Pension Insurance Corporation Secures BHS2 Pension Scheme

The specialty insurer saves benefits of 9,000 members by shifting them to annuities.

The Pension Insurance Corp. has saved the pensions of 9,000 former employees of failed British department store BHS, transferring them to annuities.

The specialist insurer announced that it had fully protected the £800 million ($1 billion) worth of benefits of the BHS2 Pension Scheme. It also said it was able to implement the group annuity maneuver “sooner than anticipated.”

In 2016, when BHS had a $729 million pension deficit, the chain filed for bankruptcy, which resulted in 11,000 jobs lost.

This sparked charges that company executives ignored the retirement needs of the workers. A new pension plan, called BHS2, was created last year, helped by a £363 million ($462 million) cash injection from Sir Phillip Green, the company’s former owner. Green, who sold BHS in 2015 for £1, was blamed for the company’s collapse.

The new pension plan covers the members of two previous BHS retirement funds. Members with smaller pensions that took a lump sum or had transferred into the Pension Protection Fund, the UK’s lifeboat for insolvent plans, were not included in the deal.

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