This update was first published in the March 2011 Ireland edition of Accounting and Business magazine.
The construction workers’ pension scheme (CWPS) is an occupational pension scheme approved by Revenue and registered with the Pensions Board. It was established pursuant to a registered employment agreement on construction industry pensions, assurance and sick pay, which is registered by the Labour Court and was concluded between employers and employee organisations operating in the construction industry. All employers operating in the construction industry are required to become a party to an approved contributory pension scheme to provide pension and death-in-service benefits to employees.
The Pensions Board has been taking action against employers who fail to comply with the scheme. In a recent case, prosecution summonses were withdrawn for one company, W.W. Electrical Ltd, and the company’s three directors, after the company presented a bank draft for the full amount of the employee and employer contributions and agreed to pay some of the costs of the Pensions Board.
In another case, in Waterford district court, sentencing was adjourned in order for pension contribution arrears to be paid in full by the defendants to the CWPS. The judge stated that, if full arrears were not paid, he would consider exercising the option of imposing a custodial sentence against the directors of the defendant company. There have been a number of other recent cases, many of which have been highlighted in the press.
Aidan Clifford, advisory services manager, ACCA