The Pension Regulator (TPR) is looking at whether the owner of British Home Stores (BHS) will have to plug holes in the collapsed retail chain’s pension fund (BHS Pensions).
Last week the group officially went into administration, after 88 years pf business, putting 11,000 jobs at risk.
It has been rumoured the regulator is considering is considering whether Sir Philip Green, the former owner of BHS, should be made to put more funds into the retailors scheme to fill a pension deficit of half a billion pounds.
A spokesperson for TPR said: “We can confirm that we are undertaking an investigation into the BHS pensions scheme to determine whether it would be appropriate to use our anti-avoidance powers.
“Such cases are complex. There is a clear process that must be followed and this can sometimes take a considerable amount of time. We are unable to provide a running commentary on case investigations, or confirm the targets of our investigation.”
Historically, TPR used its powers where the employer has become insolvent in the case brought by the administrators of 20 insolvent companies in the Lehman Brothers and Nortel Groups.
Scott Gallacher, director at a financial advising firm said, while final salary schemes are generally the gold standard of pensions, they are not completely guaranteed and the collapse of BHS highlights some of the downsides of these schemes for both members and the business owners, or even former owners.
He said “fortunately members benefit from protection via the Pension Protection Fund. The rules are somewhat complex, but retired members generally have 100 per cent of their pension protected whereas those under retirement age generally have 90 per cent protected. This protection can be lower for those who retired early or had high pension benefits”.
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