Occupational pension schemes in the news
The death of defined benefit pension schemes
Occupational pension schemes are rarely far from the news. From large scale frauds, such as with Robert Maxwell and the Mirror Group Scheme, to large corporate collapses with the resulting impact on pensioners, as with Rover Group, to the current unrest over changes to public sector schemes. The combination of improving life spans, poor investment returns in recent years and other changes such with the tax changes have put ever increasing burdens on Defined Benefit Schemes with the result that many are being closed or the rules are being amended. Most new schemes are now Defined Contribution Schemes.
Pension scheme accounts
With such fundamental importance to the hard working people that have saved for their retirement and the widespread public exposure involved it is more important than ever that the accounts produced by a pension scheme present a true and fair view and are clearly transparent to the members.
Pension scheme accounting terminology
However the pension schemes use a terminology all of their own and although accounting and auditing standards apply to these in the same way as other entities the complexities of the schemes mean that many struggle to fully understand how to correctly apply the standards to such schemes. The ASB has issued a SORP to give guidance on the accounting requirements and the APB has issued Practice Note 15 to give guidance on the application of auditing standards. Despite this guidance there are still a number of grey areas and experience and best practice come into play.
Experience in accounting and auditing pension schemes
Darren Leiser has a wealth of experience in accounting and auditing pension schemes. His audit experience involves working for over three years in a top five firm of Chartered Accountants purely on pension’s audit where he was exposed to a wide range of client including some of the largest schemes in the UK. He was also a technical manager at a top 30 firm where he was responsible for quality reviews throughout the firm on pension audit files, pensions lecturing and also design of their pension audit pack. Darren has numerous years of lecturing experience on pensions and is a member of the Pensions Research Accountants Group (PRAG) who wrote the SORP in conjunction with the ASB.
Pension schemes training course
Our upcoming pensions schemes course will cover the accounting requirements of the SORP and the specific audit guidance contained within Practice Note 15. The course will also go far deeper than this and cover practical issues for which little guidance exists in Practice Note 15 such as with reporting on contributions.
As well as giving the delegate a through grounding in both the theoretical and practical issues of accounting and auditing pension schemes there will also be guidance on making reports to the Pensions Regulator and an update on new pensions issues. This course is a must for anyone involved in accounting or auditing pension schemes. Pensions issues also are high in proprieties in the minds of most FD’s with cash flow issues and accounting under FRS 17 or IAS 19 and so a knowledge of pension schemes and the associated terminology would be very beneficial for company auditors too.
Read more about our Pension Scheme Auditing & Accounting Course