Construction workers march for pensions rights

CONSTRUCTION workers will today march on the offices of Social and Family Affairs Minister Seamus Brennan demanding an end to widespread non-compliance with the industry pension scheme.

SIPTU construction branch secretary Eric Fleming said Mr Brennan had failed to protect construction workers’ pensions, while many employers ignore the industry’s mandatory scheme.

The Construction Federation Operatives Pension Scheme (CFOPS) is the subject of an extensive Pensions Board review after revelations in the Irish Examiner last year that thousands of construction workers were being cheated out of pensions and sickness entitlements by employers.

Citing huge non-compliance by builders, Mr Fleming called for the immediate introduction of a collection system for pension contributions, instead of the current voluntarist system.

Despite a legal requirement to register and pay contributions, over 50,000 employers have evaded their responsibilities for years often leaving widows without death benefit payments.

SIPTU will today also call on the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) to impose strict sanctions on non-compliant firms.

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