(23) Employee benefits

(23a) Defined-contribution plans

Commitments for contributions to defined-contribution pension plans are recognised as an expense in the statement of profit or loss when they are due.

(23b) Defined-benefit plans

The Group’s net obligation in respect of defined-benefit pension plans is calculated separately for each plan by estimating the amount of future pension benefit that employees have earned in return for their service in the reporting period and in previous periods. The discounted present value of these pension benefits is determined, and is reduced by the fair value of the plan assets. The discount rate is the yield at the reporting date on high-quality corporate bonds that have terms to maturity approximately the same as the terms of the Group’s liabilities. The calculation is performed by a qualified actuary using the projected unit credit method. This method takes into account future salary increases resulting from employee career opportunities and general salary increases, including adjustments for inflation.

If the entitlements under a plan are changed, or a plan is curtailed, the resulting change in entitlements relating to past service, or the gain or loss on the closure, as the case may be, is recognised directly in the statement of profit or loss.

Actuarial gains and losses are recognised directly as other comprehensive income that will never be reclassified to the statement of profit or loss.

If the result of the calculation is a potential asset for the Group, recognition of the asset is limited to the present value of the economic benefits available as possible future refunds from the plan or lower future contributions. When calculating the present value of the economic benefits, possible minimum financing obligations that apply are taken into account.

(23c) Long-term employee benefits

The Group’s net liability in respect of long-term employee benefits, other than pension plans, is the amount of future benefits that employees have accrued in return for their service in the reporting period and in previous periods, such as long-service payments, bonuses and incentives. The liability is calculated using the projected unit credit method and is discounted to determine its present value. The discount rate is the yield at the reporting date on high-quality corporate bonds that have terms to maturity approximately the same as the terms of the Group’s liabilities. Actuarial gains and losses on these benefits are recognised in the statement of profit or loss.

(23d) Severance payments

Severance payments are recognised as an expense if the Group has shown that it is committed to terminating the employment contract of an employee or group of employees before the normal retirement date, by producing a detailed, formal plan, without there being a realistic option of the plan being withdrawn.

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