Retail news round-up: MPs new plan to avoid BHS-like pension scandal, Online overseas retailers registering for VAT and retailers cancel click&collect service early

MPs proposes new plan to avoid BHS-like pension problems

The Commons Work and Pension Committee has put forth a nuclear deterrent proposal in front of the government to stop companies trying to avoid responsibilities to their pension schemes, The Guardian reported.

The Pension Regulator (TPR) would fine three times the amount the company should be paying for filling the deficit towards a pension scheme.

Under this plan proposed by MPs, individuals like Sir Philip Green may face a charge of £1bn that is three times the £350m the regulators are seeking from him to resolve the problems facing the BHS pension scheme.

Labour MP and committee chair Frank Field said: “It is difficult to imagine [TPR] would still be having to negotiate with Sir Philip Green if he had been facing a bill of £1bn, rather than £350m. He would have sorted the pension scheme long ago.”

The committee proposed this deterrent to reduce chances of another BHS scandal.

It includes the regulator to intervene early in troubled pension funds and gives power for the pension fund trustee to take decisions in the interest of scheme members.

Online overseas retailers rush to register for VAT

Many of the overseas companies are registering for VAT to avoid being blocked from trading in the UK, as the UK Government is closing the tax loophole costing the Treasury £1bn each year, Belfast Telegraph reported.

Since the introduction of new rules in September, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has reported 7,185 internet retailers registering for VAT, which is 10 time increase from the 695 companies that registered for VAT last year.

Overseas retailers have an advantage over the domestic once as they are not charged VAT on online products, which cost the Government about £1bn per year according to the Treasury.

Public accounts committee is expected to launch an investigation into Britain’s £1bn online shopping VAT fraud crisis as overseas traders evade hundreds of millions in tax on online sales.

Retailers cancel click & collect services early

Shops like John Lewis and Waitrose may stop accepting click and collect orders from December 22, earlier than usual this year to prevent last minute chaos, The Telegraph reported.

Sainsbury's click-and-collect order slots on Friday and all home delivery appointments this week were sold out.

Shoppers may have to order presents and groceries online by Thursday, or struggle at stores aisles on Friday and Saturday when they are busy.

However, stores like Amazon and Argos are offering options to customers to place orders till noon of Christmas eve, trying to please last minute shoppers.