TPR to prosecute Samuel Smith’s Brewery for failing to hand over financial information

Written by Natalie Tuck

Yorkshire’s oldest brewery, Samuel Smith’s, is to be prosecuted by The Pensions Regulator for failing to hand over financial information required for an ongoing investigation.

The regulator asked the company for details of its finances in order to understand the funding position of some of the brewery’s pension scheme.

However, Samuel Smith Old Brewery in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, along with its chairman Humphrey Smith, failed to comply with a notice issued under Section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004 on 12 January 2018, requiring the information and documents to be provided by 26 January 2018.

As a result, both have been summonsed to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 15 May 2018.

They will each face a charge of neglecting or refusing to provide information and documents, without a reasonable excuse, when required to do so under section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004, contrary to section 77(1) of that Act. Humphrey Smith is charged on the basis that the offence by the company was committed with his consent or connivance or by his neglect.

It follows a string of cases that has seen the regulator prosecute companies for breaching pensions legislation. Most recently it revealed that it will prosecute recruitment firm Workchain Ltd on the suspicion that directors and senior employers have illegally opted staff out of their pension scheme.

Birmingham-based Crest Healthcare and managing director Sheila Aluko also admitted recklessly providing false or misleading information to the regulator, and wilfully failing to comply with their automatic enrolment duties.

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