News Release 08/15/18
FASB Improves Accounting Guidance for Insurance Companies That Issue
Long-Duration ContractsNorwalk, CT, August 15,
2018—The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)
today issued an Accounting Standards Update (ASU)
that improves financial reporting for insurance companies that issue
long-duration contracts, such as life insurance, disability income, long-term
care, and annuities.
"The new ASU provides investors and other
financial statement users with better and more timely and transparent
information about long-term contracts issued by insurance companies," stated
FASB Chairman Russell
G. Golden. "Featuring targeted improvements to the current reporting model
for these contracts, it reflects the input we received from diverse insurance
industry stakeholders over more than 10 years of extensive
That outreach included more than 150 meetings with users
and more than 250 meetings with preparers, auditors, industry groups, and
others; 13 group meetings with 60 users; 14 conferences with more than 150
users; more than 450 comment letters from users, preparers, auditors, industry
groups, and others; 13 public roundtables hosted or attended by the Board or
staff; and numerous additional discussions.
To improve this area of
financial reporting, the new ASU:
For calendar-year public companies, the changes will
be effective in 2021. For all other calendar-year companies, the changes will be
effective in 2022. Early adoption is permitted.
- Requires updated assumptions for liability measurement.
Assumptions used to measure the liability for traditional insurance
contracts, which are typically determined at contract inception, will now be
reviewed—and, if there is a change, updated—at least annually, with the effect
recorded in net income.
- Standardizes the liability discount rate. The liability
discount rate will be a standardized, market-observable discount rate
(upper-medium grade fixed-income instrument yield), with the effect of rate
changes recorded in other comprehensive income.
- Provides greater consistency in measurement of market risk
benefits. The two previous measurement models have been reduced to
one measurement model (fair value), resulting in greater uniformity across
similar market-based benefits and better alignment with the fair value
measurement of derivatives used to hedge capital market risk.
- Simplifies amortization of deferred acquisition costs.
Previous earnings-based amortization methods have been replaced with
a more level amortization basis.
- Requires enhanced disclosures. They include rollforwards
and information about significant assumptions and the effects of changes in
as well as a FASB
in Focus overview, an Understanding
Costs and Benefits document, and an educational video, is available at http://www.fasb.org/.
the Financial Accounting Standards Board
Established in 1973,
the FASB is the independent, private-sector, not-for-profit organization based
in Norwalk, Connecticut, that establishes financial accounting and reporting
standards for public and private companies and not-for-profit organizations that
follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The FASB is recognized
by the Securities and Exchange Commission as the designated accounting standard
setter for public companies. FASB standards are recognized as authoritative by
many other organizations, including state Boards of Accountancy and the American
Institute of CPAs (AICPA). The FASB develops and issues financial accounting
standards through a transparent and inclusive process intended to promote
financial reporting that provides useful information to investors and others who
use financial reports. The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) supports and
oversees the FASB. For more information, visit http://www.fasb.org/.