Arcadia to increase pensions payments

Sir Philip Green is understood to be in the final stages of agreeing a significant increase into Arcadia’s pension scheme in a bid to address the deficit.

Arcadia is working with the Pensions Regulator and is said to be close to signing off on a “material” increase in contributions, The Sunday Times reports.

The group’s current pension deficit stands at £189.6m and one source told the newspaper annual payments could increase from £24.3m to up to £40m.

The news comes as Green said he hoped a “sorry chapter” for BHS pensioners had been closed after he made a voluntary contribution of £363m to settle the collapsed retailer’s pension fund.

It follows complex discussions with the Pensions Regulator and the PPF, both of which are said to be satisfied with the solution that has been offered.

All relevant notices, including legal matters and claims from the regulator, have been withdrawn to bring the matter to a conclusion.

Green said: “Once again I would like to apologise to the BHS pensioners for this last year of uncertainty, which was clearly never the intention when the business was sold in March 2015.

“I am also happy to confirm that any of the pensioners that have faced cuts over the last year will now be brought back to their original BHS starting level pension and will all be made whole. I hope that this solution puts their minds at rest and closes this sorry chapter for them.”

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