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IPSASB Issues IPSAS 49, Retirement Benefit Plans

IPSAS 49 has an effective date of January 1, 2026. Earlier application is permitted.

Nov 7, 2023 | New York, NY | English

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board® (IPSASB®), developer of international accrual-based accounting standards for use by governments and other public sector entities around the world, has issued International Public Sector Accounting Standard® (IPSAS®) 49, Retirement Benefit Plans.

IPSAS 49 establishes comprehensive accounting and reporting requirements for the financial statements of retirement benefit plans, with participants comprising current and former public sector employees and other eligible members. The new pronouncement will bring increased transparency and accountability to these public sector entities, ensuring they can fulfill their obligations to employees and other eligible participants who are members of the retirement benefit plan.

In developing principles for this pronouncement, the private sector requirements in IAS 26 were used as the starting point. The IPSASB adapted IAS 26, based on feedback from stakeholders globally, to ensure the unique characteristics of the public sector are reflected in the pronouncement. In particular, some of the policy choices available in IAS 26 have been removed as they are not appropriate for the public sector or are inconsistent with existing IPSAS.

“Retirement benefit obligations can represent a significant but often hidden liability for the public sector,” said IPSASB Chair Ian Carruthers. “IPSAS 49 provides a principle-based approach to accounting by retirement benefit plans to provide a complete view of their financial activities, assets and obligations. This increased transparency is intended to result in stronger public financial management and better-informed decision making.”

The effective date of IPSAS 49 is January 1, 2026, with earlier application permitted.

How to Access

Access IPSAS 49, Retirement Benefit Plans, the summary At-a-Glance document, and the webcast. The IPSASB encourages IFAC members, associates, and Network Partners to promote the availability of IPSAS 49 to their members and employees.

About the IPSASB 

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) works to strengthen public financial management globally through developing and maintaining accrual-based International Public Sector Accounting Standards® (IPSAS®) and other high-quality financial reporting guidance for use by governments and other public sector entities. It also raises awareness of IPSAS and the benefits of accrual adoption. The Board receives support from the Asian Development Bank, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, the New Zealand External Reporting Board, and the government of Canada. The structures and processes that support the operations of the IPSASB are facilitated by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). For copyright, trademark, and permissions information, please go to permissions or contact
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.