Big Four

PwC gives retired partners £100m payout

Retired partners at ‘Big Four’ accountancy firm PwC shared a £100m payout after the company recorded record profits this year.

Some 1,100 former partners at the company received an average payout of around £91,000 via the firm’s annuities system this year, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Reportedly among the beneficiaries is John Hitchens, who left PwC in 2014 and currently sits on the FRC’s conduct committee and reportedly disclosed the payment to the FRC in its register of interests.

A PwC spokesman told The Guardian: “Approximately 1,100 former partners receive annuities payments. There are rules within our partnership agreement which determine how the amounts are calculated and the period of time over which they are paid.

“Our partnership agreement requires former partners to comply with requirements we have in place for establishing and maintaining the firm’s independence in relation to clients and others, and this includes notifying us if they are considering taking on roles at an audit client.”

They added: “PwC complies with the auditor independence rules in the UK which say that if a former partner accepts a management position at an audit client then it’s necessary for the firm to ensure there is not any ongoing significant connection between the former partner and the firm.”

A spokesperson for the FRC also told the paper: “In line with long-established FRC procedures John Hitchins does not participate in any decisions regarding PwC at conduct committee.”

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