The Group provides a number of pension plans. In addition to defined contribution plans, there are retirement benefit plans accounted for as defined benefit plans. The assets of all the Group’s defined contribution plans are held in independently administered funds. Contributions are generally determined as a percentage of salary and are expensed based on employee services rendered, generally in the year of contribution.
All retirement benefit plans accounted for as defined benefit plans are valued using the projected unit-credit method to determine the present value of the defined benefit obligation and the related service costs. Under this method, the determination is based on actuarial calculations which include assumptions about demographics, salary increases and interest and inflation rates. Actuarial gains and losses are recognized in other comprehensive income and presented in equity in the period in which they occur. The majority of the Group’s benefit plans is funded.
Other Post-Employment Benefits
In addition, the Group maintains unfunded contributory post-employment medical plans for a number of current and retired employees who are mainly located in the United States. These plans pay stated percentages of eligible medical and dental expenses of retirees after a stated deductible has been met. The Group funds these plans on a cash basis as benefits are due. Analogous to retirement benefit plans these plans are valued using the projected unit-credit method. Actuarial gains and losses are recognized in full in the period in which they occur in other comprehensive income and presented in equity.
Termination benefits arise when employment is terminated by the Group before the normal retirement date or whenever an employee accepts voluntary redundancy in exchange for these benefits. The Group recognizes termination benefits as a liability and an expense if the Group is demonstrably committed to a detailed formal plan without realistic possibility of withdrawal. In the case of an offer made to encourage voluntary redundancy, termination benefits are measured based on the number of employees expected to accept the offer. Benefits falling due more than twelve months after the end of the reporting period are discounted to their present value. The discount rate is determined by reference to market yields on high-quality corporate bonds.
Compensation expense for awards classified as equity instruments is measured at the grant date based on the fair value of the share-based award. For share awards, the fair value is the quoted market price of the share reduced by the present value of the expected dividends that will not be received by the employee and adjusted for the effect, if any, of restrictions beyond the vesting date. In case an award is modified such that its fair value immediately after modification exceeds its fair value immediately prior to modification, a remeasurement takes place and the resulting increase in fair value is recognized as additional compensation expense.
The Group records the offsetting amount to the recognized compensation expense in additional paid-in capital (“APIC”). Compensation expense is recorded on a straight-line basis over the period in which employees perform services to which the awards relate or over the period of the tranches for those awards delivered in tranches. Estimates of expected forfeitures are periodically adjusted in the event of actual forfeitures or for changes in expectations. The timing of expense recognition relating to grants which, due to early retirement provisions, include a nominal but nonsubstantive service period are accelerated by shortening the amortization period of the expense from the grant date to the date when the employee meets the eligibility criteria for the award, and not the vesting date. For awards that are delivered in tranches, each tranche is considered a separate award and amortized separately.
Compensation expense for share-based awards payable in cash is remeasured to fair value at each balance sheet date and recognized over the vesting period in which the related employee services are rendered. The related obligations are included in other liabilities until paid.