Oct 18 - Standard & Poor's said today that the ratings and outlook on Verizon Communications Inc. (A-/Stable/A-2) are not immediately affected by its announced agreement to transfer $7.5 billion of management retiree pension benefit obligations to Prudential through an annuity contract. The transaction, which management expects to close by early December 2012, is neutral from a credit standpoint, since Verizon will also transfer pension assets. The company continues to have large aggregate unfunded pension and other postretirement benefit obligations (OPEBs), the majority of which relate to the OPEBs. This transaction does not include the transfer of any OPEB obligations. Verizon's leverage continues to be in the high-2x area, adjusted for the after-tax effect of unfunded pension and OPEBs, operating leases, and excluding 45% of Cellco Partnership's debt and EBITDA. We do not expect leverage to change as a result of this transaction.