Brewery boss prosecuted over pensions investigation

The boss of one of Yorkshire’s biggest brewers, along with his company, is to be prosecuted by the UK’s Pensions Regulator (TPR) for failing to hand over financial information relating to an ongoing investigation into the company’s pension schemes.

On Tuesday, the TPR confirmed its intention to prosecute Samuel Smith Old Brewery in Tadcaster, along with its chairman, Humphrey Smith, for failing to provide details of the company’s finances iso that it could “understand the funding position of some of the brewery’s pension schemes”.

Samuel Smith operates some 200 pubs, with several in London including Holborn’s Princess Louise, Fleet Street’s Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese and the City’s George and Vulture.

According to a release issues by the TPR, the company failed to comply with a notice issued under section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004 on 12 January 2018, requiring that information and documents be provided by 26 January 2018.

Consequently, the company and Humphrey Smith 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”.

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