RETAIL boss Sir Philip Green has been accused by MPs of “favouring” the pension schemes in his Arcadia group – rather than BHS workers’ retirement fund.
The MPs have released correspondence from the Arcadia schemes’ trustees to members which shows a “giant deficit” but a “credible” way to deal with it.
He has agreed to pay £50 million a year until August 2019 and £54.5 million from then until March 2026 compared to just £24.3 million annually beforehand, the MPs said.
The decade-long recovery plan for Arcadia stands in contrast to the 23-year scheme for BHS imposed in 2012 which only involved £10 million annual contributions.
Committee chairman Frank Field said: “It is though clear from these figures that Sir Philip was long favouring the Arcadia schemes over their BHS counterparts, which have more members.
“Not long after he refused to shift on a ludicrous 23-year recovery plan for the BHS scheme, he agreed a 13-year plan for Arcadia with well over double the deficit contributions.
“I imagine Sir Philip would say that Arcadia could afford it because it was profitable, whereas BHS was not. But it is clear that all his companies are run as one large tax-efficient empire in the family interest.”
Sir Philip agreed in February to pay more than £360 million to help settle the schemes of thousands of of BHS workers following the collapse of the firm.
He sold the business to ex-bankrupt Dominic Chappell for £1.
The group’s pension schemes had a combined deficit of £993 million in March last year on a buyout basis.
Figures show that the deficit based on the scheme running alongside the retail arm was £565 million at the valuation last March up from £455 million in 2013.
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