[5] Pension obligations

The actuarial valuation of the pension obligations is based on the projected unit credit method set out in IAS 19 Employee Benefits (revised 2011). This method takes into account not only vested future benefits and known pensions at the balance sheet date, but also expected future increases in salaries and pensions. The calculation of the provision is determined using actuarial reports. Actuarial gains and losses are recognised immediately in equity.

In the interim reports, a competent estimate of the pension obligation is made, based on trends in actuarial assumptions and taking into account any exceptional effects in the current quarter.

At 30 September 2015, there were changes in the assumptions on which the pension obligations were based and in the measurement at fair value of the plan assets, which led to a decrease in equity of EUR 158 m (after deferred tax) when compared with the figure at 31 December 2014.

During the reporting period, a plan curtailment and a plan settlement relating to a defined benefit plan in the Netherlands had a positive impact on operating profit totalling EUR 42 m. The plan curtailment and plan settlement are disclosed in other operating income.