WASHINGTON — Moody’s Investors Service extended the deadline by one month for comments on its proposed changes for analyzing U.S. public-sector pension data after market participants requested the extension.

The deadline is now Sept. 30 instead of Aug. 31, the rating agency announced Thursday.

Moody’s is seeking comments from market participants on its adjustments, which would allow the pension obligations of state and local governments to be compared and treat pension liabilities like debt so that it can better analyze the long-term liabilities of governments.

Last month, Moody’s first announced the proposed adjustments, which would nearly triple — to $2.2 trillion from $766 billion — the unfunded pension liabilities reported by state and local governments in 2010.

The adjustments would highlight the weakest funded pensions. If the changes were implemented, it “may result in rating downgrades for a portion of local government credits whose adjusted pension liabilities would be outsized relative to their rating category,” the agency said in a release. The agency rates more than 8,500 local governments.

However, Moody’s said it does not expect any state ratings to change based on the proposed adjustments alone.

All comments can be sent to cpc@moodys.com.

A final report on the proposal and comments is expected to be released in late 2012.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.