Belfast Telegraph

Sir Philip Green urged to meet promise to 'sort' BHS pensions black hole

Sir Philip Green is facing fresh pressure to "sort" the BHS pensions black hole from MPs who revealed that nearly 1,600 workers are already feeling a 10% cut in their payments.

Commons Work and Pensions Committee chairman Frank Field published details from the Pension Protection Fund showing that 1,559 BHS pensioners were receiving reduced amounts under the "lifeboat" rescue scheme, as of October.

He called on Sir Philip to make good on his promise to "sort" the £571 million hole the scheme was left with when BHS collapsed in April.

The controversial tycoon is thought to have offered £250 million to help plug the deficit, £100 million less than the Pensions Regulator has demanded.

And the regulator last month began enforcement action against Sir Philip and serial bankrupt Dominic Chappell, to whom the retail tycoon sold the firm for £1, "to seek redress on behalf of the BHS pension schemes".

Mr Field said : "Six months ago today Sir Philip promised Parliament that he would 'sort' the pension scheme, but he hasn't done that.

"He has made that promise in many ways, many times, before and since. But he hasn't done it.

"We know that it is within Sir Philip's own means to have prevented this entirely, to meet all the promises made to his staff, and he pledged he would do exactly that in 2012. But he hasn't.

"The Pension Regulator, after two years of negotiations, asked him to make a reported £350 million contribution to the hole in the pension fund. He hasn't done that.

"I would like to ask now, on behalf of the BHS pensioners: Sir Philip, what have you sorted? What a fantastic Christmas gift it would be to the 20,000 pensioners counting on Sir Philip if he were to keep that promise now."

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