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Volume 2

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CHAPTER 20
ACCOUNTING FOR PENSIONS AND
POSTRETIREMENT BENEFITS

Intermediate Accounting
IFRS Edition
Kieso, Weygandt, and Warfield

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Learning
Learning Objectives
Objectives
1. Distinguish between accounting for the employers pension plan and
accounting for the pension fund.
2. Identify types of pension plans and their characteristics.
3. Explain alternative measures for valuing the pension obligation.
4. List the components of pension expense.
5. Use a worksheet for employers pension plan entries.
6. Describe the amortization of past service costs.
7. Explain the accounting for unexpected gains and losses.
8. Explain the corridor approach to amortizing gains and losses.
9. Describe the requirements for reporting pension plans in financial
statements.
10. Explain special issues related to postretirement benefit plans.
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Accounting
Accounting for
for Pensions
Pensions and
and Postretirement
Postretirement Benefits
Benefits

Reporting Pension
Nature of Pension Accounting for Using a Pension
Plans in Financial
Plans Pensions Worksheet
Statements

Defined Alternative 2011 entries and Within the


contribution plan measures of worksheet financial
Defined-benefit liability Amortization of statements
plan Components of past service cost Within the notes
Role of actuaries pension expense 2012 entries and to the financial
worksheet statements
Gain or loss 2013 entries and
2013 entries and worksheeta
worksheet comprehensive
Recognition of example
actuarial gains Special issues
and losses
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Nature
Nature of
of Pension
Pension Plans
Plans
An arrangement whereby an employer provides benefits to employees
after they retire for services they provided while they were working.

Pension
PensionPlan
Plan
Administrator
Administrator

Employer
Employer Contributions

Retired
Employees Benefit Payments Assets &
Liabilities

20-5
LO 1 Distinguish between accounting for the employers
pension plan and accounting for the pension fund.
Nature
Nature of
of Pension
Pension Plans
Plans

Pension plans can be:


Contributory: employees voluntarily make payments
to increase their benefits.
Noncontributory: employer bears the entire cost.
Qualified pension plans: offer tax benefits.

Pension fund should be a separate legal and accounting


entity.

20-6
LO 1 Distinguish between accounting for the employers
pension plan and accounting for the pension fund.
Nature
Nature of
of Pension
Pension Plans
Plans

Defined-Contribution Plan Defined-Benefit Plan


Employer contribution Benefit determined by plan
determined by plan (fixed) Employer contribution varies
Risk borne by employees (determined by Actuaries)
Benefits based on plan value Risk borne by employer

Actuaries estimate the employer contribution by considering mortality


rates, employee turnover, interest and earning rates, early retirement
frequency, future salaries, etc.

20-7 LO 2 Identify types of pension plans and their characteristics.


Accounting
Accounting for
for Pensions
Pensions

Two questions:
(1) What is the pension obligation that a company should
report in the financial statements?

(2) What is the pension expense for the period?

20-8 LO 3 Explain alternative measures for valuing the pension obligation.


Accounting
Accounting for
for Pensions
Pensions
Alternative measures of the Liability
Employers pension
obligation is the deferred
compensation obligation it
has to its employees for
their service under the
terms of the pension plan.

IASBs
choice

Illustration 20-3

20-9 LO 3 Explain alternative measures for valuing the pension obligation.


Accounting
Accounting for
for Pensions
Pensions
Illustration 20-4
Components of Annual
Pension Expense

20-10 LO 4 List the components of pension expense.


Accounting
Accounting for
for Pensions
Pensions

Components of Pension Expense Effect on


Expense

1. Service Costs
+
Actuarial present value of benefits attributed by the pension
benefit formula to employee service during the period.

20-11 LO 4 List the components of pension expense.


Accounting
Accounting for
for Pensions
Pensions

Components of Pension Expense Effect on


Expense

2. Interest on the Liability


+
Interest for the period on the defined benefit obligation
outstanding during the period.

Interest rate (discount rate) should be those based on high-


quality bonds of currency and term consistent with the
liabilities.

20-12 LO 4 List the components of pension expense.


Accounting
Accounting for
for Pensions
Pensions

Components of Pension Expense Effect on


Expense

3. Actual Return on Plan Assets


+-
Actual return on plan assets is the increase in pension funds
from interest, dividends, and realized and unrealized changes
in the fair-market value of the plan assets.
Illustration 20-5

20-13 LO 4 List the components of pension expense.


Accounting
Accounting for
for Pensions
Pensions

Components of Pension Expense Effect on


Expense

4. Amortization of Prior Service Costs


+
Plan amendments often increase benefits for service provided
in prior years.

The cost (past service cost) of providing these retroactive


benefits is allocated to pension expense depending on
whether the benefits vest immediately or not.

20-14 LO 4 List the components of pension expense.


Accounting
Accounting for
for Pensions
Pensions

Components of Pension Expense Effect on


Expense

5. Gain or Loss
+-
Volatility in pension expense can result from sudden and
large changes in the fair value of plan assets and by changes
in actuarial assumptions that affect the defined benefit
obligation.

20-15 LO 4 List the components of pension expense.


Using
Using aa Pension
Pension Work
Work Sheet
Sheet

The General Journal Entries The Memo Record


columns determine the journal columns maintain balances for
entries to be recorded in the the unrecognized pension items.
formal general ledger.

20-16 LO 5 Use a worksheet for employers pension plan entries.


Using
Using aa Pension
Pension Work
Work Sheet
Sheet
BE20-3: At January 1, 2010, Blue Diamond Company had plan
assets of $250,000 and a defined benefit obligation of the same
amount. During 2010, service cost was $27,500, the discount rate
was 10%, actual and expected return on plan assets were $25,000,
contributions were $20,000, and benefits paid were $17,500.

Instructions: Prepare a pension worksheet for Blue Diamond for


2010.

20-17 LO 5 Use a worksheet for employers pension plan entries.


Using
Using aa Pension
Pension Work
Work Sheet
Sheet
BE20-3: Prepare a pension worksheet for Blue Diamond for 2010.

$250,000 x 10% ($7,500) net liability

20-18 LO 5 Use a worksheet for employers pension plan entries.


Prior
Prior Service
Service Cost
Cost

Amortization of Prior Service Cost


If benefits from the amendment to the plan
Vest immediately
recognize the expense and related liability at the
amendment date.
Do not vest immediately
recognized as an expense on a straight-line basis
over the average remaining period until the benefits
become vested.

20-19 LO 6 Describe the amortization of past service costs.


Prior
Prior Service
Service Cost
Cost
Illustration: Hitchcock plc amends its defined pension plan on
January 1, 2011, resulting in 300,000 of past service cost. There
are 300 active employees, of which 60 vest immediately (20%)
and 240 (80%) vest in four years. The past service cost applicable
to the vested employees is 60,000 and vests immediately.
Unrecognized past service cost related to the unvested
employees is 240,000 and is amortized over four years.

Illustration 20-10

20-20 LO 6 Describe the amortization of past service costs.


Using
Using aa Pension
Pension Work
Work Sheet
Sheet
E20-7: The following defined pension data of Doreen Corp. apply to
the year 2010.

Defined benefit obligation, 1/1/10 (before amendment) $560,000


Plan assets, 1/1/10 546,200
Pension liability 13,800
On January 1, 2010, Doreen Corp., through plan amendment,
grants prior service benefits having a present value of 100,000
Discount rate 9%
Service cost 58,000
Contributions (funding) 55,000
Actual (expected) return on plan assets 52,280
Benefits paid to retirees 40,000
Past service cost amortization for 2010 17,000
Instructions: For 2010, prepare a pension work sheet for Doreen Corp. that
shows the journal entry for pension expense.
20-21 LO 6 Describe the amortization of past service costs.
Using
Using aa Pension
Pension Work
Work Sheet
Sheet

E20-7

($40,920) liability
20-22 LO 6
Using
Using aa Pension
Pension Work
Work Sheet
Sheet

E20-7: Pension Journal Entry for 2010.

Dec. 31 Pension Expense 82,120


Pension Liability 27,120
Cash 55,000

20-23 LO 6 Describe the amortization of past service costs.


Using
Using aa Pension
Pension Work
Work Sheet
Sheet

Gain or Loss
Unexpected swings in pension expense can result from:

1. Changes in the fair value of plan assets, and

2. Changes in actuarial assumptions that affect the


amount of the defined benefit obligation.

20-24 LO 7 Explain the accounting for unexpected gains and losses.


Gains
Gains and
and Losses
Losses

Question: What is the potential negative impact on


Net Income of these unexpected swings?

Volatility
The profession decided to
reduce the volatility with
smoothing techniques.

20-25 LO 7 Explain the accounting for unexpected gains and losses.


Gains
Gains and
and Losses
Losses

Question: What happens to the difference between the


expected return and the actual return?

Recorded in Net Gain or Loss


account.
Amortize amount in excess of
corridor to pension expense, over
the average remaining service
period of active employees
expected to receive benefits under
the plan.

20-26 LO 7 Explain the accounting for unexpected gains and losses.


Gains
Gains and
and Losses
Losses

Question: What happens with unexpected gains or


losses from changes in the Defined Benefit Obligation?

Recorded in Net Gain or Loss


account.
Amortize amount in excess of
corridor to pension expense, over
the average remaining service
period of active employees
expected to receive benefits under
the plan.

20-27 LO 7 Explain the accounting for unexpected gains and losses.


Gains
Gains and
and Losses
Losses

Corridor Amortization
IASB uses the corridor approach for amortizing the
accumulated net gain or loss balance when it gets too large.

How large is too large?


10% of the larger of the beginning balances of the
defined benefit obligation or the fair value of the plan
assets.
Any accumulated net gain or loss balance above the
10% must be amortized.

20-28 LO 8 Explain the corridor approach to amortizing gains and losses.


Gains
Gains and
and Losses
Losses
BE20-7: Hunt Corporation had a defined benefit obligation of
$3,100,000 and plan assets of $2,900,000 at January 1, 2010.
Hunts unrecognized net pension loss was $475,000 at that time.
The average remaining service period of Hunts employees is 7
years.

Instructions: Compute Hunts minimum amortization of pension


loss.

20-29 LO 8 Explain the corridor approach to amortizing gains and losses.


Gains
Gains and
and Losses
Losses
BE20-7: Compute Hunts minimum amortization of pension loss.

20-30 LO 8 Explain the corridor approach to amortizing gains and losses.


Gains
Gains and
and Losses
Losses

Immediate Recognition of Gains and Losses


IASB indicates:
Corridor approach results in the minimum amount
recognized as an actuarial gain and loss.
Companies may use any systematic method that is faster
provided it is used for both gains and losses and is used
consistently from period to period.
IASB favors the immediate recognition of actuarial gains
and losses.
Actuarial gain or loss can either adjust net income or other
comprehensive income.
20-31 LO 8
Gains
Gains and
and Losses
Losses
Illustration: Wentworth Company has the following components
of pension expense for 2011.

Illustration 20-19

If company decides to report the loss in net income.

Illustration 20-20

20-32 LO 8
Gains
Gains and
and Losses
Losses
Illustration: If Wentworth Company decides to report the loss in
other comprehensive income.

Illustration 20-21
Illustration 20-19

If company decides to report loss in other comprehensive income.

20-33 LO 8
Using
Using aa Pension
Pension Work
Work Sheet
Sheet
P20-2: Katie Day Company adopts IAS 19 in accounting for its defined
benefit pension plan on January 1, 2000, with the following beginning
balances: plan assets $200,000; defined benefit obligation $250,000.
Other data are as follows.

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Using
Using aa Pension
Pension Work
Work Sheet
Sheet

P20-2

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Using
Using aa Pension
Pension Work
Work Sheet
Sheet

P20-2: Pension Journal Entry for 2010

Dec. 31 Pension Expense 16,000


Cash 16,000

20-36
Using
Using aa Pension
Pension Work
Work Sheet
Sheet

P20-2

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($49,700) liability
Using
Using aa Pension
Pension Work
Work Sheet
Sheet

P20-2: Pension Journal Entry for 2011

Dec. 31 Pension Expense 89,700


Pension Liability 49,700
Cash 40,000

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Using
Using aa Pension
Pension Work
Work Sheet
Sheet

P20-2

($85,130) liability
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Using
Using aa Pension
Pension Work
Work Sheet
Sheet

P20-2: Pension Journal Entry for 2012

Dec. 31 Pension Expense 83,430


Pension Asset/Liability 35,430
Cash 48,000

20-40
Reporting
Reporting Pension
Pension Plans
Plans in
in Financial
Financial Statements
Statements

Within the Financial Statements


Pension Expense
Pension Asset / Liability
Components of Accumulated Other Comprehensive
Income

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LO 9 Describe the requirements for reporting
pension plans in financial statements.
Reporting
Reporting Pension
Pension Plans
Plans in
in Financial
Financial Statements
Statements

Within the Notes to the Financial Statements


1. Description of the plan and the accounting policy for
recognizing actuarial gains and losses.

2. Schedule showing all the major components of pension


expense.

3. Reconciliation showing how the defined benefit obligation and


the fair value of the plan assets changed from the beginning
to the end of the period.

4. Funded status of the plan and the amounts recognized and


not recognized in the financial statements.

20-42
LO 9 Describe the requirements for reporting
pension plans in financial statements.
Reporting
Reporting Pension
Pension Plans
Plans in
in Financial
Financial Statements
Statements

Within the Notes to the Financial Statements


5. Disclosure of the rates used in measuring the benefit
amounts (discount rate, expected return on plan assets, rate
of compensation).

6. Companys best estimate of the contributions expected to


be made to the plan in the next year. A table indicating the
allocation of pension plan assets by category and showing
the percentage of or the amount related to the fair value to
total plan assets. In addition, the actual return on the plan is
disclosed, as well as information on how the expected rate
of return is determined.

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LO 9 Describe the requirements for reporting
pension plans in financial statements.
Reporting
Reporting Pension
Pension Plans
Plans in
in Financial
Financial Statements
Statements

Special Issues
Other postretirement benefits
Curtailments and settlements

20-44
LO 10 Explain special issues related to
postretirement benefit plans.
IFRS and U.S. GAAP separate pension plans into defined contribution
plans and defined benefit plans. The accounting for defined contribution
plans is similar.
Both IFRS and U.S. GAAP compute unrecognized past service costs
(PSC) (referred to as prior service cost in U.S. GAAP) in the same
manner. However, IFRS recognizes any vested amounts immediately
and spreads unvested amounts over the average remaining period to
vesting. U.S. GAAP amortizes PSC over the remaining service lives of
employees.

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Under IFRS, companies have the choice of recognizing actuarial gains
and losses in income immediately (either net income or other
comprehensive income) or amortizing them over the expected
remaining working lives of employees. U.S. GAAP does not permit
choice.
For defined benefit plans, U.S. GAAP recognizes a pension asset or
liability as the funded status of the plan (i.e., defined benefit obligation
minus the fair value of plan assets). IFRS recognizes the funded
status, net of unrecognized past service cost and unrecognized net
gain or loss.
The accounting for pensions and other postretirement benefit plans is
the same under IFRS. U.S. GAAP has separate standards for these
types of benefits, and significant differences exist in the accounting.

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