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TMCNet:  BestWeek: AM Best Expects Accounting Changes to Impact Companies With Defined-Benefit Pension or Post-Retirement Plans

[January 21, 2013]

BestWeek: AM Best Expects Accounting Changes to Impact Companies With Defined-Benefit Pension or Post-Retirement Plans

OLDWICK, N.J. --(Business Wire)--

Two new Statements of Statutory Accounting Principles will change the method by which companies calculate and record retirement obligations, A.M. Best reports in the latest issue of BestWeek U.S./Canada. The changes will most likely impact statutory financial statements for property/casualty and life/health companies with defined-benefit pension plans or other post-retirement benefit plans. Before SSAP 92 and SSAP 102 were adopted, under-funded pension and other post-retirement employee benefit obligations may not have been recognized on insurance companies' statutory balance sheets. The new standards also require that benefits expected to be earned by unvested participants be included in service cost. In addition, unrecognized actuarial losses/gains, unrecognized prior transition obligations/assets and other unrealized gains/losses now must be reflected in benefit plan costs.

  • Both BestWeek U.S./Canada and BestWeek Europe feature an A.M. Best special report looking at how Africa's diverse insurance markets offer opportunities for growth. Insurers are attempting to make insurance more accessible through microinsurance and, to a lesser extent in certain countries, through takaful products that comply with Islamic Shariah law. The insurance market is relatively concentrated, with premiums from South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, Algeria and Kenya representing 89.2% o total non-life and life premium on the continent in 2011. A.M. Best has examined three of Africa's largest insurance markets and notes:
  • As part of an ongoing series on the Latin American insurance market, BestWeek U.S./Canada takes a look at the insurance market in Colombia. The country has improved its reputation and begun aligning its approach with international financial standards. The influx of investment capital has resulted in widespread development and plenty of growth opportunities for the more than 40 companies that operate in Colombia's insurance market.

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BestWeek is published by A.M. Best Co. for insurance professionals. To subscribe, visit

View the new weekly video program BestWeek Live at vid=bwl1133. In this episode, Senior Associate Editor Meg Green discusses how some insurance executives at the recent Property/Casualty Insurance Joint Industry Forum spoke out against Solvency II, while BestWeek Europe Editor Dave Pilla looks at the slow progress surrounding the regulatory framework; Washington Bureau Manager Jeff Jeffrey talks about the future of the federal terrorism insurance backstop and whether it may encompass cyber coverage; and Senior Business Analyst Carol Demyanovich details how the A.M. Best stock indexes performed in 2012.

Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Co. is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit

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