IRELAND - A construction company has pleaded guilty to deducting pension contributions from its workers but failing to deposit the funds into the Construction Workers Pension Scheme (CWPS).
Wave Roofing and Cladding was fined €1,000 (US$1,455) for every one of the 31 charges by the Cork District Court after the firm was prosecuted by the Pensions Board, the country's pension regulator. The company will have 90 days to pay the total of €31,000.
Wave Roofing and Cladding director Gerard Walsh could also face 200 hours of community service or a four month custodial sentence, the Pensions Board said.
Wave Roofing and Cladding deducted sums from the wages and salaries of its employees between June 2006 and December 2008 for remittance to the trustees of CWPS and failed to remit the funds.
The Pensions Board chief executive Brendan Kennedy said: "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 contact the pension scheme to regularise their position."
Pension Board spokesman David Malone said several settlements were reached with construction companies, with the due contributions paid into the scheme.
He added prosecution was the last resort for the Pension Board after trying alternative ways of recouping the money. He also said there were still several cases of unpaid contributions to be settled.
Wave Roofing and Cladding could not be reached for comment.
The People's Pension, Atlas Master Trust and The Cheviot Trust have been granted authorisation from The Pensions Regulator (TPR), taking the total number of authorised master trusts to 18.
Pension schemes have been warned they may now face a more challenging legal test if they wish to fix drafting errors.
The Greene King Pension Scheme has appointed XPS Pensions as its actuarial and investment adviser following a competitive tender process.
Professional Pensions has compiled a list charting the progress of master trust authorisation. View our list in full here...