Pensioners facing an uncertain future after the collapse of Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia empire will now get their money after an £850 million deal was secured with Aviva.

The Arcadia Group and The Arcadia Group and Arcadia Group Senior Executive Pension Schemes’ trustees have agreed to buy in with the FTSE 100 insurer, which means benefits for 8,800 members have been secured.

The first part of the deal was completed on 3 February 2023 with an initial premium payment of £850 million.

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Aviva said it will provide Arcadia Group Pension Scheme members with the full scheme benefits they would have received if the insolvency and Pension Protection Fund (PPF) assessment period had not happened.

Pensions have been secured for the Arcadia Group Senior Executive Pension Scheme at the level they would have been in 2022 if the insolvency and PPF assessment period had not occurred.

There is more work going on to establish the future level of pension increases for the Arcadia Group Senior Executives Pension Scheme members.

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Chair of Trustees Alda Andreotti said: “This is a positive development for members, securing their benefits for the long-term. Members will receive benefits based on their Arcadia Scheme pension, rather than receiving compensation from the PPF.

“This transaction is the result of our commitment to achieving the best outcome for members and I would like to thank all parties who collaborated with us. This includes our professional advisers, The Pensions Regulator and the PPF who have offered their guidance, support and reassuring protection to the Schemes during these challenging times.

“The Trustees are extremely pleased with this substantial development and we have already updated members directly on what the buy-in means for them. Our hard work will now continue to maximise the benefits for all members and prepare the Schemes for the buy-out.”

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The people affected include former employees of popular brands like Topshop/Topman, Dorothy Perkins and Burton.

Their pensions had been uncertain after Sir Philip put the group into administration in 2020, which put 13,000 jobs at risk.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the forced closure of its stores for extended periods, had “severely impacted trading across” all of its brands, according to the company.

Source:  Retail Gazette

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