Sir Philip Green had no choice but to make voluntary offer to plug outstanding debt, says pension expert

Sir Philip Green had no choice but to make voluntary offer to plug outstanding debt, says pension expert

Sir Philip Green

Monday, August 29, 2016

A pensions expert has told talkRADIO Sir Philip Green had no choice but to make a voluntary offer to plug the deficit in BHS' pension pots. 

The last remaining stores shut their doors for the final time yesterday (Sunday), marking the end of an 88-year-old presence on the UK's high streets. Following Green's sale of the business for just £1 last year, the retailer was liquidated with outstanding payments of £570million owed in pensions. 

Green has put forward a reported sum of £300m to settle the dues, but only if he receives assurances regulators will drop a separate probe if he helps plug the deficit in BHS' pension schemes.

Tom McPhail, the head of Pensions Research for investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown, explained how it was always going to come down to this.

"I think he was going to have to make an offer," he told James Max. "It's the fact he sold the company for one pound with high pension debts. If you look back to the grilling he got from the select committee in July, there was his extraordinary performance where he promised to sort things out. 

"It feels like he'll have to do a deal or eventually it will end up in court.

"No doubt he's saved so much money living over in Monaco, where you don't have to pay UK income tax or capital gains tax. When it comes down to it, he can afford to throw a few bob at the pension schemes."