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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.


Effective Date

Financial periods beginning on or after 1 January 2021.


Proposed one-year deferral for IFRS 17

On 14 November, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) tentatively decided to propose a one-year deferral of the effective date for IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts and extend the temporary exemption for insurers to apply IFRS 9 Financial Instruments to 2022. The proposals are subject to public consultation, which is expected to take place next year. More details on the IASB's proposals can be found here.


What this means for Hong Kong?

Following the Institute's standard-setting due process, a Hong Kong public consultation on the IASB proposals will commence as soon as the IASB exposes its proposals for comment. The Institute strongly encourages Hong Kong insurers to respond to the Institute's and/or the IASB's consultation documents by writing or speaking to us. The Institute may consider roundtable forums for stakeholders to voice their views. The Institute will deliberate whether to defer the effective date of Hong Kong's equivalent insurance standard, HKFRS 17, once we hear the feedback of Hong Kong stakeholders including insurers and investors, and once the IASB makes its final decisions.


Notwithstanding the IASB's tentative proposals, the Institute strongly advises insurers to continue with their implementation efforts as we hear that the additional time would be welcomed for further testings of new systems and communication to stakeholders.


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: November 2018


Frequently used resources


Technical enquiries

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