Samuel Smith Brewery was fined £18,750 at Brighton Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Monday 30 July 2018).
The brewery’s chairman Humphrey Smith received a fine of £8,000.
There was also a shared fine of £1,240 in costs and victim surcharges.
The Tadcaster-based company, which was founded in 1758, caught the attention of The Pensions Regulator after missing a deadline at the start of the year.
It was supposed to provide information about its ability to financially support its pension schemes by 26 January, yet failed.
Both the chain and its owner pleaded guilty to neglecting or refusing to provide information and documents without a reasonable excuse, as per the Pensions Act 2004.
The company, which manages about 200 pubs around the UK, did provide the appropriate information but not until months after the deadline had passed when criminal proceedings were already under way.
Nicola Parish, of the The Pensions Regulator said: “Mr Smith and the brewery could have avoided this fine and a criminal conviction by simply complying with our notice requiring the information to be provided.
“Our ability to request information is a necessary part of our regulatory toolkit and we take it very seriously when parties do not co-operate with us.
“People who ignore our notices asking them to provide information should expect us to launch a criminal prosecution.
“As Mr Smith has discovered, becoming compliant with our requests after a court summons has been served will not halt criminal proceedings.”