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Regulator moves on BHS pension deficit

As the BHS pensions crisis continues, the Pensions Regulator has begun enforcement action into Sir Phillip Green. 

The Pensions Regulator has begun enforcement action into Sir Philip Green in a bid to end the ongoing pensions crisis surrounding collapsed retailer BHS.

Green and former owner Dominic Chappell have both been sent warning notices as the regulator seeks redress for 20,000 BHS pension scheme members.

In October, the regulator said it was yet to receive a “credible written offer” relating to the pensions deficit, despite Green promising to “sort” the issue in the summer and warned it was preparing to use recovery powers.

In a statement, Green said: “I have read the statement from the Pensions Regulator this evening and noted its contents. I have provided the Regulator with what I believe to be a credible and substantial proposal, with evidence and bank confirmation of cash availability, which would prevent the scheme from entering the Pension Protection Fund [PPF]. This is in order to achieve a better outcome for the BHS pensioners.

“I have also spoken to the Chairman of the Trustees, who is supportive of the proposal on the basis that it provides members with better benefits than they would receive from the PPF. I believe the above statement confirms the statement of intent that I made in regard to the BHS pensioners.”

MP and chairman of the business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) committee Iain Wright argued Green had taken too long to come up with a solution to the pension deficit.

“In June Sir Philip told us he would sort out the pensions mess at BHS. Five months on, we’ve seen Philip Green sunning himself on his yacht – his third – but no credible plan or cash on the table. He is meant to be able to do deals quickly but he hasn’t been keen to do a deal which would quickly end the misery for thousands of BHS pensioners. Sir Philip said he would sort it but he has not yet been true to his word. He has not come up with the money to satisfy the regulator, who has clearly and quite rightly now lost patience.”

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