DEFINITION of Other Long-Term Liabilities
Other long-term liabilities are a balance sheet item that lumps together obligations not due within 12 months. They are part of total liabilities, and the components of "other" long-term liabilities are deemed by the company to be not important enough to warrant identification of each amount individually on the balance sheet.
BREAKING DOWN Other Long-Term Liabilities
Other long-term liabilities might include items such as pension liabilities, capital leases, deferred credits, customers deposits, and deferred tax liabilities. Some companies disclose the composition of these liabilities in their notes to the financial statements if they believe they are material. In many cases, it is just a matter of format presentation preference whether to itemize these material liabilities on the balance sheet or aggregate them under "other long-term liabilities" and break the entry down in the notes. However, not all companies will provide additional details in the notes. If the amount of other long-term liabilities as a percentage of total liabilities as displayed on the balance sheet is high enough to merit investigation and there is no associated note, the analyst could call the Investor Relations contact to ask questions.
Example of Other Long-Term Liabilities
Ford Motor Company reported approximately $21 billion of other long-term liabilities on its balance sheet for fiscal year 2016, representing around 10% of total liabilities. In the notes to the financial statements, the main components were broken down into pension liabilities, other post-retirement employee benefits, employee benefit plans, dealers' customer allowances and claims, and others. Year-to-year comparisons of these line items are possible because Ford carries them in its financial statement notes.