Project Update

Insurance—Targeted Improvements to the Accounting for Long-Duration Contracts

Last updated on June 18, 2018. Please refer to the Current Technical Plan for information about the expected release dates of exposure documents and final standards.

(Updated sections are indicated with an asterisk *)

The staff has prepared this summary of Board decisions for information purposes only. Those Board decisions are tentative and do not change current accounting. Official positions of the FASB are determined only after extensive due process and deliberations.

Project Objective
Due Process Documents
*Decisions Reached at Last Meeting
*Tentative Board Decisions Reached to Date
*Next Steps
*Board/Other Public Meeting Dates
Background Information
Contact Information

PROJECT OBJECTIVE 

The objective of the project is to improve, simplify, and enhance the financial reporting requirements for long-duration contracts issued by insurance entities, thus providing financial statement users with more decision-useful information about the amount, timing and uncertainty of cash flows related to long-duration contracts.

DUE PROCESS DOCUMENTS 

The FASB issued a proposed Accounting Standards Update, Financial Services—Insurance (Topic 944): Targeted Improvements to the Accounting for Long-Duration Contracts, on September 29, 2016. The due date for comment letters ended on December 15, 2016.
  • Download the September 29, 2016 proposed Accounting Standards Update, Financial Services—Insurance (Topic 944): Targeted Improvements to the Accounting for Long-Duration Contracts.
  • Read the FASB in Focus which summarizes the proposed Accounting Standards Update.
  • Read the press release on the proposed Accounting Standards Update.
  • Read comment letters on the proposed Accounting Standards Update.
  • Read a feedback summary on the proposed Accounting Standards Update.

*DECISIONS REACHED AT LAST MEETING (June 6, 2018)

Discount Rate Reset upon Initial Adoption (Liability for Future Policy Benefits for Traditional and Limited-Payment Contracts)
 
The Board decided to revise the modified retrospective transition method discount rate whereby as of the beginning of the earliest period presented (that is, the transition date) an insurance entity would retain the discount rate assumption for purposes of calculating net premiums and interest accretion. For balance sheet purposes, the liability would be remeasured at the current upper-medium grade fixed-income instrument yield, resulting in an adjustment to opening accumulated other comprehensive income at the transition date.
 
Effective Date
 
The Board decided that the effective date of the amendments in the final Update should be as follows:
  1. For public business entities, the amendments will be effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning after December 15, 2020.
  2. For all other entities, the amendments will be effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2021, and interim periods within fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2022.
Early adoption is permitted for all entities.

*TENTATIVE BOARD DECISIONS REACHED TO DATE (AS OF June 6, 2018)

Please refer to the Tentative Board Decisions reached after the September 29, 2016 issuance of the proposed Accounting Standards Update, Financial Services–Insurance (Topic 944): Targeted Improvements to the Accounting for Long-Duration Contracts.

*NEXT STEPS

The Board directed the staff to draft an Accounting Standards Update for vote by written ballot.

Please refer to the current technical plan for information about the project timeline.

*BOARD/OTHER PUBLIC MEETING DATES

The Board meeting minutes are provided for the information and convenience of constituents who want to follow the Board’s deliberations. All of the conclusions reported are tentative and may be changed at future Board meetings. Decisions become final only after a formal written ballot to issue a final standard.
 
June 6, 2018* Board Meeting—External Review, Effective Date, and Analysis of Benefits and Costs
November 1, 2017 Board Meeting—Presentation, Disclosures, and Market Risk Benefits
October 4, 2017 Board Meeting—Participating Insurance Contracts, Deferred Acquisition Costs, and Market Risk Benefits
August 2, 2017 Board Meeting—Liability for Future Policy Benefits
April 19, 2017 Public Roundtable Meeting—Discussion of Comments Received in Response to Proposed Accounting Standards Update, Financial Services—Insurance (Topic 944): Targeted Improvements to the Accounting for Long-Duration Contracts
February 8, 2017 Board Meeting—Feedback Summary
August 31, 2016 Board Meeting—Permission to Ballot
March 23, 2016 Board Meeting—Transition Methods and Disclosures and Deferred Acquisition Costs
February 24, 2016 Board Meeting—Presentation and Disclosure
November 19, 2015 Board Meeting—Assumption Update Frequency and Accounting for Market Risk Benefits
October 28, 2015 Board Meeting—Accounting for Participating Life Insurance Contracts
September 16, 2015 Board Meeting—Accounting for Certain Benefit Guarantees in Nontraditional Contracts and Participating Life Insurance Contracts
July 24, 2015 Board Meeting—Assumption Update Methods
May 21, 2015 Educational Board Meeting—Methods for Calculating and Recording the Effect of Assumption Updates
February 18, 2015 Board Meeting—Amortization of Deferred Acquisition Costs
November 19, 2014 Board Meeting—Discount Rate
August 27, 2014 Board Meeting—Assumptions, Discount Rate, Premium Deficiency, and Loss Recognition
April 16, 2014 Board Meeting—Scope and Project Direction
February 19, 2014 Board Meeting—Scope and Project Direction

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

In August 2007, the Board issued an Invitation to Comment, An FASB Agenda Proposal: Accounting for Insurance Contracts by Insurers and Policyholders, which included the IASB’s May 2007 Discussion Paper, Preliminary Views on Insurance Contracts. The Boards’ objective in undertaking the proposed project was to develop a common, high-quality standard that addresses recognition, measurement, presentation, and disclosure requirements for insurance contracts. The Board received 45 comment letters in response to the Invitation to Comment, which led to its decision in October 2008 to participate in the project jointly with the IASB. The Boards held more than 50 meetings to discuss various proposals to develop a common standard for insurance contracts. While the Boards reached common decisions in many areas, they reached different conclusions in others. On June 27, 2013, the FASB issued a proposed Accounting Standards Update, Insurance Contracts (Topic 834). Details of the Board’s deliberations with the IASB and feedback received on the 2013 proposed Update can be found on the page Insurance Contracts—Joint Project of the FASB and IASB.

In light of the feedback received on the 2013 proposed Update, the Board decided to limit the scope to insurance entities as described in existing generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The Board also decided that the project should focus on making targeted improvements to existing GAAP.

For short-duration contracts, the Board decided to limit the targeted improvements to enhancing disclosures. The FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2015-09, Financial Services—Insurance (Topic 944): Disclosures about Short-Duration Contracts, on May 21, 2015.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Alex Casas
Senior Project Manager
acasas@fasb.org
Jay Shah
Project Manager
jshah@fasb.org
Lindsey Klopfenstein
Postgraduate Technical Assistant
lklopfenstein@fasb.org
Brian Peek
Postgraduate Technical Assistant
bpeek@fasb.org