurance approach will find the materials issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB®) to support the implementation of IFRS 17, Insurance Contracts, helpful:


Both the IASB and the TRG have issued podcasts on IFRS 17, and the IASB meeting podcasts may also discuss IFRS 17:

As a result of its work on supporting implementation, the IASB has agreed to consult on the following proposals:


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