Off-balance-sheet financial instruments and unrecognized assets
In addition to the assets shown in the consolidated balance sheet, DB Group also uses off-balance-sheet financial instruments and assets that cannot be recognized in the balance sheet.
Most of the off-balance-sheet financial instruments are leased or rented items (operating leases) for which a present value is determined (as of December 31, 2018: € 4,245 million; as of December 31, 2017: € 4,934 million). The decrease was operationally driven by the expiry of existing contracts, primarily at DB Arriva. There was also a significant impact from the implementation in anticipation of changes in accordance with IFRS 16 µ189. In accordance with this, contracts whose usage period begins in the future will no longer be included in the calculation of operating leases present value, in order to ensure that purchasing and leasing transactions are presented equally in the balance sheet.
In addition, we used factoring to sell smaller volumes of receivables (as of December 31, 2018: € 686 million; as of December 31, 2017: € 500 million).
With regard to the company pension scheme for employees, the obligations under each retirement scheme are, to some extent, covered and netted by plan assets which are capable of being netted. As of December 31, 2018, total obligations amounted to € 10,635 million (as of December 31, 2017: € 10,538 million) and the fair value of plan assets was € 4,766 million (as of December 31, 2017: € 5,298 million). The balancing process leads to a reduction in the balance sheet total. The net obligation recognized on the balance sheet was € 4,823 million (as of December 31, 2017: € 3,940 million). No substantial endowments were made in the year under review that would have had a significant impact on the financial position.