Saturday, July 18, 2015

Cities $1 Trillion Pension Funds Shortfall Set to Grow

Pension Funds Burn Cities as $1 Trillion Shortfall Set to Grow
Image result for pension funds
The cost to American cities for their cash-strapped pension funds is starting to look a lot worse, and it’s not because the stock-market rally may be losing steam.
Houston was warned by Moody’s Investors Service this month that it may be downgraded because of mounting retirement bills, the latest municipality put on notice as the company ignores bookkeeping gimmicks that let cities mask the size of their debt for years. The approach foreshadows accounting rules for even top-rated issuers that are poised to cause pension shortfalls to swell as new financial reports are released.
“If you’re AAA or AA rated and you’ve got significant and visible unfunded pension obligations, you’ve only got one direction to go in terms of rating, and that’s potentially down,” said Jeff Lipton, head of municipal research in New York at Oppenheimer & Co. “It’s the presentation on the balance sheet that is now going to drive urgency.”
Cities that shortchanged pensions for years are under growing pressure to boost their contributions, even after windfalls from a stock market that’s tripled since early 2009. Janney Montgomery Scott has said growing retirement costs are “the largest cloud overhanging” the $3.6 trillion municipal-bond market, where investors are demanding higher yields from borrowers under the greatest strain. 
Chicago Pays,More Coming,Gains Slow,Prophecy Fulfilled,For more, read this QuickTake: Pension Pinch Read More Bloomberg

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