£100 billion to be sliced off company books

International accounting standards for pensions are set to deliver a £100bn hammer blow to UK company balance sheets, as pension deficits will have to be disclosed in full on the balance sheet. Link: Kingfisher’s wings clipped by standards

According to Deloitte, the total pensions deficit of FTSE100 companies is estimated at about £50bn, although only about £10bn is currently booked in the accounts. When all UK companies are factored in, the total pension deficit comes in at £100bn.

Although the figures appear alarming, Deloitte’s David Robbins said ‘the timing of future pension cashflows should be independent of this change’.

‘Fundamentally, it is only the accounting of the pension liabilities that is changing’, said Robbins.

There was concern, however, that once the full pensions deficit was reflected, profit reserves would need to be reduced, which could prevent companies from paying dividends.

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