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Chair seeks assurances on Arcadia pension scheme

13 September 2019

Following today's reports of a massive £505 million pre-tax loss at Topshop – compared to losses of just £3.8 million the previous  year at the flagship of Sir Philip Green's retail empire Arcadia – the Committee is publishing a series of further questions to The Pension Regulator on the state of Arcadia's pension schemes.

The letter builds on concerns expressed by the Committee earlier this year when Sir Philip narrowly succeeded in passing a series of controversial Company Voluntary Arrangements with Arcadia's landlords, asserting again the need to ensure a funding package for Arcadia's pension scheme independent of the future of the Group after the experience at BHS. The report of Topshop's losses follows equally dire reports on the performance of the group as a whole last week.  

The new questions warn that it “seems increasingly unlikely that Arcadia's three-year rescue plan will succeed” and asks if TPR is still confident of the £310million pension recovery package it was keen to publicise earlier in the year. The Committee also presses TPR on what action it will be prepared to take to hold Lady Green and Arcadia Group to the guarantees they have provided for the recovery package, should that become necessary.

Chair's comments

Commenting on the latest developments, Rt Hon Frank Field MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said:

“Here we go again. Yet more evidence – as if any were needed – that Sir Philip Green owes Arcadia's hardworking staff an end to their anxiety and uncertainty: why won't he write – and Lady Green sign – a cheque today and plug the gap in the pension?”

Further information

Image: Nick Youngson/Alpha Stock Images