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S&P may rate UK pension funds

Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s says it is “kicking around” the idea of rating pension funds.
S&P actuary Paul Bradley told the National Association of Pension Funds conference in Edinburgh that it is looking at the idea of rating individual pension funds. It was something S&P was “kicking around”, he said.
Any rating would be based on the rating of the scheme’s sponsor.
Bradley, and his colleague, accountant Ron Jones, told delegates that they had no idea of a possible timescale for rating funds. If S&P did so, they said, it would not be in competition with actuarial firms; it would be just so the public could compare.
There should not be panic about pension ratings, they added, as just five out of 200 UK firms have been put on negative credit watch.
In February S&P put 10 European companies on credit watch as a result of their pension fund deficits. Some companies cried foul, saying S&P’s analysis was not based on new information.

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