// UK government to keep “close eye” on Arcadia’s administration process
// Arcadia stores, which include retailers such as Topshop, Burton and Outfit, will remain open for the time being
// The retail group fell into administration on Monday, putting over 13,000 jobs at risk
UK ministers have reportedly pledged on keeping “a close eye” on Arcadia’s administration due to the controversy surrounding the management of the company.
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said it was “clear that there had been some missteps along the way” in the management of Arcadia Group, which has placed over 13,000 jobs at risk.
However, Gove did not comment on whether the owner of the group, Sir Philip Green, should make good the deficit in the group’s pension fund, Financial Times reported.
Arcadia stores, which include brands such as Topshop, Burton and Outfit, will remain open for the time being.
Following the administration, business secretary Alok Sharma said that within three months, the administrators have a duty to file a report on director conduct with the Insolvency Service, “who will then determine whether a full investigation is required”.
The group’s pension fund will now pass into an “assessment period” at the Pension Protection Fund, which could result in a cut in benefits for future Arcadia pensioners.
Arcadia Pension Schemes said: “This is obviously very disappointing news for members of the schemes.”
The schemes’ trustees will work with the administrators and the PPF and keep members updated.
Meanwhile, the Pensions Regulator is also under fire from MPs for allowing Arcadia to halve its payments to the company pension fund in 2019 as part of a rescue deal to keep the company afloat.
On Monday, the Work and Pensions select committee wrote to the chief executive of The Pensions Regulator asking a number of questions about the funding package it approved for Arcadia last year.
Under the deal, Arcadia halved its annual pension contributions from £50 million to £25 million.
In return, Lady Tina Green put £100 million into the schemes through a series of staggered payments.