UK - Local government pension schemes have criticised the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy for its lack of guidance over FRS17.
The schemes - which face complex implementation of FRS17 rules - claim the time it has taken for CIPFA to offer guidance has left them with little time to implement the accounting rules and a massive burden of extra work.
West Midlands Metropolitan Authorities Pension Fund chief pensions officer Mike Woodall said: “Until now there has been no formal guidance from CIPFA. This is a matter of some concern for local authority pension schemes particularly since we now have a requirement to close our accounts by the end of June.”
He added: “The timescale for this work to be completed and the lack of any definitive advice from CIPFA to now has been a cause for concern.”
Consultants say the process of calculating FRS17 in local authorities is made more difficult as many are multi-employer pension funds and could have as many as 200 separate employers in both the public and private sector to deal with.
This complexity would be likely to lead to pensions managers having to calculate values on a dual basis. Hymans Robertson investment practice partner John Hastings said: This is an area in which there will be more work and effort involved.
CIPFA, though, believes there is still enough time for local authorities to implement the accounting rules and that the guidance that its joint committee issued will enable pension schemes to implement FRS17 in time.
The accounting body says FRS17 will make the costs of local authority pensions transparent and give policy makers the information on which to take decisions about the funding of local authorities including any pensions liabilities.
CIPFA policy and technical director Vernon Soare said: “The joint committee’s proposals will ensure that FRS17 is fully implemented in local authority accounts, in line with the timetable in the standard.”
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