We are all aware that there continues to be a shortage of skilled labour in the construction sector and employers are finding it difficult to attract and retain staff.  Employers realise that to try to attract staff they need to be creative and have launched a number of different initiatives.  However, beyond these initiatives, prospective employees will always turn their attention to the benefits on offer when deciding whether to join a company.

We know that a competitive salary is important, but research tells us that it is not always the most important deciding factor for employees – a broader benefits package will often sway prospective employees when choosing a company.  Employers need to recognise the importance retirement savings play when putting together a good benefits package for employees.  Employees are becoming more informed about the need to save for their retirement and as well as having a salary figure in mind, they have an expectation around pension, life cover and ill health benefits when arrive for interviews.

Companies who do have pension plans in place for their employees need to regularly highlight the value in the benefits they are offering on a regular basis. They should ensure that their staff fully understand and appreciate what they have and what it means to them and their future.

For companies who do not have a pension plan in place CPAS provide pension solutions for all employees working in the construction sector, whether this is company directors, office staff, workers on site or self-employed individuals.

An important feature of our pension schemes is that they are “Master Trust” pension arrangement; these master trust arrangements offer economies of scale benefits as well as removing the burden for the employer to act as Trustee.

CWPS

The Construction Workers Pension Scheme (CWPS) offers employers the opportunity to comply with the terms of the Sectoral Employment Orders (SEOs) in place for specified workers in the industry. CWPS satisfies the conditions of the SEOs in relation to pensions, sick pay and death in service benefit.  Members of CWPS are not only saving for their retirement but are also covered for valuable benefits in the event of their death, injury or illness.

CERS

For individually designed pension arrangements with the particular needs of each employer in mind the Construction Executive Retirement Savings (CERS) is the answer. Benefit packages can be tailored to suit the needs of different staff.  It is quite common for companies to offer a basic package to new employees or junior level staff. However as employees remain loyal to an employer through longer service, or progress to more senior or managerial roles, the level of benefits can also increase.

CIRT

For self-employed individuals and employees with no pension provision in place, the Construction Industry Retirement Trust Scheme (CIRT) provides a flexible pension arrangement to meet their retirement planning needs.  CIRT is specifically designed to provide a tax-efficient way of saving for retirement.

As well as the valuable benefits to employees of providing them with a pension plan, another important financial consideration for companies is that tax relief is allowed for Corporation Tax purposes in the accounting period in which contributions are paid.  Contributions can include pension, life assurance and income protection costs.

If you are unsure how best to proceed in the world of pensions, our team at CPAS will be delighted to guide you. For further information please contact us at (01) 407 1400 or by email at info@cpas.ie.