240 hours community service sentence imposed on construction company director in a prosecution taken by The Pensions Board

15 March 2012: In Navan District Court, yesterday 14 March 2012, Judge McMahon imposed a sentence of 240 hours community service on Sharon Finnegan, a director of Sharon Finnegan Design & Construction Ltd. (In Voluntary Liquidation). Sharon Finnegan pleaded guilty to eighteen offences relating to failure to remit employee pension contributions to the trustee of the Construction Workers Pension Scheme (CWPS) within the statutory time limit. These offences were committed with the consent or connivance or were attributable to the neglect of Sharon Finnegan, as director of the company, Sharon Finnegan Design & Construction Ltd. (In Voluntary Liquidation).

Sharon Finnegan Design & Construction Ltd. (In Voluntary Liquidation) had deducted pension contributions from the wages and salaries of its employees in each of the eighteen months from January 2008 to June 2009 inclusive, for remittance to the trustee of CWPS but had failed to remit the contributions to the trustee within the statutory time frame. This meant that employees working for that company were not covered for pension benefits, sick pay benefits or death in service benefits for those months.

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. We advise any employer with outstanding pension contributions to immediately contact the pension scheme to regularise their position.”


For further information, contact:

David Malone
Head of Information
The Pensions Board
Tel: (01) 613 1900

Note to Editors

The Pensions Board

The Pensions Board is the statutory body established by The Pensions Act 1990 to regulate occupational pension schemes, trust based RACs and Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs) and to advise the Minister for Social Protection on overall pension policy development. See www.pensionsboard.ie

Under the Act, the Board has power to investigate the state and conduct of Irish pension schemes, and to ensure that trustees, employers, pension administrators and their advisers comply with the obligations they owe to current and former employees in relation to their pension contributions and benefits.

The Board’s powers allow it to conduct on-site visits without notice, seize and copy relevant documents, enter dwellings on foot of a warrant, and to prosecute and or sue any person that contravenes the provisions of the Act.

The Construction Workers Pension Scheme (CWPS)

CWPS is an occupational pension scheme approved by the Revenue Commissioners and registered with The Pensions Board.  It was established pursuant to a Registered Employment Agreement (“REA”) 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.

Under the REA, 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. These obligations are discharged by deducting pension contributions from their employees and remitting them to CWPS or another appropriate scheme.