Queen's credit rating from Standard and Poor's is AA+, but with a negative outlook, as the agency remains concerned about the steadily expanding gap between the univeristy's pension fund and its projected liabilities.
"The negative outlook reflects our expectation that Queen's pension deficit payments will continue to contribute to its operating deficits, and substantially erode its internally restricted financial resources. If solvency payments are required this could lead us to lower the ratings. The outlook also reflects our view of the university's rising debt burden. Under normal circumstances, we would expect its pro forma debt burden to be manageable. However, in the face of substantial pension deficit funding and weaker operating performances, the higher debt service payments will further strain the university. We believe that Queen's will meet its obligations, although it might wipe out most of its financial cushion in the process, which could lead us to lower the ratings. All else being equal, we could return the outlook to stable if the solvency payments are eliminated, or the university's pension deficit substantially
decreases." - Standard and Poor's Report, August 19, 2010.
The latest report from Dominion Bond Rating Service goes so far as to marginally downgrade Queen’s credit rating.