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Ratings Agencies Express Concern Over Maryland Pension Debt, But Uphold Rating

The major ratings agencies all upheld Maryland’s AAA bond rating this week. But all three agencies expressed concern over the state’s pension debt. S&P in particular warned that pension liabilities, if not addressed, could lead to a rating downgrade in the future. From the Maryland Reporter: Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investor Services call ...
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How Credit Rating Agencies Reacted to Illinois Pension Ruling

None of the three major rating agencies changed their outlook on Illinois’ credit in the wake of a lower court ruling that deemed the state’s pension reform law unconstitutional. But rating agencies are certainly keeping a close watch on the state as the reform law moves up to the Supreme Court. And all three agencies had something to say after ...
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Providence Pension Funding Could Be Worse Than Advertised

Sometimes, a pension plan’s official funded ratio can be deceptive. That’s because there are many different assumptions that play into that final number, including the fund’s assumed rate of return. Michael G. Riley, vice chair at Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, has done some number-crunching to see what Providence’s pension ...
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Moody’s: Strong Returns Can’t Keep Up With Obligations

Moody’s released a strongly-worded report today on the state of public pension funds in the U.S. The report claimed that strong investment returns haven’t improved the funding gap facing pension systems, because unfunded liabilities have grown even more than assets. From Bloomberg: The 25 largest U.S. public pensions face about $2 trillion in unfunded ...
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Court: CalPERS Can Sue Credit Rating Agencies Over Investment Losses

CalPERS lost over $10 billion during the financial crisis, and many of those losses stemmed from financial instruments given top-notch ratings by ratings agencies Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. CalPERS filed a lawsuit against the agencies for assigning ratings that misrepresented the quality of the failed investments, but the lawsuit had been ...
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Moody’s: Illinois Pension Debt Is Worst In Country

Moody’s released a report last weekend measuring the pension liabilities of all states relative to state revenue. By that measure, Illinois has the worst pension debt in the country, according to the report. From the Sun-Times: Illinois’ pension liability as a percentage of state revenue is far and away the nation’s highest, according to a new ...

Pennsylvania Recieves Third Consecutive Credit Downgrade, and Its Pension System Is The Culprit

Just a few weeks ago, Pension360 covered the story of Pennsylvania’s pension tussle; in short, the state’s governor wanted lawmakers to address pension reform before they left on their vacations. Well, lawmakers are now on vacation and pension reform is gathering dust. The state’s credit rating is now paying the price. From Reuters: Moody’s ...
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Is S&P Downplaying the Instability of Local Governments Saddled With Pension Obligation?

Local governments around the country are increasingly saddled with mounting debts due to outstanding pension obligations. So why are many of them seeing boosts in their credit ratings? At least one credit analyst is wondering aloud whether rating agencies –specifically, S&P– are purposely downplaying the risk of investing with local ...
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