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Secretive brewer Samuel Smith admits failing to co-operate with The Pensions Regulator

The secretive brewer Samuel Smith and its chairman Humphrey Smith have admitted to not handing over documents requested as part of an investigation by The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
An investigation into the Yorkshire-based brewer and pub owner began in 2015 to make sure it was earning enough money to support its final salary pension schemes.
But the TPR said the company failed to provide the information it requested by its deadline and so launched court proceedings.
Both the company and Mr Smith pleaded guilty at Brighton Magistrates’ Court to neglecting or refusing to provide information and documents without a reasonable excuse, in breach of section 77 (1) of the Pensions Act 2004.
Mr Smith was charged on the basis that he consented or connived in the offence by the company, or caused it by his neglect. The TPR said the information it initially requested had now been provided.
Secretive brewer Samuel Smith admits failing to co-operate with The Pensions Regulator

Samuel Smith keeps its prices down by selling its own-brand beer and spirits

Credit:
Adermark Media
The case, which was adjourned until June 6 for sentencing, is the sixth criminal conviction secured by TPR against people or organisations for failing to provide it with requested documentation.
 The TPR’s Nicola Parish said this was the “latest in a series of successful prosecutions by TPR for offences of this kind”.
"This sends a clear message to employers that we are serious when we ask for information,” she said.
“We require it for good reason as part of our work to protect pension savers. Anyone who does not co-operate with our requests also risks getting a criminal record.”
Pension auto-enrolment
TPR has the power to force pension schemes, employers and third parties to provide it with information it requests. Failure to respond to its demands for information is a criminal offence and can result in an unlimited fine.
Samuel Smith Old Brewery, which was founded in Tadcaster in 1758, has a vast array of registered businesses on Companies House meaning its sales and profits are not published under one entity.
The size of these businesses also mean that profit figures do not need to be disclosed.
The company prides itself on serving some of the cheapest beers in the country. It keeps costs down by only stocking own-brand drinks, including Walker and Scott’s vodka and rum and Scintilla soft drinks. It banned music more than a decade ago to avoid paying music copyright levies.
Samuel Smith Old Brewery did not respond to requests for comment.
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