Skip to content Skip to footer

Loading Results

IFRS 17 is coming

How ready is your business?


IFRS 17: the new insurance contracts standard

With the clock ticking and the IFRS 17 deadline approaching, it's time to start preparing, if you haven’t already, and use the time well.

Playback of this video is not currently available

IFRS 17: a catalyst for radical transformation

View Transcript

Where are you on the IFRS 17 journey?

Implementation is already well-advanced in most large international companies. However, the bulk of small and medium-size insurers have yet to get beyond the starting line. Some may have consigned IFRS 17 to the ‘too difficult pile’ in the hope that it won’t happen. Others may have assumed that the delay in the go-live date until 1 January 2023 means that preparations can be put on hold.

2023 seems like a long way off. But our experience of working on numerous IFRS 17 assignments tells us that it takes at least 18 months to get from start to finish in a reasonably systematic way. Even if you’re only targeting the barest minimum compliance, this is the kind of timeline you would need to allow.

Why the hurry?

There may still be a temptation to leave it all to the last minute. However, this could create needless cost and upheaval such as trying to bring in outside resources to help make up for lost time, which will inevitably be in short supply as the deadline closes in.

Moreover, upgrading systems is only part of the ask. It’s also important to allow enough time to road test and review the outputs. The pressure on time is heightened by the likelihood that analysts and investors will want to know how the IFRS 17 results compare to the old numbers well ahead of 2023.

Beyond easing the risks, there are plenty of benefits in getting up and running now. You will have more time to create an efficient platform for ongoing reporting and work out how to derive business value from the extensive IFRS 17 demands. You will also have more time to consider how you can use IFRS 17 to tell a clearer, more comparable and more compelling story about your business.

What are the main hurdles that need to be overcome between now and 2023?

Countless column inches have been devoted to the technical intricacies of IFRS 17. But two headline challenges stand out:

1. Brand new profit measure

IFRS 17 brings in a novel and complex way of measuring returns – the ‘contractual service margin’ (CSM). To calculate it, you’ll need to collate, clean and store vast amounts of granular new data. Some of this data may be buried in your business somewhere, but where? For other data, you’ll need to start from scratch.

2. Changing the way your business is judged

The new accounting standard is how the markets will judge you and compare you to your competitors. How will you come across under the new reporting? What changes in the make-up of your business could improve this? What alternative measures might you focus on instead? These are all questions you need to be thinking about now.

Smoothing the way

One of the big benefits of doing so much work in this area is that we’ve seen almost all of the issues that are likely to come up - and worked out ways to overcome them. We work globally so can often apply solutions developed in one market to others, where appropriate. From our experience, the key priorities for getting preparations on track are...

 document classification orang

Data, data, data

Don’t underestimate the data demands. Sit down early to determine what you need, where it is and how to get it. Think about how to pull all the data together and store it in the most efficient way.

 announcement orange


More than ever, finance and actuarial teams need to work together. The more each understands about the demands facing the other, the more they can smooth the overall process.

 vision orange

Know what you want

The demands are huge and the opportunities for finance transformation are there for the taking. But you may decide a managed service or a one-stop solution is for you. Decide which path you want to take and put the steps in place to make it happen.

 deep learning orang

Align with other projects

If you have finance and actuarial transformation projects under way. Think about how you can draw on these developments and integrate IFRS 17 into them.

 physical be well orange

Fast-track your projects

There are a number of firms out there (including ours!), who have solved most of the issues you will face. Don’t try and do it alone.

We recognise that every business has different aspirations and is at different stages of the journey. So, whatever you want from IFRS 17 and wherever you are now, we can help you face IFRS 17 with confidence.

Facing IFRS 17 with confidence

Drawing on our experience of multiple IFRS 17 assignments, we know the possibilities, know the potential pitfalls and know what works.

We cut through the complex technicalities to help you understand the most pressing operational and investors relations implications for your particular business.

We can help you weigh up the cost-benefits of the various compliance, compliance plus and transformational options, gauge the necessary investment and timelines, and match aspirations with a pragmatic roadmap for delivery that ensures you’re ready in good time.

We can also help you simplify and accelerate implementation and overcome unforeseen demands and roadblocks to implementation.

IFRS 17 framework

Impact assessment

Our impact assessments don’t just look at the gaps in operational capabilities, but also how your numbers will change and the implications for how your business is judged by analysts and investors.

From future-proofing systems to the information you use to run your business, we also look at what IFRS 17 means for your organisation as a whole, with key input coming from our strategy, technology, assurance and tax teams.

The result is a realistic evaluation of what needs to be done, by when and by whom within your organisation.

Soft design

Our experience has shown many of you are solely focusing on how to bridge the capabilities gaps, while others see opportunities to modernise systems and use IFRS 17 as the springboard for broader transformation.

Whatever your ambition, we can work with you to develop a clear target operating model and ensure resources are directed where they can make the most difference. This includes a robust data framework for transition, the ongoing management of technology solutions and a workforce plan for talent optimisation within your finance and actuarial teams.

Read more

Detailed design and implementation

The shift from design to implementation is a pivotal period in the preparations for IFRS 17. It’s important to determine what ‘good’ looks like as high level designs are turned into action plans and applied in practice. This includes identifying what areas of your legacy systems are most in need of upgrading and what compromises are needed to get over the line.

One of the key differentiators is our ‘soft design’ approach, which allows your business to get preparations underway in good time by making working assumptions about data, systems, processes and control requirements, while building in the flexibility to make necessary adjustments as you go along.

Review and transition

We can help you to convey your investment story, cutting through any accounting noise to focus on the fundamentals of your performance and potential.

Familiar metrics including the combined ratio and adjusted profit are going to be very different under IFRS 17. It is therefore important to educate the board, analysts and investors about the impact and the implications.

IFRS 17 should be applied retrospectively wherever possible. However, where this isn't possible, there are choices available, which involve trade-offs between the level of future profit, the impact on equity, and operational considerations.

Read our report


Bringing you the latest on IFRS 17


Contact us

Alex Bertolotti

Alex Bertolotti

Partner, UK Insurance Leader and Global IFRS 17 Lead, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7525 299694

Follow us

Required fields are marked with an asterisk(*)

By submitting your information, you acknowledge that we may send you business insights that we consider relevant to your interests. Please see our privacy statement for details of why and how we use personal data and your rights (including your right to object and to stop receiving marketing communications from us). To stop receiving marketing communications from us, click on the unsubscribe link in the relevant email received from us or send an email to