Bad news: Sir Philip’s fallen down rich list. Good news: He’ll get £15m pen­sions re­fund!

Daily Mail - - News - By James Sal­mon Busi­ness Cor­re­spon­dent

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

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