3rd November 2016
The Pension Regulator has formally begun enforcement action to seek redress on behalf of the BHS pension schemes from Sir Philip Green and Dominic Chappell.
The BBC reports a £100m gap between the £350m regulator wants Sir Philip to pay and the £250m Sir Philip has offered. It has also issued a notice to Mr Chappell who took over BHS for a pound.
TPR has sent ‘Warning Notices’ – statements of its case – to Sir Philip Green, Taveta Investments Limited, Taveta Investments (No. 2) Limited, Dominic Chappell, Retail Acquisitions Limited which could eventually see both required to pay into the scheme.
The notices set out evidence to support the use of both TPR’s Contribution Notice (CN) and Financial Support Direction (FSD) powers. A CN demands a specified sum of money, and an FSD requires respondents to put ongoing support in place for a pension scheme, which must first be agreed with TPR.
Each notice runs to over 300 pages, and sets out the arguments and evidence as to why TPR believes the respondent should be liable to support the BHS pension schemes, following the sale of the business in March 2015 and its subsequent insolvency.
Chief Executive Lesley Titcomb said: “We have been clear in our public commitment to make significant progress by the end of 2016 and the issue of these notices meets that commitment.
“Our decision to launch enforcement action is an important milestone in our work to attain redress for the thousands of members of BHS schemes who have been placed in this position through no fault of their own.
“Issuing Warning Notices at this time reflects the outcome of our investigations and that we are yet to receive a sufficiently credible and comprehensive offer in respect of the BHS schemes.
“We continue to pursue the best deal for members of the BHS pension schemes. If parties wish to approach us with settlement offers, that course remains open to them.”