Skip to main content

IPSASB Publishes IPSAS 39, Employee Benefits

Jul 28, 2016 | New York, New York | English

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board® (IPSASB®) has published IPSAS® 39, Employee Benefits, which will replace IPSAS 25, Employee Benefits, on January 1, 2018, with earlier adoption encouraged.

This limited-scope project was part of the IPSASB’s strategy to maintain its existing standards, including updating them for relevant changes made to the equivalent International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The main differences between IPSAS 39 and IPSAS 25 are:

  • Removal of an option that allowed an entity to defer the recognition of changes in the net defined benefit liability (the “corridor approach”);
  • Introduction of the net interest approach for defined benefit plans;
  • Amendment of certain disclosure requirements for defined benefit plans and multi-employer plans;
  • Simplification of the requirements for contributions from employees or third parties to a defined benefit plan when those contributions are applied to a simple contributory plan that is linked to service; and
  • Removal of the requirements for Composite Social Security Programs.

The first four changes above reflect those made by the International Accounting Standards Board to its equivalent standard, International Accounting Standard (IAS) 19, Employee Benefits, up to December 2015. The fifth change, removal of the Composite Social Security Programs section, reflects the IPSASB’s conclusion that the section was unnecessary in practice.

Exposure Draft (ED) 59, Amendments to IPSAS 25, Employee Benefits, proposed significant changes to IPSAS 25 to converge with IAS 19. After considering constituents’ responses and a revised version of IPSAS 25, the IPSASB decided to issue a new standard, IPSAS 39, which reflects the revisions proposed in ED 59 in a more user-friendly format.

“IPSAS 39, Employee Benefits, ensures that financial statements provide faithfully representative and relevant information about the financial impact of employee benefits, particularly defined benefit pension plans, while maintaining convergence with IFRS,” said IPSASB Chair Ian Carruthers. “The issuance of a new standard is intended to present the new accounting requirements more clearly.”

An At-a-Glance summary of IPSAS 39 is also available. 

About the IPSASB
The IPSASB develops accounting standards and guidance for use by public sector entities. It receives support (both direct financial and in-kind) from the Government Accounting Standards Board, the Asian Development Bank, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, the South African Accounting Standards Board, the New Zealand External Reporting Board, and the governments of Canada, New Zealand, and Switzerland.

About the Public Interest Committee
The governance and standard-setting activities of the IPSASB are overseen by the Public Interest Committee (PIC), to ensure that they follow due process and reflect the public interest. The PIC is comprised of individuals with expertise in public sector or financial reporting, and professional engagement in organizations that have an interest in promoting high-quality and internationally comparable financial information.

About IFAC
The International Federation of Accountants® (IFAC®) is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. IFAC is comprised of more than 175 members and associates in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions, representing almost 3 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.