Sir Phillip Green, the disgraced and discredited former boss of collapsed retailer BHS has "agreed" to pay compensation to former employees by The Pensions Regulator. Enforcement action against Green was launched last November. After months of legal wrangling, the regulator agreed to settle out of court due to legal costs and time delays.
Green dubbed Mr Shifty
Green, became embroiled in scandal as it transpired that his role in the collapse of BHS was less than honourable. Under his fifteen year leadership, the company’s pension scheme ran up a massive deficit, a “black hole”. Over the same time period Green took over £400 million in dividends from the retailer. When the company was on the verge of collapse, Green sold the retailer to Dominic Campbell. It fell into administration shortly afterwards under dubious circumstances, resulting in thousands of people losing their jobs, and around 19,000 people saw their pension put at risk.
As such, Green has been dubbed “Mr Shifty”.
Speaking on the settlement, Green said, “I have today made a voluntary contribution of up to £363 million 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.”
Phillip Green the unacceptable face of capitalism
Labour MP Frank Field pursued Green over the scandal and the tycoon faced a commons vote to strip him of his knighthood. The vote failed and was little more than a symbolic gesture. Speaking on the settlement Field stated he was glad the pensioners would get a better deal than they would have under the Personal Protection Fund but said there were issues which had to be addressed. Field once described Green as the “unacceptable face of capitalism.”
Three options for BHS staff
Under the new deal former BHS staff will have the option:
- To transfer to a new scheme worth as much as their original scheme but has better benefits. Green has nothing to do with the new scheme
- If they have less than £18,000 they can take it as a lump sum
- They can claim their original pension underwritten by the Pension Protection Fund but is worth 10% less than what it would have been had it been administrated properly
As the scandal unfolded Green spent most of it hidden way on his yacht, Lionheart, avoiding the media and became angry if questioned.