The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has announced that the effective date of the financial standard IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts will be deferred to annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2023.
The announcement followed discussions on the amendments to the standard that had been proposed for public consultation in June 2019.
The new deadline represents a one-year delay to the date proposed in June 2019, and a two-year delay to the original effective date set out in May 2017 when the exposure draft was issued.
The Board also decided to extend the exemption currently in place for some insurers regarding the application of IFRS 9 Financial Instruments to enable them to implement both IFRS 9 and IFRS 17 at the same time.
The IASB has in previous meetings confirmed that it will proceed with the proposals outlined in the June 2019 consultation document albeit with some minor modifications in response to feedback received. The Board also added some additional amendments, again in response to feedback on those proposals.
Timely implementation of IFRS 17 is vital to improve the quality and comparability of accounting for insurance contracts. However, the Board’s decision to defer the effective date by two years from the original date to 2023 will enable insurers around the world to implement the new standard at the same time, which the IASB considers to be beneficial for investors, insurers and other stakeholders.
The Board expects to issue the amendments to IFRS 17 in the second quarter of this year.