The American Chemical Society (ACS) ended 2014 with solid operating results. As noted in the accompanying financial summary, the ACS generated a net contribution of $18.1 million. The 2014 financial operating results represent the eleventh consecutive year of positive net contribution. The Society’s favorable operating performance was attributable to a combination of strong financial results from the information services divisions and a continued emphasis on expense management across all operating units.
Despite the positive operating results, the Society’s overall financial position (excluding the Member Insurance Program and Petroleum Research Fund) weakened in 2014 with unrestricted net assets falling from $207.0 million at December 31, 2013 to $144.7 million as of December 31, 2014. The decline can be attributed to a $93.7 million accounting charge in 2014 related to the Society’s postretirement benefit plans (PRBP). The Society implemented new mortality tables released by the Society of Actuaries in October 2014, which incorporated increased life expectancies. When combined with a sharp decline in the discount rate used to value the PRBP plan liabilities at year-end, the Society was required to record the sizable non-cash accounting charge. The adverse impact of this charge was partially mitigated by the Society’s aforementioned favorable operating results ($18.1 million) and investment gains of $15.4 million.
To access the ACS audited financial statements and obtain additional financial information on the Society, visit the ACS website.