Skilled staff shortages have been widely publicised by the CIF and industry leaders over the years. More recently, the CIF launched “Careers in Construction” to raise the profile of roles within the industry. This ongoing shortage appears to be affecting every company – large and small – across construction and related sectors. 

It is particularly acute in the areas of skilled workers. Construction companies are in competition with one another to attract a limited pool of skilled staff. A competitive salary and career prospects play a part in staff attraction and retention, but it is not always the deciding factor. A broader benefits package can sway a prospective candidate. This might include health, life and sickness cover and pension provision. Many skilled individuals are looking towards their future and want to ensure they are covered for all eventualities. The desire for a pension contribution along with other benefits may appear during the interview process, in addition to the usual salary negotiations.

Why are pensions such a hot topic?

There is a real possibility we will not be able to rely on the State Pension in the future due to an aging population among other elements (which the IAPF explained here). This is where the ‘Second Pillar’ or occupational pension can be used as a benefit to attract skilled employees. As an employer, you can help your employees prepare for retirement and develop this as an incentive to attract and retain employees.

What is included in a benefits package?

Along with salary, an occupational pension scheme can be provided as an option, into which an employer and employee contribute. Schemes can be designed to provide similar contributions for all staff, or to reward experienced staff. Schemes can be designed to suit the needs of the company and the individual. One scheme does not necessarily have to have the same rates for all employees. In addition (more often than not), there will be life insurance, also known as death benefit or death in service. This pays out a lump sum to the dependants of an employee on their death while an employee of the company. Once again, there are varying levels of cover and you can arrange different levels of cover, for different categories of staff.

When it comes to offering health insurance, there is a plethora of corporate cover options. These provide tradition health insurance blended with employee assistance programmes and employee wellness programmes. There is another benefit often worthy of consideration – income protection. This cover protects a staff member should they find themselves unable to work due to illness or injury. This is not in place to cover medical bills (health insurance should cover this), but will cover the everyday expenses such as mortgage, utility, and other important payments. Income protection provides real peace of mind for employees. Furthermore, it is about 60% cheaper for an employer to provide this benefit under an employer sponsored arrangement than for an employee to buy an individual policy directly from and insurance company. Thereby offering another layer to the benefits package.

A fit-for-Purpose Package

Having a benefits package in place is a good starting point, but is it fit for purpose? Does it suit the demographic of your workforce? A single 25 year old might be less interested in life assurance than a 40 year old with a young family. However, the idea of an income protection policy might appeal to them. Simply put, income protection is a policy insuring a portion of the employees’ income, so they will be covered in the event of a loss of earnings due to illness or injury.

Once an employee joins your company the onboarding experience often focuses on the tasks at hand (quite rightly). But it does help to highlight the benefits of pension and cover as a reminder of the excellent benefits package they receive through their employment with your company. This is an educational piece that CPAS offers for Members – both onsite and virtually.  To find out more, please get in touch with us via email (

When it comes to cover and pensions, our team of consultants and financial advisers are on hand to help. We can help you and your team navigate through the multiple options available and highlight the existing benefits to saving for retirement – such as tax breaks. Tax breaks are available to employees making pension contributions (e.g. Additional Voluntary Contributions), but they are also available for companies. Employer contributions receive corporation tax relief as they are offset against profits before tax. Furthermore, the costs associated with setting up a pension scheme can be onerous for even the largest of organisations but joining Schemes such as CERS and CWPS (administered by CPAS), ensures optimal coverage at a low cost to both employer and employee.

CPAS – The Pension Provider for the Construction Sector

Planning for the Future

As in life, there are many variables and changes. Planning for retirement and protecting your financial future involves forming expectations about income and expenses over the rest of your life, based on present assumptions. As the pension administrator for pension schemes in the construction industry, we have a range of solutions to help you prepare and protect your future investments. Whether you are self-employed, running a large company with multiple staff requirements, looking for life and income protection, we can help.

For more information and to find the right solution for you, contact our team for a no obligation discussion. Our team of financial specialists will put you in touch with the right team member. No obligations, no hidden fees, no jargon – just a straight forward chat to help you secure your present and your future.

Contact us via email ( or by phone (01) 223 4949