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BHS pensioners deserve a deal that guarantees no loss of accrued benefits

Date: 20 March 2017 Shopworkers union leader John Hannett has questioned Sir Philip Green’s deal to settle the BHS pension. Initial investigations by the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee reveals a lot of variation around the headline “88% of promised benefits” figure, with a small number of the highest paid former managers set to do best out of the deal.

John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: "After a long running campaign by Usdaw to get justice for BHS pensioners we were initially pleased that Sir Philip had finally put his hand in his pocket, having promised to 'sort' the pension scheme last June. However we needed to see the details of the settlement to be reassured that the offer would give BHS pensioners a better deal than they would have got through the Pension Protection Fund. Only a few weeks after the announcement it appears to be unravelling.

“Whilst he seems to have done enough to cover the liabilities of the Pension Protection Fund, Sir Philip hasn’t gone anywhere near providing the BHS pensioners with all the benefits they accrued and are entitled to. He told the select committee hearing that he would secure a better deal for the pensioners than they would get under the lifeboat scheme. That now appears not to be the case for those who worked on the shopfloor, although the former senior managers seem to have done very well out of the deal.

"Through no fault of their own, 11,000 loyal BHS staff lost their jobs after people at the top of the business seemingly played a wild game of corporate monopoly with their livelihoods. They were put out of work last summer and put into a long period of uncertainty about the future of their income in retirement. The BHS pension scheme members deserve a deal that guarantees no loss of benefits they accrued."

Notes for editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 440,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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