We also have separate resources on FRS 102: Employee benefits under new UK GAAP, FRS 17: Retirement benefits, IAS 19: Employee benefits and IAS 26: Accounting and reporting by retirement benefit plans.
Statements of Recommended Practice
The first statement (known as SORP 1) was published by the Accounting Standards Committee in 1986 and was based on the 1978 report 'Financial Reports for Pension Funds' from the Pensions Research Accountants Group. After this first statement the SORP making powers transferred to the Pensions Research Accountants Group. PRAG's role in pension scheme accounts is set out in its history.
Statements of Recommended Practice (SORPs) relating to pensions are issued by the Pensions Research Accountants Group (PRAG).
Sources for the SORP and associated guidance
The 2018 Pensions SORP was published in July 2018. This revised SORP updates the 2014 SORP in line with the current version of FRS 102 and the latest pension legislation. The 2018 SORP is effective for years commencing on or after 1 January 2019.
Information on the SORP is available from the PRAG but there is no free, online full text version of the SORP available. ICAEW member firms can access the 2018 SORP as part of the Bloomsbury Core Accounting and Tax Service.
Copies of the latest version (and earlier versions) are also available via the Library service, along with extracts of the following updates and guidance:
Pension Scheme Financial Statements and Going Concern
Updated in December 2020. This edition incorporates changes made by revised ISA (UK) 570 and addresses the additional challenges trustees and auditors of pension schemes are likely to experience as a consequence of COVID-19 in meeting their responsibilities towards the scheme’s annual report, including the audited financial statements.
Accounting for Guaranteed Minimum Pension equalisation by pension schemes following the Lloyds judgement (2019)
Published in March 2019. This guide explains how pension scheme accounts should account for equalisation liabilities for guaranteed minimum pensions (GMPs) following the Lloyds judgment on pension equality.
- Guidance to the users of the pension Statement of Recommended Practice Financial Reports of Pension Schemes in relation to amendments to FRS 102
Published in January 2016. An update to the December 2014 version of the SORP, this guidance covers disclosures required where the financial statements depart from FRS 102 and definition and disclosures for related parties.
- Update on pension scheme financial statement disclosures and the requirement to obtain an auditor's statement on contributions
Published in April 2016. This update highlights key aspects of the amendment to the Audited Accounts Regulations (SI 2016/229) and amendments to FRS 102 in March 2016.
Example trustees' annual report and financial statements: KPMG guide 2020
Detailed guide from KPMG containing an example trustees' annual report and financial statements, and pension scheme annual report disclosure checklist. Updated in January 2021.
Pension scheme financial reporting - A way forward?
Sample financial statements and notes highlighting emerging best practice for pension scheme reporting under FRS 102 and the revised SORP. Published by KPMG in April 2017.
Illustrative annual report and financial statements for a pension scheme under the new SORP
Model accounts produced by PwC in June 2015.
FRS102: An employers guide
Article published by the pension consultants Spence and Partners in November 2015 discussing advanced recognition of asset returns, multi-employer schemes with non-segregated assets and surplus recognition.
A practical user guide to the 2015 pensions SORP
A short, practical guide from Deloitte which highlights the differences between the revised 2015 SORP and the 2007 SORP. Published in February 2015.
What the revised SORP requires of your scheme reporting
A short article from Crowe Clark Whitehill focusing on the reporting requirements in the revised SORP. Originally published in Pensions Expert on 3 December 2014.
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Practical Pension Scheme Accounting
Practical guidance on the requirements introduced by the 2018 revision of the Pensions Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP). The authors explain what information is needed to prepare financial statements and how to go about compiling the annual report.
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