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Samuel Smith Brewery: district judge teresa Szagun noted a need to stop individuals to taking an obstructive approach to TPR requests  

Samuel Smith, chairman fined £26,750 plus costs in Pensions Regulator case

Samuel Smith Brewery has been fined £18,750 and its chairman, Humphrey Smith, fined £8,000 for failing to hand over financial information to The Pensions Regulator, plus £1,240 costs.

Passing sentence at Brighton Magistrates Court on Monday, 30th July, district judge Teresa Szagun referred to the “very terse tone” of Humphrey Smith’s initial response to TPR’s request in which he described it as “tiresome.”

She added there was a need to stop individuals taking an obstructive approach and to give the public confidence that TPR can protect pensions.

Both the company and its chairman had pleaded guilty to the charges at a hearing on 15th May. Smith was charged on the basis that he “consented or connived” in the offence, or caused it by its neglect.

The Tadcaster-based brewer has since supplied the information, required to assess its ability to pay some 2,000 pensioners on its final salary scheme, but only after criminal proceedings commenced and three months past the deadline.

The case was only the sixth conviction for failure to comply with Section 72 of the 2004 Pensions Act, an offence that potentially carries an unlimited fine.

Phil Mellows
6th August 2018

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