Construction company directors receive two year suspended prison sentences after pleading guilty to breaches of the Pensions Act.
Friday, 1 August 2014: In Wicklow Circuit Court, sitting in Bray, on Thursday 31 July 2014, Judge Michael O’Shea convicted and imposed a two year prison sentence on the directors of S.M. Morris Limited with a registered address at Bromley, Kilpedder, Co. Wicklow for failing to remit employee pension contributions to the trustee of the Construction Workers Pension Scheme (CWPS) within the statutory time limit. Stephen Morris and Thomas Morris pleaded guilty to a number of counts on the indictment. The Judge suspended the entire sentence for a period of two years upon each director entering into a Bond.
S.M. Morris Limited had deducted pension contributions from the wages and salaries of its employees between the months of February 2010 and August 2011 for remittance to the trustee of CWPS but had failed to remit the contributions to the trustee within the statutory time frame contrary to section 58A(1) of the Pensions Act, 1990, as amended.
The case was originally taken by the Pensions Authority in the District Court but jurisdiction was refused due to the amount of arrears owing to the scheme. The matter then proceeded on indictment in the Circuit Court.
Commenting on the conviction in this case, the Pensions Regulator, Brendan Kennedy, said, “This conviction should act as a warning to all employers and company directors that The Pensions Authority 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:
Assistant Head of Operations and Communications
The Pensions Authority
Tel (01) 6131900
Note to Editors
The Pensions Authority
The Pensions Authority 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.pensionsauthority.ie
Under the Act, the Authority 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 Authority’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.