Philip Green should pay Arcadia’s £350m pension black hole, say MPs

Sir Philip Green is facing calls to plug Arcadia’s £350million pension black hole with his own money.
The company, which collapsed on Monday after failing to secure a £30million cash boost, has put more than 13,000 workers at risk of redundancy – along with 444 stores across the UK.

It comes hand in hand with an eye-watering pension deficit that echoes the demise of BHS in 2016.

Labour MP Stephen Timms, the head of the work and pensions committee, said it was “unquestionably a moral case for the Green family to do the right thing” and stump up the funds.

It came as one Arcadia employee called for Green to sell his £100million superyacht, where he remains on holiday in Monaco with wife, Tina Green.

In a letter to the pensions watchdog, Timms asked whether the billionaires will meet a guarantee to pay £100million into the pension scheme.
This was pledged by Green’s wife last year when Arcadia agreed to a £385million pensions support package with the Pensions Regulator.

Timms said: “There is unquestionably a moral case for the Green family to do the right thing and guarantee Arcadia’s hardworking staff what is rightfully theirs, whatever happens this Christmas.

“But the Pensions Regulator must also ensure that it is doing everything in its power to fight the corner of the pension scheme members.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said Philip Green has a moral obligation to pay the deficit for its 10,000 members.
“The news that thousands of Arcadia and Debenhams jobs are at risk is deeply saddening – especially so close to Christmas. I hope deals are agreed that save as many jobs as possible,” Khan said on Tuesday.

“Having extracted so much wealth from the Arcadia business, Philip and Tina Green owe a moral debt to its workers, and should have to meet the cost of the pension shortfall, as they were made to following the collapse of BHS.”

In 2015, Philip Green was forced to pay £363million into BHS’s pension scheme after he sold the company to recently convicted fraudster Dominic Chappell for £1.

It led to calls for Green to be stripped of his knighthood, after leaving thousands of workers without a retirement income.

Defined Pension Schemes – also known as final salary pensions – are amongst the most expensive to run. They provide a guaranteed income after retirement until you die.

Right now, Arcadia has a £350million deficit which could mean people lose tens of thousands on their investments when they eventually give up work.

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