IAS 1 para 122, significant judgement, recognition of pensions surplus

Smiths Group plc – Annual report – 31 July 2022

Industry: manufacturing

Key estimates and significant judgements (extract)

Significant judgements made in applying accounting policies (extract)

Retirement benefits

At 31 July 2022 the Group has recognised £309m of retirement benefit assets (FY2021: £546m) and a net pension asset of £194m (FY2021: £413m), principally relating to the Smiths Industries Pension Scheme (‘SIPS’), which arises from the rights of the employers to recover the surplus at the end of the life of the scheme.

The recognition of this surplus is a significant judgement. There is judgement required in determining whether an unconditional right of refund exists based on the provisions of the relevant trust deed and rules. Having taken legal advice with regard to the rights of the Group under the relevant Trust deed and rules, it has been determined that the surplus is recoverable by the Group and therefore can be recognised. In particular, in the ordinary course of business, the trustees of the scheme do not have a unilateral power to terminate and wind-up the scheme or augment benefits. If the pension scheme was wound up while it still had members, the scheme would need to buy out the benefits of all members. The buyout would cost significantly more than the carrying value of the scheme liabilities within these financial statements which are calculated in accordance with IAS 19: Employee benefits.