Media Advisory 11-05-20

FASB Issues Standard That Delays Long-Duration Insurance Guidance and Eases Early Adoption Provisions


Amendments Support High-Quality Implementation of Guidance by All Insurance Companies While Reducing Cost and Complexity for Early Adopters

Norwalk, CT—November 5, 2020—The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) today issued an Accounting Standards Update (ASU) that will help insurance companies adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by giving them an additional year to implement Accounting Standards Update No. 2018-12, Financial Services—Insurance (Topic 944): Targeted Improvements to the Accounting for Long-Duration Contracts (LDTI). For insurers that do not need the extra time, the ASU makes it easier and more cost-effective to maintain their current timelines and early adopt LDTI.

“The new ASU has two purposes: first, to ensure a high-quality implementation of LDTI guidance by permitting insurance companies impacted by the pandemic to take an additional year to apply the standard,” stated FASB Vice Chairman James L. Kroeker. “And second, to reduce cost and complexity for insurance companies that remain on track to make a successful transition to the standard by the current effective date.”

To facilitate early application and encourage accelerated delivery of better information to investors, the ASU allows insurance companies to restate only one previous period, rather than two, if they choose to early adopt LDTI.

For insurance companies that need extra time, the ASU permits them to delay implementation by one year as follows:
  1. For SEC filers, excluding smaller reporting companies as defined by the SEC, LDTI is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2022, and interim periods within those fiscal years.
  2. For all other entities, LDTI is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2024, and interim periods within fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2025. 
The ASU, along with other documents the FASB has issued to support stakeholders during the pandemic, is available through the COVID-19 web portal at www.fasb.org.