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HKFRS 17 Insurance Contracts



Technical Resources

This webpage contains pronouncements, guides and articles that are relevant to HKFRS 17 Insurance Contracts.


For more details on our events and other activities to support implementation of HKFRS 17, click here.


Additionally,  please see a list of the Institute’s upcoming training for HKFRS 17 here.


Effective Date

Financial periods beginning on or after 1 January 2021 (subject to finalisation of the IASB’s proposed amendments to IFRS 17, see below).



Proposed Amendments to IFRS 17
In June 2019, the IASB issued the ED Amendments to IFRS 17, which introduced targeted amendments to IFRS 17 designed to address issues raised during the implementation of the Standard. Comments on the IASB ED were due by 25 September 2019. The ED proposes, among other things, to:
  • Defer the effective date from 1 January 2021 to 1 January 2022.
  • Provide scope exclusions for credit card contracts and loan contracts.
  • Allocate acquisition costs to expected contract renewals.
  • Attribute profit (contractual service margin) to service relating to investment activities.
  • Extend applicability of the risk mitigation option. 
  • Reduce accounting mismatches for reinsurance.
  • Simplify balance sheet presentation.
  • Provide additional transition relief.
More information about these amendments can be found at the IASB’s website.


The Institute issue an Invitation to Comment on the IASB ED on 27 June 2019, with comments due by 19 August 2019. The Institute undertook significant outreach activities and developed its own view through its Financial Reporting Standards Committee to develop its response to the IASB ED.


The Institute’s comment letter in response to the IASB ED was submitted on 25 September and can be found at the Institute’s website.


The Institute will continue with its education efforts on HKFRS/IFRS 17, and remains committed to continue its assessment of implementation developments in Hong Kong, facilitating discussions with the industry, and working together with the industry and the IASB in resolving those challenges.


Affected standards

Supersedes HKFRS 4 Insurance Contracts.


Why do we need a new Standard?

HKFRS 4 Insurance Contracts was an interim standard that allowed entities to use a wide variety of accounting practices for insurance contracts, reflecting national accounting requirements and variations of those requirements.


The differences in accounting treatment across jurisdictions and products made it difficult for investors and analysts to understand and compare insurers’ results. In addition, some previous insurance accounting practices permitted under IFRS 4 did not adequately reflect the true underlying financial positions or the financial performance of these insurance contracts. As a result, most stakeholders, including insurers, agreed on the need for a common global insurance accounting standard even though opinions varied as to what it should be.


HKFRS/IFRS 17 aims to address these issues by making insurers’ financial statements more useful and insurance accounting practices consistent across jurisdictions.



  Click below for more information

901BTRIBe IFRS 17 technical issues paper to IASB staff

Letter to Hong Kong authorized Insurers: HKFRS 17 Insurance Contracts

file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif Letter to IASB: HKFRS 17 Insurance Contracts
Additional references issued and support by the Institute and IASB
file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif Useful references issued by other organisations
file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif Aplus articles




Additional references issued and support by the Institute and IASB
file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif The Institute Standard Setting Department
file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif IASB

Useful references issued by other organisations
 file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif Deloitte
 file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif EY

 file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif KPMG
 file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif PwC


Aplus articles

 file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif Insurance accounting redefined (June 2018)
 file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts - the wait is over, now what? (June 2017)
 file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif A glimpse into the future of insurance accounting (June 2017)

What to expect from the forthcoming Insurance Contracts standard (November 2016)







Last updated: October 2019 


Frequently used resources


Technical enquiries

  Click here to submit questions on standards issued by the Institute.