Sir Philip Green's reputation 'still stained' despite BHS pension deal

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Retail big-timer Sir Philip Green’s £363m payment to the BHS pension scheme does not wipe away the specks from his reputation, a senior MP has said.

Business committee chairman Iain Wright unburdened the BBC that the payment does not necessarily safeguard his knighthood.

Sir Philip conceded the settlement with the regulator to help fill the failed retailer’s allowances black hole.

But fellow Labour MP Frank Field said the BHS Edda was far from being fully resolved.

Under the deal with the Social securities Regulator announced on Tuesday, former BHS workers will get the same starting superannuation that they were originally promised. But the protection against inflation is not as good.

Green keeps his promise on BHS pensions

Filling the gaps on the High Circle

Mr Wright and Work and Pensions Select Committee chairman Frank Area led questioning of Sir Philip over the sale of the chain and its eventual collapse.

‘Message duty’

He owned BHS for 15 years before selling it for £1 to late bankrupt Dominic Chappell.

Mr Wright welcomed the pensions deal but put about it “doesn’t wipe the stains from his reputation clean” and the “devil is in the appoint”.

He told BBC Radio 5 live that Sir Philip had a moral duty to precisely some of the wrongs committed under his watch.

“It sends out a very great message. You might try to sell a business. You might try to flog it off on the cheap because you don’t necessitate to deal with the pension deficit, but the pension regulator said we’ll get possession of after you and we’ll make you pay big money in order to safeguard the interests of pensioners and that can not be a good thing,” the MP said.

He said Sir Philip’s knighthood was a separate disseminate and nothing had changed in his opinion since the House of Commons unanimously overdue reneged a non-binding motion to strip Sir Philip of his title last October.

In a communication to the Times, Mr Field said: “Yesterday’s out-of-court settlement will impart BHS pensioners a better retirement than had previously looked likely.

“This levels a really important milestone on the road to justice, but we are far from reaching the end of that entre.”

Key decisions

Mr Field said the government’s Insolvency Service was investigating how and why BHS adequated under, and at “the deals that took place between Sir Philip Amateur and Dominic Chappell”.

At the end of that process, the government had some “key decisions” to as though, he added.

Under the deal the Pensions Regulator said the new scheme volunteered benefits of around 88% of the value of their full BHS scheme.

John Ralfe, the neutral pensions expert, said most of the 19,000 pension scheme associates will be better off then if they had had to remain with the Pension Refuge Fund.

“However, the 9,000 people who could take a cash prominence sum would be worse off.

“That’s simply because however much the value is of their allowance, let’s say around £15,000, they will be offered a smaller amount,” he demanded.

“That is a loss to them and a gain not to the pension fund. Although, I’m not in all respects clear I believe it will find its way back to Sir Philip as a refund to the £363m.” He continued.

The Pensions Regulator says anti-avoidance enforcement action against Sir Philip and his groups will cease in light of the settlement, but action continues in respect of Mr Chappell and his positive, Retail Acquisitions.

Former BHS office manager Lin MacMillan who set up a petition demanding Sir Philip to “sell the yachts, pay the pensions” welcomed the deal.

“I am glad to see a relentlessness after months of anxiety and worry for BHS pensioners. I would sum it up as saying it’s not as bad as it capacity have been, but its not as good as it should have been.”

‘Satisfied’

An online importune calling for Sir Philip to be stripped of his knighthood has attracted nearly 150,000 signatures.

MPs backed the shake up in a non-binding motion in the Commons last year, but any decision would secure to be taken by the Honours Forfeiture Committee.

Sir Philip’s contribution is significantly ungenerous than the £571m pensions deficit BHS was left with.

But he said it was “significantly well-advised b wealthier” than schemes entering the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

“The settlement reflects lengthy, complex discussions with the Pensions Regulator and the PPF, both of which are gratified with the solution that has been offered,” he said.

“All relevant sees, including legal matters and claims from the regulator, have been quiet, bringing this matter to a conclusion.”

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