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Philip Green agrees to pay £363m to settle BHS pension row

RBR Staff Writer Published 01 March 2017

Sir Philip Green has agreed to pay up to £363m to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to settle the pension scheme of the collapsed retailer BHS.

The move from the billionaire retailer brings curtains to the uncertainty faced by 19,000 ex-staffers of BHS who will now be provided the starting pension that was originally promised by the retail chain.

Besides, they will get higher benefits than what they would have otherwise got from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

Philip Green owned BHS for 15 years before he sold the company to Dominic Chappell for a nominal £1 in 2015, as reported by The Guardian.

BHS went into administration, closing 163 stores that affected thousands of jobs.

TPR chief executive Lesley Titcomb said that the agreement reflects a strong conclusion for the members of the BHS pension schemes.

Titcomb added: “It takes account of the interests of both pensioners and the PPF, and brings a welcome level of certainty to present and future pensioners.

“Throughout our discussions with Sir Philip and his team, we have always been clear that we were determined to achieve the right outcome for members of the schemes both in terms of the amount and the structure of the settlement.”

Following the new agreement, TPR has terminated its enforcement action against Sir Philip Green.

There will be potentially three options for the members of the existing BHS schemes. The first is to move to the new scheme, second is if eligible, the members can select for a lump sum payment and the third option is to stay in their existing scheme while getting PPF benefits.

According to TPR, the lump sum option is for members having small pots with a total value of up to £18,000. In the first option, members would be entitled to the same benefit structure designed to all other members with the new scheme being eligible for the PPF as well.

Image: BHS store in Lincolnshire, England. Photo: courtesy of Mtaylor848/Wikipedia.