BHS pensions lifeboat fights ballooning bill from administrators Duff & Phelps

Helen Cahill
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BHS went into liquidation on Friday (Source: Getty)

The BHS pensions lifeboat has vetoed an invoice put forward by the collapsed retailer's administrators, Duff & Phelps.

Duff & Phelps initially estimated a fee of £3.5m for its work on BHS, but later increased its fee to £4.1m. In a meeting of creditors on 15 November, the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) – BHS' largest creditor – voted against the higher bill.

Read more: BHS' bosses' cash comes under pressure from pensions lifeboat

The two sides are now in discussions over how much Duff & Phelps should charge. The firm's original estimate already included the 15 per cent reduction requested by the PPF for all the parties involved in BHS.

BHS, which went into administration in April, moved into liquidation on Friday. This process is being handled by FRP Advisory, a firm appointed by the PPF, due to concerns that Duff & Phelps was not fully independent of Sir Philip Green.

Read more: Sir Philip Green's BHS pension scheme offer fell short by £100m

Malcolm Weir, head of restructuring and insolvency at the PPF, said: "We remain engaged with the insolvency practitioners around a number of issues arising from their time as administrators of BHS. We recognise that the extensive work Duff & Phelps have undertaken is a significant cost to the creditors.

"However, as in all insolvencies, we look to ensure value for money for the PPF on behalf of pension scheme members, our levy payers and creditors generally."

Green is now in discussions with the Pensions Regulator about contributing to the BHS pension deficit. Currently, BHS pensioners face receiving a reduced pension as part of the protection offered by the PPF.

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