Following in the footsteps of rival AT&T, Verizon is changing its accounting in a way that effectively moves $20.2 billion worth of future losses into the past.
Verizon Communications Inc. says it will recognize losses and gains in its pension plan the same year they occur, rather than amortizing them over time, as is standard practice. That allows it to reduce previous years' results by $20.2 billion, an amount that will then not weigh on future results.
AT&T Inc. last week became the first company to announce similar accounting changes. Analysts expect the maneuver will be copied by other companies seeking to put the effect on their pension plans of the 2008 financial crash behind them, and out of future financial statements.
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