To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the shortfalls in company pension schemes as a result of compliance with FRS17. 
There are a number of alternative ways of evaluating the assets and liabilities of pension schemes. The FRS17 accounting standard sets out how pension assets, liabilities and costs should be reflected in company accounts. It offsets the long term liabilities of schemes against the current value of assets. The standard is the responsibility of the Accounting Standards Board which is independent of Government. Although companies are currently required to present balance sheet and performance statement information under the FRS17 standard in the notes to their accounts, mandatory full implementation of FRS17 has been deferred until 2005. FRS17 does not in itself create pension liabilities but seeks to make them clear in company balance sheets. It is therefore not appropriate to calculate an estimate of the shortfall in company pension schemes as a result of compliance with FRS17.