Pensions - Stop press

The purpose of the ‘Stop press’ section is to keep subscribers aware of important developments that have not yet been incorporated into the main text. Each item will give an indication of when it expected to be incorporated into the main text. When this occurs, the item will be removed from ‘Stop press’ and will be listed under ‘What’s Changed?’.

Revised ISAs

Two revised ISAs have been issued by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and are effective for financial periods commencing on or after 15 December 2019. Our products are currently in the process of being updated for the changes. A brief summary of the revised standards is below.

ISA (UK) 540 Auditing Accounting Estimates and Related Disclosures

ISA (UK) 540 (Revised December 2018) Auditing Accounting Estimates and Related Disclosures was developed in response to a changing business environment, increasing use and complexity of estimates in financial reporting and growing concerns from regulators and others that auditors were not always applying an appropriate level of professional scepticism in relation to such estimates.

Although partially driven by changes in accounting standards affecting the use of estimates in accounting for loan provisions and insurance contracts, the standard is intended to apply to all estimates and all audits and sets out a scalable, risk-based approach.

ISA (UK) 570 Going Concern

ISA (UK) 570 (Revised September 2019) Going Concern increases the work auditors are required to do when assessing whether an entity is a going concern. Auditors are required to identify events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern and whether or not a material uncertainty related to going concern exists. Auditors then need to gather sufficient and appropriate audit evidence to enable them to conclude on management’s going concern assumption.

The FRC Guidance suggests that all companies (and therefore their audit committees) need to consider going concern and potential material uncertainties for a period of at least 12 months from the date that the financial statements are authorised for issue. They need to consider this in the light of the true and fair requirement under CA 2006, s. 393, and the wider concept of solvency and liquidity that are required in the assessment of risk and uncertainty for the company.

Implementation statement

From 1 October 2020, the Occupational Pension Schemes (Investment and Disclosure) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 requires an implementation statement to be included in the scheme’s next annual report. This should set out how trustees have followed the investment principles contained within their statement of investment principles in the scheme year.  The first statement must be published online by 1 October 2021.