Active retired couple

In June this year, a piece ran in the Irish Times with the headline “Pensions are boring, but they are still the best way to earn money tax free”. Susan O’Mara, Business Development Manager in CPAS examines if this is true.

Working in Pensions for nearly all of my adult life, I felt inclined to challenge that assumption. Are pensions really that boring?

I will agree that Pensions can seem needlessly complicated, and because they are a financial product, the regulatory framework around them, which is designed to protect consumers, is so prescribed and detailed that it can make pensions seem very off putting.

For example, the annual benefit statement, which is your annual pension update, can run to 14 pages of text, simply to outline how much you have contributed to your fund, how it has performed and what it is projected to be when you retire. As both a pension saver and a pension professional, I can see the logic of why so much of information is supplied, and also how off putting and potentially boring this can be.

But stick with me if you haven’t drifted off already…. Pensions are brilliant!

Pensions are the key to living a great life in retirement. The State does not provide enough for the fun stuff, and this is where pensions come to the rescue. A well-funded pension can ensure that you can afford to do the things that make you happy when you are no longer working.

Pensions are tax efficient – that may sound boring, but if you are paying tax at 40%, then every €100 invested into your pension costs you €60 – that, in ANY other scenario is exciting, €100 for €60… what a deal!

Pensions are long term savings accounts – that is where our friend compound interest comes in.  Albert Einstein (yes, him) said “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.” Compound interest is the interest earned on interest, or the gains made on gains. It’s how the rich are rich, how credit card companies make all their money, and it’s how the real magic happens in pensions.

The sums

If you contributed €100 per month for 30 years, your total investment would be €36,000 (pre-tax relief). Assuming a rate of 40% tax relief throughout those 30 years, your actual outlay would reduce to €21,600. After three decades, your value, assuming a conservative growth rate of 3%, would increase to €58,519. This remarkable outcome demonstrates the power of time, tax relief, and compound interest, turning €21,600 into an impressive €58,519. Surely, that isn’t boring!

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Construction workers silhouette

In the competitive world of construction, attracting and retaining skilled workers is essential for the success of any company. While a competitive salary is undoubtedly important, a comprehensive benefits package can be the differentiating factor that sets construction companies apart in the eyes of talented workers. In this article, Darragh Hogan from Milestone Advisory will explore how a well-designed benefits package, including provisions such as pensions, death in service benefits, income protection, private medical coverage, and wellbeing programs, play a crucial role in attracting and retaining a skilled and motivated construction workforce.

Pension Benefits

One of the most valued components of a benefits package is a pension scheme. Construction workers, like all employees, deserve financial security in their retirement years. By offering a pension plan, construction companies demonstrate their commitment to their employees’ long-term financial well-being. Contributions made to a pension scheme can be deducted from taxable income, providing a valuable tax advantage for workers. This benefit not only encourages saving for retirement, but also helps employees reduce their tax liability.

Death in Service Benefits

Construction work can be physically demanding and carries inherent risks. To address this, offering death in service benefits is a critical provision in a benefits package. Such benefits provide financial support to the dependents of employees in the unfortunate event of their death. By offering this protection, construction companies demonstrate their dedication to the well-being of their workers’ families, alleviating financial burdens during an already difficult time.

Sick Pay & Income Protection Benefits

Sick pay and income protection benefits offer financial security to employees who may be unable to work due to injury or illness. By providing income replacement during periods of incapacity, construction companies not only support their employees but also help maintain their morale and reduce financial stress.

Private Medical Coverage

Healthcare is a primary concern for employees across all industries, and the construction sector is no exception. A robust benefits package should include private medical coverage, ensuring that workers have access to timely and quality healthcare services. By offering this benefit, construction companies prioritise the well-being of their employees and demonstrate their commitment to their overall health and safety.

Wellbeing Programs

Mental and emotional well-being is an important aspect of any worker’s life, and construction employees are no exception. Wellbeing programs, such as stress management workshops, counselling services, and fitness initiatives, contribute to a positive work environment and foster a healthier work-life balance. By investing in these programs, construction companies promote the overall well-being of their workforce, leading to increased job satisfaction, lower turnover rates, and higher productivity levels.

A comprehensive benefits package is a critical component of attracting and retaining talented construction workers. In addition to a competitive salary, offering provisions such as pensions, death in service benefits, sick pay & income protection, private medical coverage, and wellbeing programs not only enhances employees’ financial security but also demonstrates a company’s commitment to their overall well-being. By prioritising the needs of their workforce, construction companies can build a strong foundation for success, attracting skilled workers, fostering loyalty, and creating a positive work environment that benefits both employees and the organisation as a whole.

Here to help you navigate your way to financial security

The Milestone Advisory team are qualified financial services consultants. We specialise in helping professionals in the construction sector and related industries. Our team will work with you to review your finances, explaining your options in clear English.

No jargon – just the facts.

For more information, contact Darragh Hogan (

*Milestone Advisory DAC t/a Milestone Advisory is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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 For the latest updates, subscribe to our newsletter here.