Credit ratings remain high

Credit ratings remain high

March 16, 2016


Queen’s University has maintained its high credit rating on the strength of its prudent management practices, strong enrolment profile and successful fundraising operations.

Both the Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS) and Standard and Poor’s held Queen’s credit rating stable over last year, at AA and AA+ respectively. The rating, DBRS noted in its report, reflected that Queen’s has a “consistently strong applicant pool and profile… providing stability to tuition fee revenues and government operating grant allocations.”

“Maintaining a good credit rating is important to Queen’s as it demonstrates that the university continues to be soundly managed from a financial perspective,” says Caroline Davis, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “However, both the DBRS and S&P reports do stress that there continue to be financial risks at Queen’s.”

DBRS said the most significant financial risk for Queen’s remains pension sustainability and the potential for significant special payments for the solvency deficit. It also noted that constraints on tuition fees in regulated programs means the university has limited ability to address increasing costs.

Queen’s recently received stage two solvency relief and has opted to defer payments on the solvency deficit for three years and then pay down the entire balance over the following seven. During the three-year deferral period, the university will build a reserve fund to offset the impact of the solvency payments that will begin in 2018. The university is also looking at establishing a multi-employer jointly-sponsored pension plan (JSPP) with other Ontario universities to achieve a solvency exemption.

Read the full report on the Queen’s Financial Services website