06.08.2012 15:15
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Moody's: Pension terminations mostly credit neutral due to liquidity costs

New York, August 06, 2012 -- Pension plan terminations will be mostly credit neutral as they will likely come at a substantial liquidity cost to US companies, says Moody's Investors Service in its new special comment "Pension Terminations: No Free Lunch."

General Motors Company announced in June that it is terminating its US salaried pension plan, which will reduce its reported pension liabilities and assets by $26 billion and permanently relieve itself of future pension liabilities.

"Companies that follow in GM's footsteps will greatly reduce their underfunded pension liabilities and volatility associated with pension assets and liabilities," said Michael Mulvaney, a Moody's managing director and author of the report. "But such measures will likely come at a substantial cost to their liquidity or an increase in leverage. These upfront costs are key to the ultimate credit impact of any termination program."

The costs of terminating a pension plan include fully funding the plan and paying a premium to an insurer to assume the plan risk, the report says. Moody's says its assessment of the transaction's effect on an issuer's credit profile will be primarily focused on the impact on liquidity and leverage relative to the magnitude of the pension assets and liabilities that are removed.

Moody's expects that efforts by corporate issuers to reduce large pension obligations will increase, as obligations distract from core business activity, weaken financial profiles and weigh on the market's perception of a company.

Companies that have taken steps to fully fund their pension plans -- for instance, by closing their pension plans to new entrants or making large discretionary contributions -- would be best positioned to annuitize their plans, Moody's says. Companies that fit this profile and have large benefit obligations relative to their total market capitalization include defense services company Exelis Inc., automaker Ford Motor Company and aircraft manufacturer Boeing Company, according the report.

Life insurance companies are a natural fit for assuming pension risk, which can drive future earnings growth and provide some diversification, Moody's says, noting that insurers Prudential Financial Inc. and MetLife Inc. are well positioned to handle large pension termination transactions.

Moody's research subscribers can access this report at http://www.moodys.com/research/US-Corporates-Pension-Terminations-No-Free-Lunch--PBC_143502.

***

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS ONLY: For more information, please call one of our global press information hotlines: New York+1-212-553-0376, London+44-20-7772-5456, Tokyo+813-5408-4110, Hong Kong+852-3758-1350, Sydney+61-2-9270-8141, Mexico City001-888-779-5833, São Paulo 0800-891-2518, or Buenos Aires0800-666-3506. You can also email us at mediarelations@moodys.com or visit our web site at www.moodys.com.

Michael J. Mulvaney MD - Corporate Finance Corporate Finance Group Moody'sInvestors Service, Inc.250 Greenwich StreetNew York, NY 10007 U.S.A. JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376 SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653Wesley Smyth VP - Senior Accounting Analyst Corporate Finance Group JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376 SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653 Releasing Office: Moody's Investors Service, Inc.250 Greenwich StreetNew York, NY 10007 U.S.A. JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376 SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653(C) 2012 Moody's Investors Service, Inc. and/or its licensors and affiliates (collectively, "MOODY'S"). All rights reserved.

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Um die Übersicht zu verbessern, haben Sie die Möglichkeit, die Analysen für Ford Motor Co. nach folgenden Kriterien zu filtern.

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