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Accounting Standards for Pension Plans

Research Improvements to Presentation and Disclosure of Investments for Pension Plans


The Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) has undertaken research to improve presentation and disclosure of investments related to pension plans in Accounting Standards for Pension Plans in Part IV of the CPA Canada Handbook – Accounting.

With this research, the AcSB is considering improvements to:

  • investment disclosures, including:
    • fair value disclosures,
    • disclosures for interests in investment funds, and
    • risk disclosures for derivatives; and
  • presentation and disclosure of investment management fees.

Staff Contact(s)

Shalini Gupta, CPA, CA Principal, Accounting Standards Board

Amanda Winter, CPA, CA Principal, Accounting Standards Board

Project Status

  • Information gathering

    The AcSB is conducting research to develop proposals to improve presentation and disclosure of investments related to pension plans

  • Approving project
  • Consulting stakeholders
  • Deliberating feedback
  • Final pronouncement

Meeting & event summaries

June 7, 2023

AcSB Decision Summary – May 24, 2023

The AcSB discussed feedback from the Pension Plan Working Group and research related to improvements to the disclosure of investment management expenses. The Board tentatively decided that improvements should be made to the disclosures related to investment management expenses in pension plan financial statements to increase transparency and comparability. The Board will seek additional feedback from the Pension Plan Working Group in July to obtain input on the nature of any proposed disclosures. 

In addition, AcSB members discussed that pension plans commonly hold interests in investment funds and other structured entities. As such, the Board is considering whether it may be useful to introduce disclosure requirements to improve transparency in this area. The Board will seek more feedback on this matter, including potential solutions at its Pension Plan Working Group meeting in July 2023.

April 25, 2023

AcSB Decision Summary – March 8-9, 2023

The AcSB also discussed disclosures for buy-in annuity contracts. In December 2022, Section 4600 was amended to introduce new measurement and disclosure guidance specific to buy-in annuity contracts. Those amendments are effective for fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2024, with earlier application permitted. Following the amendments, buy-in annuity contracts would no longer be measured at fair value, but rather at a value equal to the related benefit obligation adjusted for amounts receivable under the annuity contract that are not collectible. For investments that are financial instruments, paragraph 4600.32 requires pension plans to provide the disclosures required by IFRS 7 Financial Instruments: Disclosures as well as the fair value disclosures required by the Appendix to Section 4600. The Board thinks that, once the amendments take effect, paragraph 4600.32 disclosures may become less useful for buy-in annuity contracts. The Board will seek feedback from its Pension Plan Working Group in April 2023 and consider whether to amend the disclosure requirement in paragraph 4600.32 to scope out buy-in annuity contracts.


This project summary has been prepared for information purposes only. Decisions reported are tentative and reflect only the current status of discussions on this project, which may change after further Board deliberations. Decisions to publish Handbook material are final only after a formal voting process.