The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board has issued an accounting standard for governments around the world to use for reporting on retirement plans.
International Public Sector Accounting Standard 49, “Retirement Benefit Plan” aims to elevate the standards for retirement benefit plans across the public sector. It establishes wide-ranging accounting and reporting requirements for the financial statements of retirement benefit plans for participants including current and former public sector employees and other eligible members.
The IPSASB started with the private sector’s IAS 26 guidelines, which are part of International Financial Reporting Standards, and then made strategic adjustments based on global stakeholder feedback. The standard aims to ensure public sector entities have consistent policies that are in harmony with existing international public sector accounting standards.
“Retirement benefit obligations can represent a significant but often hidden liability for the public sector,” said IPSASB chair Ian Carruthers in a statement. “IPSAS 49 provides a principle-based approach to accounting by retirement benefit plans to provide a complete view of their financial activities, assets and obligations. This increased transparency is intended to result in stronger public financial management and better-informed decision-making.”
The effective date is Jan. 1, 2026, with earlier application permitted. Users can access the full standard, a summary at-a-glance document and webcast at this link.
The IPSASB is asking for members of the International Federation of Accountants, with which it’s affiliated, as well as IFAC associates and network partners to promote the availability of the new standard to their members and employees.
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