Sir Philip Green pays £363m into BHS pension schemes

The former BHS site on St Stephen's Street.

The former BHS site on St Stephen's Street. - Credit: Archant

Former BHS boss Sir Philip Green has paid £363m to settle the collapsed retailer's pension schemes.

While it falls far short of the £571m deficit the firm was left with then it went bust in April 2016, the billionaire said the amount represents a 'significantly better' outcome than the schemes entering the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

News of the settlement comes after Sir Philip was grilled by MPs over the sale of the chain, which he owned for 15 years before selling it for £1 to former bankrupt Dominic Chappell.

The collapse of the high-street giant left thousands out of work and the deficit in its pension scheme affected approximately 22,000 holders.

Sir Philip said: 'I have today made a voluntary contribution of up to £363m to enable the trustees of the BHS pension schemes to achieve a significantly better outcome than the schemes entering the Pension Protection Fund, which was the goal from the outset.

'The settlement follows lengthy, complex discussions with the Pensions Regulator and the PPF, both of which are satisfied with the solution that has been offered.

'To achieve a significantly better outcome than entering the PPF, the contribution required to achieve this long-term solution was arrived at by the actuaries for both The Regulator and the Trustees.'

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Around 11,000 jobs were affected by BHS' collapse, which sparked a parliamentary inquiry and left its high-profile former owners potentially facing a criminal investigation.

There were also calls for the Topshop tycoon to be stripped of his knighthood.

Following the announcement of the settlement on Tuesday, Sir Philip apologised to the pensioners affected.

'I hope that this solution puts their minds at rest and closes this sorry chapter for them.'

Frank Field, the Labour MP who co-chaired a parliamentary inquiry into BHS' demise, said: 'I welcome this out-of-court settlement and it is an important milestone in bringing justice to BHS pensioners and its workers.

'In other words, it doesn't end here.'

He added: 'I think there are a lot of other issues which are not solved by this which we will obviously be looking at and the courts and everybody else will be.'

Sir Philip made the voluntary personal cash payment of £343m to enable the Trustees to make offers of improved benefits to all members of the BHS schemes, and he has also made available an additional £20m towards the costs of implementation.