IAS 19 Termination benefits

Last Updated on 19/02/2020 by 75385885

IAS 19 Employee benefitsIAS 19 Termination benefits

IAS 19 Termination benefits

159 This Standard deals with termination benefits separately from other employee benefits because the event that gives rise to an obligation is the termination of employment rather than employee service. Termination benefits result from either an entity’s decision to terminate the employment or an employee’s decision to accept an entity’s offer of benefits in exchange for termination of employment.

160 Termination benefits do not include employee benefits resulting from termination of employment at the request of the employee without an entity’s offer, or as a result of mandatory retirement requirements, because those benefits are post-employment benefits. Some entities provide a lower level of benefit for termination of employment at the request of the employee (in substance, a post-employment benefit) than for termination of employment at the request of the entity. The difference between the benefit provided for termination of employment at the request of the employee and a higher benefit provided at the request of the entity is a termination benefit.

161 The form of the employee benefit does not determine whether it is provided in exchange for service or in exchange for termination of the employee’s employment. Termination benefits are typically lump sum payments, but sometimes also include:

  1. enhancement of post-employment benefits, either indirectly through an employee benefit plan or directly.
  2. salary until the end of a specified notice period if the employee renders no further service that provides economic benefits to the entity.

162 Indicators that an employee benefit is provided in exchange for services include the following:

  1. the benefit is conditional on future service being provided (including benefits that increase if further service is provided).
  2. the benefit is provided in accordance with the terms of an employee benefit plan.

163 Some termination benefits are provided in accordance with the terms of an existing employee benefit plan. For example, they may be specified by statute, employment contract or union agreement, or may be implied as a result of the employer’s past practice of providing similar benefits. As another example, if an entity makes an offer of benefits available for more than a short period, or there is more than a short period between the offer and the expected date of actual termination, the entity considers whether it has established a new employee benefit plan and hence whether the benefits offered under that plan are termination benefits or post-employment benefits. Employee benefits provided in accordance with the terms of an employee benefit plan are termination benefits if they both result from an entity’s decision to terminate an employee’s employment and are not conditional on future service being provided.

164 Some employee benefits are provided regardless of the reason for the employee’s departure. The payment of such benefits is certain (subject to any vesting or minimum service requirements) but the timing of their payment is uncertain. Although such benefits are described in some jurisdictions as termination indemnities or termination gratuities, they are post-employment benefits rather than termination benefits, and an entity accounts for them as post-employment benefits.

Recognition

165 An entity shall recognise a liability and expense for termination benefits at the earlier of the following dates:

  1. when the entity can no longer withdraw the offer of those benefits;and
  2. when the entity recognises costs for a restructuring that is within the scope of IAS 37 and involves the payment of termination benefits.

166 For termination benefits payable as a result of an employee’s decision to accept an offer of benefits in exchange for the termination of employment, the time when an entity can no longer withdraw the offer of termination benefits is the earlier of:

  1. when the employee accepts the offer; and
  2. when a restriction (eg a legal, regulatory or contractual requirement or other restriction) on the entity’s ability to withdraw the offer takes effect. This would be when the offer is made, if the restriction existed at the time of the offer.

167 For termination benefits payable as a result of an entity’s decision to terminate an employee’s employment, the entity can no longer withdraw the offer when the entity has communicated to the affected employees a plan of termination meeting all of the following criteria:

  1. Actions required to complete the plan indicate that it is unlikely that significant changes to the plan will be made.
  2. The plan identifies the number of employees whose employment is to be terminated, their job classifications or functions and their locations (but the plan need not identify each individual employee) and the expected completion date.
  3. The plan establishes the termination benefits that employees will receive in sufficient detail that employees can determine the type and amount of benefits they will receive when their employment is terminated.

168 When an entity recognises termination benefits, the entity may also have to account for a plan amendment or a curtailment of other employee benefits (see paragraph 103).

Measurement

169 An entity shall measure termination benefits on initial recognition, and shall measure and recognise subsequent changes, in accordance with the nature of the employee benefit, provided that if the termination benefits are an enhancement to post-employment benefits, the entity shall apply the requirements for post-employment benefits. Otherwise:

  1. if the termination benefits are expected to be settled wholly before twelve months after the end of the annual reporting period in which the termination benefit is recognised, the entity shall apply the requirements for short-term employee benefits.
  2. if the termination benefits are not expected to be settled wholly before twelve months after the end of the annual reporting period, the entity shall apply the requirements for other long-term employee benefits.

170 Because termination benefits are not provided in exchange for service, paragraphs 70–74 relating to the attribution of the benefit to periods of service are not relevant.

Example illustrating paragraphs 159–170

Background

As a result of a recent acquisition, an entity plans to close a factory in ten months and, at that time, terminate the employment of all of the remaining employees at the factory. Because the entity needs the expertise of the employees at the factory to complete some contracts, it announces a plan of termination as follows.

Each employee who stays and renders service until the closure of the factory will receive on the termination date a cash payment of CU30,000. Employees leaving before closure of the factory will receive CU10,000.

There are 120 employees at the factory. At the time of announcing the plan, the entity expects 20 of them to leave before closure. Therefore, the total expected cash outflows under the plan are CU3,200,000 (ie 20 × CU10,000 + 100 × CU30,000). As required by paragraph 160, the entity accounts for benefits provided in exchange for termination of employment as termination benefits and accounts for benefits provided in exchange for services as short-term employee benefits.

Termination benefits

The benefit provided in exchange for termination of employment is CU10,000. This is the amount that an entity would have to pay for terminating the employment regardless of whether the employees stay and render service until closure of the factory or they leave before closure. Even though the employees can leave before closure, the termination of all employees’ employment is a result of the entity’s decision to close the factory and terminate their employment (ie all employees will leave employment when the factory closes). Therefore the entity recognises a liability of CU1,200,000 (ie 120 × CU10,000) for the termination benefits provided in accordance with the employee benefit plan at the earlier of when the plan of termination is announced and when the entity recognises the restructuring costs associated with the closure of the factory.

Benefits provided in exchange for service

The incremental benefits that employees will receive if they provide services for the full ten-month period are in exchange for services provided over that period. The entity accounts for them as short-term employee benefits because the entity expects to settle them before twelve months after the end of the annual reporting period. In this example, discounting is not required, so an expense of CU200,000 (ie CU2,000,000 ÷ 10) is recognised in each month during the service period of ten months, with a corresponding increase in the carrying amount of the liability.

Disclosure

171 Although this Standard does not require specific disclosures about termination benefits, other IFRSs may require disclosures. For example, IAS 24 requires disclosures about employee benefits for key management personnel. IAS 1 requires disclosure of employee benefits expense.

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Source EU rules on financial information disclosed by companies

 

Last Updated on 19/02/2020 by 75385885

Excerpts from IFRS Standards come from the Official Journal of the European Union (© European Union, https://eur-lex.europa.eu). Individual jurisdictions around the world may require or permit the use of (locally authorised and/or amended) IFRS Standards for all or some publicly listed companies.  The information provided on this website is for general information and educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional advice. The specific status of IFRS Standards should be checked in each individual jurisdiction. Use at your own risk. Annualreporting is an independent website and it is not affiliated with, endorsed by, or in any other way associated with the IFRS Foundation. For official information concerning IFRS Standards, visit IFRS.org or the local representative in your jurisdiction.

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