UK - Speakers at the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) conference have criticised the current state of FRS17 as "flawed" and "not fit for purpose".
Providing his view on the accounting standard, Stagecoach Group Pension chair Derek Scott told delegates: “I think I no longer want to be an accountant if this is the best we can do.”
“It has a flawed understanding of pensions funding,” he said.
Addressing Accounting Standards Board chairman Ian Mackintosh, Scott added: “I fully support your aim to improve FRS17. We need to be real about the damage FRS17 has done, and I hope we can change the way we approach it in the future.”
Finance Development Centre principal Con Keating told delegates rising pensions costs were more due to accounting and regulatory changes than even economic conditions.
He criticised FRS17 and said the standard was not fit for the purpose. Keating also slated the Accounting Standards Board (ASB) and International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).
“At times they show no sign of recognising reality,” he said, and suggested it might be time to open the pensions argument to parties like the treasury select committees and pensioners and their unions. “I think they should be included,” said Keating.
In his presentation, ASB’s Mackintosh conceded FRS17 “could be better”, but added the standard could make a positive global impact: “We are one step ahead of both the Financial Accounting Standards Board and IASB with FRS17, so we could positively affect the international situation with this.”
By Damian Clarkson
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