Thursday, November 04, 2010

Hedge accounting does not account for longevity hedges

Tuesday's ARG meeting was extraordinarily interesting, for it held a good and a bad surprise: Meeting the incoming IASB Chairman Hans Hoogervorst was a pleasant surprise, while discovering that the hedge accounting project underway will actually discourage longevity hedging if the standard were to stand as it currently does. This is a consequence of the proposed architecture of pensions accounting. Hence there appears to be no easy way out.

However, this outcome is deeply unsatisfactory and should be addressed. While there are not very many cases to account for at present, it would be unfortunate indeed if effective management techniques for the second most important risk facing pension funds were developed, only to be thwarted by accounting artefacts. Watch this space!

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