Sir Philip Green has made a personal cash payment of £363 million to settle the pension schemes of the collapsed high-street giant BHS.
The Topshop owner will pay £343m in cash into the fund, which has around 20,000 members, and a further £20m towards the costs of the new scheme, The Guardian reports. If Sir Philip had not contributed to the scheme, it would have been reverted to the Pension Protection Fund, with pensioners taking a 10 per cent cut to their final pension.
In a statement, Sir Philip said he hoped his payment allows the former BHS staff to "achieve a significantly better outcome than the schemes entering the Pension Protection Fund". He also apologised to the pensioners for "this last year of uncertainty".
He added: "I hope that this solution puts their minds at rest and closes this sorry chapter for them."
BHS went into administration in April last year, putting 11,000 people out of work and leaving a £571m pension deficit. After Sir Philip failed to rescue the chain, he sold it to Dominic Chappell, a former racing driver with no retail experience, for one pound. This sparked a parliamentary inquiry, which saw both Sir Philip and Chappell explain their roles in the company's failure to MPs.
Frank Field, the Labour MP who co-led the parliamentary investigation, has welcomed the deal. Field said: "I very much welcome this out-of-court settlement which is an important milestone in gaining the justice for BHS pensioners and former workers that we have been pushing for since beginning our inquiry into the downfall of BHS."