Construction company and director convicted for non remittance of pension contributions and failing to comply with a statutory request made by The Pensions Board
Tuesday 28 June 2011: In Richmond District Court on Tuesday 28 June 2011, Judge Victor Blake imposed a fine on Diarmuid O’Kane, a director of D O’Kane Excavations Limited, of €6,500 with 8 months to pay in relation to failing to remit pension contributions to the Construction Workers Pension Scheme (CWPS) for periods between October 2008 and May 2009. D O’Kane Excavations Limited was also convicted and fined a sum of €3,000 in respect of the same offences before the court, with 8 months to pay.
Diarmuid O’Kane, is a director of D O’Kane Excavations Limited a company which had deducted pension contributions from the wages and salaries of its employees between October 2008 and May 2009 for remittance to the trustees of CWPS and failed to remit the pension contributions to the trustees within the statutory timeframe. D. O’Kane Excavations Ltd. was also convicted of the same offences.
This meant that employees working for the company were not covered for pension benefits, sick-pay benefits or death-in-service benefits between October 2008 and May 2009. The offences of the company were committed with the consent or connivance of or attributable to neglect on the part of Diarmuid O’Kane, as director of D O’Kane Excavations Limited, contrary to the provisions of Section 58A(1) and Section 3 of the Pensions Act, 1990, as amended.
Diarmuid and Sandra O’Kane of Ausland House, The Ward, Co. Dublin who are directors of D O’Kane Excavations Limited, were convicted of failing to comply with a statutory request made by The Pensions Board pursuant to Section 18 of the Pensions Act 1990, as amended, to furnish certain information and documentation detailing deductions made from employees wages for pension scheme contributions to The Pensions Board within a specified timeframe. Diarmuid O’Kane was fined €3,000 by the Court with 8 months to pay and Sandra O’Kane was fined €2,000 with 8 months to pay in relation to failing to comply with this statutory request.
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, “The conviction today 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 contact the pension scheme to regularise their position.”
For further information:
Head of Information
The Pensions Board
Tel (01) 6131900/ 087 6857743
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.