Walgreens (USA) is the leading drug store chain in the United States. The company provided the disclosures shown on page 1114 related to its retirement benefits in its 2009 annual report.
The principal retirement plan for employees is the Walgreen Profit-Sharing Retirement Plan, to which both the Company and the employees contribute.
The Company provides certain health insurance benefits for retired employees who meet eligibility requirements, including age, years of service and date of hire. The costs of these benefits are accrued over the period earned. The Company’s postretirement health benefit plans are not funded.

The discount rate assumption used to compute the postretirement benefit obligation at year-end was 6.15% for 2009 and 7.30% for 2008. The discount rate assumption used to determine net periodic benefit cost was 7.50%, 6.50% and 6.25% for fiscal years ending 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively.

Use the information on Walgreens to respond to the following requirements.
(a) What are the key differences in accounting for pensions under U.S. GAAP and IFRS?
(b) Briefly explain how differences in U.S. GAAP and IFRS for pensions would affect the amounts reported in the financial statements.
(c) In light of the differences identified above, would Walgreens’ income and equity be higher or lower under U.S. GAAP compared to IFRS standards?Explain.

  • CreatedJune 17, 2013
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