IRELAND - Dublin County Court has issued a warrant for the arrest of a director at Limestone Construction in Ireland after he failed to turn up at court when summoned for the non-payment of missing pension assets.

The Pension Board prosecuted and won a criminal case against Limestone Construction Ltd in April for failing to pay the €80,000 in contributions the firm took from employees' pay packets between June 2006 and September 2007 to be paid into the industry-wide Construction Workers Pension Scheme (CWPS).

Since then Limestone the money has failed to materialise so a summons was issued by the court forcing Colm McNulty - listed as managing director of Limestone Construction on the company's website - to appear before Judge David McHugh yesterday.

When he nor representatives failed to appear a bench warrant was issued for his arrest as the courts decreed the summonses had been properly served on the defendants.

If the funds are still not repaid McNulty could face a €5,000 fine and/or up to one year in prison, under the terms of the Pensions Act 1990.

"The importance of the judgment cannot be underestimated," said Brendan Kennedy, chief executive of Pension Board.

"Failure to pay contributions to a scheme jeopardises the future retirement income of members and their dependants and that is a situation that will not be tolerated by the Board. The Board in the first instance will try to secure compliance with the Pensions Act on a voluntary basis. Where this does not happen, the Board will not hesitate to pursue any party who takes money out of the pay packet of any worker and fails to remit that money to a pension scheme on their behalf," he added.

This criminal case follows an earlier civil trial finding against Limestone Construction stating it had failed to pay pension contribution arrears amouting to €186,825 for that same period. (See earlier IPE story: Firm fined for PRSA non-compliance)

The warrant was issued on the same day as the Pensions Board won a prosecution against Dublin-based Secure Facility Services Ltd for failing to comply with its requests for information regarding Penstion Retirement Savings Account (PRSA) obligations as an employer.

Judge McHugh issued a €500 fine against Secure with three months to pay and ordered the company to pay the Pension Board's costs of €1000.

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