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Wednesday 22nd
posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

SIR PHILIP GREEN must cough up more cash to fill the BHS pension scheme black hole if he gets a £15 million refund under his deal with regulators, work and pensions select committee chair Frank Field said yesterday.

The disgraced billionaire came to a £363m settlement with The Pensions Regulator last month promising better terms than the statutory PPF compensation scheme for the 19,000 members hit by BHS’s collapse last year, when there was a £571m deficit in the scheme.

But Mr Green could get £15m back if 90 per cent opt for a lump sum instead of an annuity, MPs scrutinising the deal discovered.

And the committee found that the arrangement prioritises 16 “loyal senior managers” who have had the statutory £33,000 cap “completely removed” — massively inflating their pensions.

Mr Field said: “Those who do far less well out of the settlement are the ordinary staff of working age, many of whom will have lost their jobs as well.”

The Labour MP also raised concerns about the tax implications of the deal given “the Greens’ complex offshore business arrangements” — Mr Green’s wife Tina owns billions in family assets in tax haven Monaco.

Shopworkers’ union Usdaw general secretary John Hannett said the deal “appears to be unravelling” weeks after it was announced.

“Through no fault of their own, 11,000 loyal BHS staff lost their jobs after people at the top of the business seemingly played a wild game of corporate monopoly with their livelihoods,” he said.