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Arcadia doubles payments to its pensions fund

Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group has doubled payments into its pensions fund to help plug a deficit of £189.6m, just days after Green made a voluntary contribution of £363m to settle the BHS pension scheme deficit.

Arcadia has increased payments from £25m a year to £50m, a spokesman said. The company has signed a new contribution arrangement with trustees and has already started to make an additional contribution.

Arcadia’s scheme has 11,000 members, compared with around 19,000 for BHS.

The spokesman confirmed that Arcadia is profitable.

He said: “At close of business [on Saturday] we had £110m of net debt, many hundreds of millions of substantial assets and strong cashflow.”

The terms have been agreed and signed off with the Arcadia pension fund trustees as part of the revaluation of the scheme’s financial position that takes place every three years.

Last week, Green apologised to the BHS pensioners for the last 12 months of “uncertainty”, which he said was never the intention when the business was sold in March 2015.

The Pensions Regulator said it is making “significant efforts” to pursue more cases and to use a wider range of powers where appropriate to ensure a case like that of BHS with its £571m pension deficit does not happen again.

Chief executive Lesley Titcomb said the regulator will focus on being more nimble and that it has already taken action to speed up elements of its work in relation to the funding of defined benefit schemes and the use of its powers more generally.

 

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