Bench warrant issued for arrest of construction company director on foot of Pensions Board prosecution
Wednesday 24 September 2008: The Pensions Board brought a prosecution against Limestone Construction Limited, a company incorporated in Ireland and with a registered address at 2 Kilreesk Lane, St Margarets, Co Dublin. The Board also prosecuted Colm McNulty, a director of the Limestone Construction Limited, who also gives his home address as 2 Kilreesk Lane. The case was heard by Judge David McHugh in the Dublin District Court, Court 49, Dolphin House, East Essex Street, Dublin 2
Limestone is charged with failing to remit the contributions it deducted from the wages and salaries of employees to the Construction Workers Pension Scheme (CWPS). Mr McNulty is, as a director or a manager of the company, charged with consenting to, conniving in, or neglect in the commission of the offences by Limestone.
The Defendants did not appear and were not represented in court. The Court issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Mr McNulty. The Court concluded that the Board had properly served the summonses on the Defendants.
Commenting on the case, Brendan Kennedy, Chief Executive of The Pensions Board, said: “The importance of the judgment today cannot be underestimated. Failure to pay contributions to a scheme jeopardises the future retirement income of members and their dependants and that is a situation that will not be tolerated by the Board. The Board in the first instance will try to secure compliance with the Pensions Act on a voluntary basis. Where this does not happen, the Board will not hesitate to pursue any party who takes money out of the pay packet of any worker and fails to remit that money to a pension scheme on their behalf.”
Please see Fact Sheet below.
For further information:
Head of Information Services
The Pensions Board Tel (01) 613 1900
Q4 Public Relations Tel (01) 475 1444/ 087- 2371838
1. The District Court Proceedings
The Pensions Board is responsible for the monitoring and supervision of the Pensions Act,1990 ("the Act”). This legislation governs occupational pension schemes, trust based RACs and PRSAs (Personal Retirement Savings Accounts) and requires trustees, employers and administrators to manage schemes and PRSAs in accordance with the Act and regulations made under it.
Under Section 3 of the Act it is an offence to contravene any provision of the Act. The Board has the power to prosecute trustees and employers for contraventions of the Act before the District Court.
The Pensions Board brought a prosecution against Limestone Construction Limited, a company incorporated in Ireland and with a registered address at 2 Kilreesk Lane, St Margarets, Co Dublin. The Board is also prosecuting Colm McNulty, a director of the Limestone Construction Limited, who also gives his home address as 2 Kilreesk Lane.
There are fifteen charges against each of the Defendants. Each charge alleges that for a given month, between June 2006 and September 2007 pension contributions were deducted from the wages of employees but were not remitted to the Construction Workers Pension Scheme – a scheme set up by the construction industry. According to Section 58A(1) of the Act, contributions that are deducted from wages must be remitted to a scheme within a fixed time. This requirement applies to all employers.
Limestone is charged with failing to remit the contributions it deducted from the wages and salaries of employees to the Construction Workers Pension Scheme. Mr McNulty is, as a director or a manager of the company, charged with consenting to, conniving in, or neglect in the commission of the offences by Limestone.
The maximum penalty on conviction in the District Court is one year’s imprisonment or a fine of EUR 5,000 or both.
2. Today’s hearing
The Defendants did not appear and were not represented. The Court issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Mr McNulty. A bench warrant is issued at the discretion of the court when a person fails to appear in response to a summons. The Court concluded that the Board had properly served the summons on the Defendants.
3. 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 and Family Affairs, and through him, the Government, 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.
4. Limestone Construction Ltd (“Limestone”)
Limestone Construction Ltd (“Limestone”) is the defendant in proceedings brought by the Board in the District Court. Its registered office is at 2 Kilreesk Lane, St Margaret’s, Co. Dublin. According to the Companies Registration Office its directors are Colm McNulty and Martina McNulty.
5. 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.