Bad news: Sir Philip’s fallen down rich list. Good news: He’ll get £15m pensions refund!
SIR Philip Green is worth £900million less than a year ago – sending him plummeting down the list of wealthiest billionaires.
But it’s not all bad news for the tycoon, as MPs are set to reveal today that he could receive a refund of up to £15million from his BHS pension scheme deal.
Financial magazine Forbes said Sir Philip and wife Tina were now worth £3.8billion, compared with £4.7billion a year ago, due to the scandal over the closure of BHS.
BHS collapsed last April – just over a year after Sir Philip sold the retailer for £1 – leaving thousands out of work and a £571million deficit in its pension scheme.
MPs accused the Greens of taking billions in dividends before leaving BHS on life support.
Forbes said the couple, who fell from 206th to 339th richest in the world, were ‘perhaps the most vilified billionaires in Britain’. The £900million loss included lower valuations for Arcadia Group, which includes Topshop, Topman, and Dorothy Perkins.
But it also took into account the £363million Sir Philip agreed to pay to cover the pensions of BHS’s 19,000 workers. The settlement, under which the The Pensions Regulator promised to drop enforcement action, came after an unprecedented vote by MPs to strip him of his knighthood.
A letter from the watchdog to the Commons’ work and pensions committee reveals fund members will be able to transfer savings to a new pension fund or take a lump sum if their pension pot is worth less than £18,000.
About 10,000 fit into this category. If, as expected, 90 per cent take the ‘winding-up lump sum’ – cheaper than providing a pension for life – Sir Philip will receive a £15million refund. The regulator stressed the £15million was held in a segregated fund, and any money Sir Philip received would not be deducted from the amount paid to scheme members.
A spokesman for Sir Philip declined to comment.
Sir Philip Green and wife Tina