Three year delay for new pensions accounting standard

Employers
in the UK have been given longer to comply with controversial new accounting
standards for pensions, which have been blamed by some firms for the closure of
final salary pension schemes.

The
FRS 17 standard, which will mean that businesses will have to report annual
changes in the value of their pension funds in their main financial statements,
was due to have been adopted by firms with accounting periods ending in June
this year.

But
the Accounting Standards Board has extended the deadline for the new system
until 2005 following an announcement that the International Accounting
Standards Board is to introduce a similar international accounting standard.

ASB
chairwoman Mary Keegan said the decision to defer the implementation of FRS 17
was taken to prevent employers having to change their pension accounting twice
when the international standard is introduced.

By Ben Willmott

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