Committee Chair Frank Field has today written to Sir Philip Green on the Arcadia pension scheme, following the announcement of plans to halve contributions to reduce the pension schemes’ "worryingly high" deficit, as part of a planned "financial restructuring" at the Group.
The Chair asks the Arcadia Group Chairman to replicate the funding he "personally provided" when a "similarly grim situation arose for BHS pension scheme members". The letter notes that this was not, however, until after the intervention of the Pension Regulator, and asks Sir Philip to "offer a guarantee to Arcadia staff that you would do the same for them should the deficit reduction plan prove insufficient."
The letter closes by asking Sir Philip for "a public commitment" now that Arcadia’s pension scheme will not be passed into a "superfund" … "unless and until the scheme is fully funded and a clear, agreed regulatory framework is in place".
So called "superfunds" are a new type of consolidation fund, which would take on all the assets and liabilities of a company pension scheme from its original or "sponsor" company - although no pension schemes have yet been taken on by a superfund, and the regulatory framework for superfunds (for example, whether regulation would be closer to the model of an insurance fund or the model of pension fund) is still subject to consultation.
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