Debenhams pension scheme members “can be reassured” following £200m deal

Debenhams pension scheme members “can be reassured that the schemes will continue to operate as normal” following a £200m refinancing agreement with lenders.

A spokesperson for the Debenhams pension schemes welcomed the deal, which was announced today (29 March), and said that the retailer’s pension schemes would run as they had previously.

They also highlighted that Debenhams had consulted closely with The Pensions Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund “at every stage.”

The spokesperson continued: “We hope that the agreement will form the basis of a sustainable solution for the trading business that ensures that it will continue to support the pension schemes on a long-term basis.

“The trustees have worked with our specialist advisers throughout the discussions, to ensure that members’ interests are taken into account.”

Despite the deal, Debenhams said that it would continue with its plans to reduce its number of stores and agree lower rent rates.

Sports Direct, owned by Mike Ashley, is the largest Debenhams shareholder, with a 29.7 per cent stake, with some believing that this opens the door for a bid to seize control of the retailer.

However, others believe that it could result in Sports Direct’s stake being wiped out.

A spokesperson for the Debenhams pension schemes concluded: “We are in the process of writing to all members with further information, and we will continue to keep them informed.”

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