New pension approach prompts Moody's to review 29 local gov'ts

WASHINGTON, April 17 Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:56pm EDT

WASHINGTON, April 17 (Reuters) - Moody's Investors Service has placed the ratings of 29 U.S. local governments and school districts under review as part of its new approach to analyzing public pension liabilities, it said on Wednesday.

Chicago was included in the review - rating agencies have already downgraded Illinois over a yawning pension gap - as were Cincinnati, Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon.

In July, the agency announced it would change how it looks at pension data out of concern that the liabilities created by retirement promises have been underreported. Now it will adjust the data provided by U.S. state and local governments to create "greater transparency and comparability."