In a case taken by the Pensions Board in Wexford District Court, on Monday 26 September 2011, Judge Coughlan imposed a custodial sentence of five months imprisonment on two company directors in relation to failing to remit pension contributions to the Construction Workers Pension Scheme (CWPS) for the period between November 2008 and December 2009. Both directors were also fined €4,000 with five months to pay. The company itself was also convicted and fined €4,000 with five months to pay. Legal costs of €3,200 were also awarded.
The two are directors of a company which had deducted pension contributions from the wages and salaries of its employees between November 2008 and December 2009 for remittance to the trustees of CWPS and failed to remit the pension contributions to the trustees within the statutory timeframe under the Pensions Act. The pension deductions for that period amounted to €11,781.51. The Pensions Board carried out an on-site investigation at the company’s premises in this case.
The Judge found that the offences of the company were committed with the consent or connivance of or attributable to neglect on the part of the two as directors of the company, contrary to the provisions of Section 58A(1) and Section 3 of the Pensions Act, 1990, as amended.
Commenting on the conviction in this case, the Chief Executive of The Pensions Board, Mr Brendan Kennedy, said, “This conviction should act as a warning to all employers and company directors that The Pensions Board treats the failure of the employer to remit pension contributions to the trustees of the pension scheme as a very serious offence. The Board is currently preparing prosecutions of a number of other employers and directors. We advise any employer with outstanding pension contributions to immediately contact the pension scheme to regularise their position.”
The Pensions Board supervises occupational pension schemes and monitors employers’ compliance with the legislation relating to the collection and remittance of pension contributions.