IRELAND - The Pensions Board has prosecuted a company director for failing to pay his employee's pension contributions into an industry pension scheme.
Bellisle Properties director Peter Stritch was fined €1,000 ($1,300) for each of the five charges of not making payments to the Construction Workers Pension Scheme (CWPS) and ordered to pay back the contributions within the next three months. Bellisle Properties is currently in liquidation.
Limerick Dristrict Court heard that the non-payment of pension contributions was deliberate and occurred during the construction boom period. Stritch had deducted pension contributions from the wages and salaries of its employees between October 2006 and December 2008 for remittance to the trustees of CWPS and failed to remit the pension contributions to the trustees within the statutory timeframe.
Giving evidence on behalf of the Pensions Board, head of regulation Mary Hutch said the Board had carried out a search of the company's premises on July 23rd 2009 after receiving complaints from employees.
It was estimated that pension contributions deducted from employees' wages and salaries but not remitted to the relevant scheme totalled €53,527.34. This meant employees working for the company were not covered for sick-pay benefits or death-in-service benefits between October 2006 and December 2008, Hutch added.
Pensions Board chief executive Brendan Kennedy said: "The conviction today should act as a warning to all employers and 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 contact the pension scheme to regularise their position."
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