Construction company director receives 18 month suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to breaches of the Pensions Act in the Circuit Court
Monday 16 December 2013: On Thursday 5 December 2013, in Naas Circuit Court, Judge Michael O’Shea convicted and imposed an 18 month prison sentence on Eugene O’Neill, director of Swift Structures Limited (In Liquidation) with a registered address at Straffan Road, Barberstown, Maynooth, Co. Kildare for failing to remit employee pension contributions to the trustee of the Construction Workers Pension Scheme (CWPS) within the statutory time limit. Eugene O Neill pleaded guilty to a number of counts on the indictment. The Judge suspended the entire sentence for a period of 18 months upon Eugene O’Neill entering into his own Bond in the sum of €200 to keep the peace for 18 months. A further term of the sentence being imposed was that the sum of €20,000 would be paid over to the trustee of CWPS.
Swift Structures Limited (In Liquidation) had deducted pension contributions from the wages and salaries of its employees between the months of July 2006 and August 2008 for remittance to the trustee of CWPS but had failed to remit the contributions to the trustee within the statutory time frame.
The case was originally taken by the Pensions Board but jurisdiction was refused in the District Court due to the amount of arrears owing to the scheme. The matter then proceeded on indictment in the Circuit Court with the DPP.
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:
Head of Operations
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 carry out investigations into alleged breaches of the Pensions Act and to ensure that trustees, employers, pension administrators and their advisers comply with their obligations 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 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.