A court sentence of three months imprisonment is suspended to allow construction company director discharge all outstanding pension contributions in a prosecution taken by The Pensions Board
Thursday 17 November 2011: In Arklow District Court on 16 November 2011, Judge Connellan imposed a sentence of three months imprisonment on Eftim Hurley, a director of Eftim Hurley Plant Hire Ltd. The sentence imposed on Eftim Hurley is suspended for 1 year on the basis that all outstanding pension contributions will be discharged by Eftim Hurley Plant Hire Ltd. on or before 1 December 2012.
Eftim Hurley Plant Hire Ltd., a limited liability company, pleaded guilty to ten offences of failing to remit employee pension contributions to the trustee of the Construction Workers Pension Scheme (CWPS) within the statutory time limit. The offences were committed with the consent or connivance or were attributable to the neglect of Eftim Hurley, as director of the company, Eftim Hurley Plant Hire Ltd. The company with a registered address at Clonpadden, Arklow, Co. Wicklow, was also fined €500 for non-remittance of employee pension contributions.
Eftim Hurley Plant Hire Ltd. had deducted pension contributions from the wages and salaries of its employees in the months of October 2009, November 2009, December 2009, January 2010, February 2010, March 2010, April 2010, May 2010, June 2010 and July 2010 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.
An appeal by Mr. Hurley on the severity of the sentence imposed was heard on 1 July 2014 in Wicklow Circuit Court sitting in Bray. Judge Gerard Griffin vacated the Order of the District Court regarding the term of imprisonment and imposed a €500 fine against Mr Hurley.
The Pensions Board supervises occupational pension schemes and monitors employers’ compliance with the legislation relating to the collection and remittance of pension contributions.
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.”
For further information:
Head of Information
The Pensions Board
Tel (01) 6131900
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.