Debenhams' creditors have passed a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), meaning its defined benefit (DB) schemes will leave Pension Protection Fund (PPF) assessment if the process completes successfully.
The CVA was agreed yesterday (10 May) after the struggling retailer had agreed a £200m refinancing lifeline with lenders at the end of March.
The deal included support for its two DB schemes - the Debenhams Retirement Scheme and the Debenhams Executive Pension Plan - which both entered PPF assessment last month when the CVA process was launched.
If the CVA completes, it will allow Debenhams to repay all, or part, of its corporate debts over an agreed period of time, including its pension obligations.
A spokesman for the Debenhams schemes said: "The trustees welcome the news that Debenhams' creditors have voted in favour of the CVA.
"They hope that the CVA process will complete successfully and that it will facilitate a sustainable solution for Debenhams, which will ensure that the schemes are supported in the long term.
"As the trustees have made clear previously, all pensions will continue to be paid as normal during the CVA process. The trustees will continue to keep members informed of developments."
The retailer had won more than the 75% threshold support from creditors, which included a vote in favour of the CVA from the PPF, which exercises the schemes' voting rights while they are in assessment.
A spokesperson at the lifeboat fund said: "As the Debenhams CVA has been passed, we can confirm that the Debenhams pension schemes should exit PPF assessment on receipt of a scheme rescue notice, subject to a 28 day window for the CVA to be challenged and a further 28 day binding period."
In a letter sent in February, the Work and Pensions Committee questioned The Pensions Regulator over its involvement in the refinancing plan for Debenhams; the watchdog said it would reply in "in due course".
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