3. Significant accounting policies
(I) Non-current assets held for sale
(m) Employee benefits
Notes to the consolidated financial statements
Non-current assets (or disposal groups comprising assets and liabilities) that are expected to be recovered
primarily through sale rather than through continuing use are classified as held for sale. Immediately before
classification as held for sale, the assets (or components of a disposal group) are remeasured in accordance
with Heineken's accounting policies. Thereafter the assets (or disposal group) are measured at the lower of their
carrying amount and fair value less cost to sell. Any impairment loss on a disposal group is first allocated to
goodwill, and then to remaining assets and liabilities on pro rata basis, except that no loss is allocated to
inventories, financial assets, deferred tax assets and employee benefit assets, which continue to be measured in
accordance with Heineken's accounting policies. Impairment losses on initial classification as held for sale and
subsequent gains or losses on remeasurement are recognised in the income statement. Gains are not
recognised in excess of any cumulative impairment loss.
(i) Defined contribution plans
A defined contribution plan is a pension plan under which the Group pays fixed contributions into a separate
entity. The Group has no legal or constructive obligations to pay further contributions if the fund does not hold
sufficient assets to pay all employees the benefits relating to employee service in the current and prior periods.
Obligations for contributions to defined contribution pension plans are recognised as an employee benefit
expense in the income statement in the periods during which services are rendered by.employees. Prepaid
contributions are recognised as an asset to the extent that a cash refund or a reduction in future payments is
(ii) Defined benefit plans
A defined benefit plan is a pension plan that is not a defined contribution plan. Typically defined benefit plans
define an amount of pension benefit that an employee will receive on retirement, usually dependent on one or
more factors such as age, years of service and compensation.
Heineken's net obligation in respect of defined benefit pension plans is calculated separately for each plan by
estimating the amount of future benefit that employees have earned in return for their service in the current
and prior periods; that benefit is discounted to determine its present value. Any unrecognised past service costs
and the fair value of any plan assets are deducted. The discount rate is the yield at balance sheet date on
AA-rated bonds that have maturity dates approximating the terms of Heineken's obligations and that are
denominated in the same currency in which the benefits are expected to be paid.
The calculations are performed annually by qualified actuaries using the projected unit credit method.
When the calculation results in a benefit to Heineken, the recognised asset is limited to the net total of any
unrecognised actuarial gains and losses and any unrecognised past service costs and the present value
of economic benefits available in the form of any future refunds from the plan or reductions in future
contributions to the plan. An economic benefit is available to the Group if it is realisable during the life
of the plan, or on settlement of the plan liabilities.
90 Annual Report 2009 - Heineken N.V.