|MEDTRONIC PLC filed this Form 11-K on 10/26/2017|
New Accounting Pronouncements
In February 2017, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2017-06, "Plan Accounting: Defined Benefit Pension Plans (Topic 960), Defined Contribution Pension Plans (Topic 962), Health and Welfare Benefit Plans (Topic 965): Employee Benefit Plan Master Trust Reporting (A Consensus of the Emerging Issues Task Force)." The standard requires the Plan to report its interest in a master trust and changes in the value of that interest as separate line items on the Plan's financial statements. The Plan must also disclose the Master Trust's investments by general type, as well as other assets and liabilities, and disclose the dollar amount of the Plan's interest in each category disclosed. The standard is effective for the Plan beginning in fiscal year 2020, with early adoption permitted, and will be applied retrospectively. The Plan is currently evaluating the standard and does not believe it will have a material impact on the Plan's financial statements.
Investment Valuation and Investment Income Recognition
The Plan’s investments are stated at fair value, except for fully benefit-responsive investment contracts within the Interest Income Fund, which are reported at contract value. Fair value is the amount that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. See Notes 3 and 4 for discussion of fair value measurements.
Interest income is recorded as earned on an accrual basis. Dividend income is recorded on the ex-dividend date. Realized gains and losses related to sales of investments are recorded on a trade-date basis, and unrealized gains and losses are recorded based on the fair values at the reporting date.
The Master Trust, through its investment in the Interest Income Fund, invests in fully benefit-responsive investment contracts, including both traditional guaranteed investment contracts (GICs) and synthetic GICs. The Interest Income Fund is credited with earnings from these contracts and charged for participant withdrawals and administrative expenses. The GIC issuer is contractually obligated to repay the principal and a specified interest rate that is guaranteed to the Plan. There are no reserves against contract value for credit risk of the contract issuer or otherwise. The crediting interest rate is based on a formula agreed upon with the issuer, but may not be less than 0%. Such interest rates are generally reviewed on a quarterly basis for resetting.
The terms of fully benefit-responsive investment contracts generally provide for settlement of payments upon maturity of the contract, termination of the contract, or total liquidation of the covered investments. However, fully benefit-responsive contracts also provide guarantees from the issuers to redeem at contract value all bona fide employee benefit related payment requests made by the Plan, if Plan cash levels are insufficient to meet those requests. Generally, benefit payments requested by the Plan under this “benefit responsive” provision will be made pro-rata, based on the percentage of investments covered by each issuer.
A synthetic GIC is a wrap contract paired with an underlying investment or investments, usually a portfolio, owned by the Plan, of high-quality, intermediate-term fixed income securities. The Plan purchases a wrapper contract from a financial services institution. A synthetic GIC credits a stated interest rate for a specified period of time. Investment gains and losses from the underlying investments in the synthetic GIC are amortized over the expected duration through the calculation of the interest rate applicable to the Plan on a prospective basis. The crediting rate is primarily based on the current yield-to-maturity of the covered investments, plus or minus amortization of the difference between the market value and contract value of the covered investments over the duration of the covered investments at the time of computation. The crediting rate is impacted by the change in the annual effective yield to maturity of the underlying securities, and is affected by the differential between the contract value and the market value of the covered investments. Depending on the change in duration from reset period to reset period, the magnitude of the impact to the crediting rate of the contract to market difference is heightened or lessened. The crediting rate is adjusted periodically usually either monthly or quarterly, but in no event is the crediting rate less than 0%.