Although the Construction Federation Operatives Pension Schemes (CFOPS) is mandatory, up to 50,000 workers are being denied their pension entitlements as companies fail to register and pay contributions for their employees.
Under the CFOPS scheme builders receive sickness benefits and their families are entitled to a mortality benefit of more than €60,000 in the case of a fatality.
However, an Irish Examiner investigation recently exposed numerous companies - including multi-national firms and Government contractors - that were responsible for seeing families lose out on mortality benefits because they had not paid contributions.
In a bid to clamp down on non-compliance the Pensions Board has written to 400 non-compliant companies while Pensions Ombudsman Paul Kenny has also pledged an investigation.
SIPTU’s Dublin construction branch secretary, Eric Fleming said the union would have no hesitation in taking action against construction firms who persisted in defaulting.