This study examines stock price reactions to International Accounting Standards Board announcements associated with International Accounting Standard (IAS) 19R during the standard-setting process. IAS 19R removes the corridor approach in accounting for actuarial gains and losses on defined benefit plans. This rule change likely weakens the financial position of most firms that previously used the corridor approach upon adoption and subsequently increases balance sheet volatility. Using a sample of listed firms in Norway, we find that the market generally reacts negatively to IAS 19R events, but stock price responses are insignificantly different for affected and unaffected firms, suggesting that shareholders view the standard as value neutral. However, market reactions are more negative for firms with higher bankruptcy risk. Additional analyses indicate that market reactions vary with discretion in actuarial assumptions and funded status. Overall, our results document how investors respond to the amendments to pension accounting rules under IAS 19R.

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