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FAQ

Click on the links below to be brought to a specific section

Scheme Benefits in General
Sick Pay Benefits
Retirement Benefit
Member's Questions
Letter of Compliance
Employer Registration
Online Payment System (OPS)
Electronic Payment Collection


Scheme Benefits In General

Can I get a refund of my pension contributions?

Under the rules of the Scheme a refund of pension contributions is not permitteed. Your Pension Account can only be used to provide benefits to you on retirement or earlier to your next of kin in the event of your death. If you leave the industry and start contributing to another approved pension scheme, you can ask for the value of your Pension Account to be transferred to your new pension scheme.

 At what age can I claim my pension?

Under the Scheme rules normal retirement age is 65, however, once you reach age 60 and if you are no longer employed by an employer who is paying pension contributions to CWPS for you, you may claim your benefit if you wish.

Do I have to claim my pension at age 65 or can I continue to work?

Under the Scheme rules normal retirement age is 65, however you do not have to claim your benefit from the Scheme at age 65. If you continue working past age 65, you and your employer may continue to contribute to CWPS with your employer’s agreement. Pension, Death in Service and Sick Pay contribution will apply only up to age 66. However, after age 66, a pension only contribution is payable as members will not be covered for Sick Pay benefit or Death in Service benefit after that age. No further contributions to the scheme will be accepted after age 70.

Can I claim my pension if I have to retire due to ill health?

If you are or have ever  been a member of CWPS, you may be able to claim your retirement benefit early through ill-health early retirement. Applications for ill health must be submitted to the Scheme along with medical evidence of your medical condition from your doctor or consultant.  The medical evidence must confirm that you will never be able to return to work in your role in the construction industry.

What happens if I die while I am still paying into CWPS?

Under the rules of the Scheme, if you are a member of CWPS and currently contributing to CWPS at the time of your death, a Death in Service benefit of €100,000 plus €3,175 for each dependant child is payable to your next of kin. A full refund of the value of your pension account is also payable wit this benefit. 

What happens if I die when I am no longer paying into CWPS?

If you have ever  been a member of CWPS and your pension account is still invested with CWPS, a refund of the value of your retirement fund is payable to your next of kin in the event of your death.

Who are the benefits payable to if I die before retirement? Can I nominate a beneficiary?

If you have ever  been a member of CWPS and your pension account is still invested with CWPS, The Trustee will pay the benefits due to your next of kin in the event of your death. If you would like to nominate a beneficiary please complete and return an Expression of Wish Form available in our Forms/Booklets section. The Trustee will take this into account in the event of death before retirement. 

What happens to my pension benefit if I separate or get divorced?

When a couple divorce or legally separate, pension scheme benefits may be included as part of the couples assets in the separation or divorce settlement. What actually happens to their pension benefits will depend on how the total assets of the marriage are split as part of the legal settlement. You should seek advice from your legal representative.

Can I pay extra into the Scheme?

Yes. If you are still a contributing member of the scheme you can pay extra contributions into your pension by paying Additional Voluntary Contributions, (AVCs). AVCs are a tax efficient way of saving for your retirement. For more information please refer to the "Increasing your Pension" section of this website where you will also find the AVC Application Form and booklet.

Can I cash in my Pension fund when I retire?

Under the rules of the scheme you are entitled to take 25% of your CWPS pension  fund as a tax free lump sum. The balance must be used to purchase a pension, however the Revenue Commissioners will allow you an option to take the balance as a taxable lump sum if the balance is under €20,000. Other pension arrangements you may have (excluding the state pension) must be taken into account for this option to be considered. If you paid additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) to the Scheme you may be able to take all of them tax free, depending on the number of years in service and your final salary subject to Revenue restrictions.

Sick Pay Benefit

How do I claim Sick Pay?

If you are currently paying contributions to CWPS and want to claim Sick Pay benefit,  both you and your employer will need to complete a ‘Claim for standard sick pay benefit’ form (SP1). Your completed from must be returned to the Scheme together with medical evidence, such as a Medical Certificate, letter from the doctor or hospital, or copies of your Social Welfare Certificates. Medical evidence must cover the period for which you are claiming sick pay benefit. Notes to help you complete the SP1 form are set out on the back of the form itself.

How much Sick Pay benefit will I get?

The current rate of sick pay benefit is €38.11 per day paid on a 5 day week basis (€190.55 per week). The first 3 days of any period of illness are not covered. Sick Pay benefit is paid for a maximum of 50 working days per calendar year. If your illness continues, the sick pay benefit will be paid for 2 consecutive years (i.e. 100 days in total). 

What happens when I send in my SP1 claim form?

Once everything is in order we will process your Sick Pay claim and send your benefit payment to your bank account. We will then send your employer a ‘Claim for continued sick pay benefit’ (an SP2 form) which they must complete and sent back to us with further medical evidence of your illness. Continuous payments will be sent to you once continuous forms and medical evidence is received.

Does my employer have to return the SP2 to the Scheme every week for my payment to continue?

Yes, if you are out sick for a continuous period, the SP2 must be returned to the Scheme each week so you can continue to receive weekly payments.

I sent a medical cert up to the end of the month. Why have I only been paid for 1 week?

Sick pay benefit is a paid on a weekly basis and members are paid up to the date their employer signs the SP2 form confirming that they have not returned to work. Your medical evidence will be held on file and further payments will be paid when further SP2 forms is received from your employer.

I was out sick during the builders’ holiday period. Can I claim benefit for this?

Benefit is not payable during industry holiday periods, however, the Scheme may pay Sick Pay benefit if your employer was open for business and work was available to you during that period. We will need a letter from your employer to confirm this.

Is sick pay benefit paid for weekends or Public holidays?

Sick Pay benefit is not payable during weekends or Public holidays.

Can I claim illness benefit from Social Protection as well as sick pay benefit from the Scheme?

The Sick Pay benefit that you claim from CWPS will not effect your entitlement to claim for any benefit that may be due to you from the department of Social Protection.  If you are not entitled to Social Protection Illness Benefit but have 13 CWPS contributions paid to your CWPS account, then you may be entitled to claim an additional benefit from CWPS. The additional benefit  is equal to the current Social Protection Disability Benefit and is paid from CWPS in addition to the standard Sick Pay benefit explained in the ‘Sick Pay Benefit Rates’, leaflet.

Do I still need to make contributions if I am claiming sick pay?

If you are not working due to illness or injury, you will not be in receipt of wages from your employer so therefore no pension contributions will be due to be paid to the Scheme for you.

Retirement Benefit

What benefits can I receive at retirement?

When you reach retirement age of 65 your CWPS pension account will be used to provide your benefits. You can tailor your benefits to what best suits you and your family (within certain limits). Before you decide, you may want to get independent financial advice to help you make the right decision for your circumstances.  The benefits you can choose from include: * A pension payable for life * A lump sum (currently paid tax-free) in addition to a pension payable for life * A pension for your spouse on your death * Increases to your pension each year. If you are married and still living with your spouse, you must select a pension which will provide a spouse’s pension on your death of 50% of your own pension.

How much will my pension be?

The exact amount of your benefit from CWPS cannot be guaranteed in advance, as it depends on a number of factors: * How much money you have built up in your retirement account: this will depend on the amount of contributions paid in by you and your employer and the investment returns. * the rate for converting your retirement account into an annual amount of pension – known as the ‘pension conversion rate’ which based on interest rates and  actuarial factors, and will vary depending on the type of pension you choose.  * Your age at retirement: the younger you are when you retire, the more expensive your pension will be to provide. This is because it is being potentially paid for longer.

How much cash can I take at retirement?

Under the rules of the scheme you are entitled to take 25% of your CWPS pension  fund as a tax free lump sum. The balance must be used to purchase a pension, however the Revenue Commissioners will allow you an option to take the balance as a taxable lump sum if the balance is under €20,000. Other pension arrangements you may have (excluding the state pension) must be taken into account for this option to be considered. If you paid additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) to the Scheme you may be able to take all of them tax free, depending on the number of years in service and your final salary subject to Revenue restrictions.

Who provides my benefits?

At retirement, your pension benefits will be provided by the Scheme. The Trustee will then be responsible for paying your pension each month.

How do I claim my retirement benefits?

The Scheme will contact you three months before your 65th birthday with details regarding your benefit and how to claim. It is important to keep the Scheme informed of your current personal details so we can keep in touch with you.

What if the Scheme do not  have my date of birth or home address on file?

It is very important that you keep the Trustee and the administration team advised of your current address and contact details as the Trustee can only correspond with your last known address on its records.

How long will it take to process my claim?

Once all the necessary forms and documents are signed and returned to CWPS there will be no delay in making payments.  Your 25% once off tax free lump sum should be paid within a week. Once this payment is made, the monthly pension will be processed separately through the monthly payroll on the first week of each month.

Why do I pay tax on my pension?

Under Revenue rules all pensions are classed as taxable income.

Do I need to do anything about my tax?

Yes, if you have chosen to receive a monthly pension you will need to contact your local tax office and apply for a Certificate of tax credits and standard rate cut off point, naming CWPS as your employer, otherwise we will continue to tax you at the emergency tax rate. If you have chosen to receive a once off taxable lump sum this amount will be taxed at the emergency rate of deductions and a P45, detailing the amount of tax deducted, will be forwarded to you with your cheque. You can then claim back any tax you may be due directly from your local tax office. Further details regarding this process will be forwarded to you at the time of payment.

Can my monthly pension be paid into my back account directly?

Yes, you will be asked for your  bank details at the time you claim your benefit and all payments will be made to your bank account.

Member's Questions

I’m no longer contributing to the scheme can I get a refund of my pension contributions?

No. A refund of contributions is not available to you under the rules of the scheme. Your retirement account can only be used to provide benefits on retirement or earlier death. If you are contributing to another pension scheme you can ask for the value of your retirement account to be transferred to your other pension scheme.

What will happen to my money if I’m no longer contributing to the scheme?

You can leave your retirement account invested in the scheme until you retire.  If you start contributing to another pension scheme you can ask for the value of your account to be transferred to your new pension Scheme.

Can I continue to pay into the Scheme even if I am no longer working?

No, It is only possible to pay contributions to the scheme when you are employed by an employer who is registered in the scheme.

I am now self-employed can I pay into CWPS?

Unfortunately not, Revenue rules do not allow self employed people to pay into an occupational pension scheme. However, there is a Construction Industry Retirement Trust Scheme that is designed for self employed construction workers or not self-employed but in non-pensionable employment within the construction industry click here for more information.

My employer is making deductions from my wages for pension. How can I check that he is paying it in to CWPS?

You can access your contribution history through the member section of our website. Please click here for details. Alternatively you can contact the scheme on 01 -4977663.

What do I do if there are contributions missing from my record?

If you worked with an employer in the Construction/Electrical Industry and pension contributions were deducted from your salary and these contributions are not shown on your membership record you should let us know. We will follow up on any contributions which were deducted and not paid to the Scheme by our participating employers. However, we will need evidence of deduction of contributions before we can report the matter to the relative governing bodies. You will need to send us the following: * Your name, address and member ID number * Name and address of Employer  * Details of periods of Employment which are not shown on your membership record and for which pension deductions were made.  * Copies of Payslips for some or all of the periods which clearly shows the name of the employer and pension deductions.

Letters of Compliance

Can I get a general Letter of Compliance?

No, a Letter of Compliance can only be issued in respect of a particular named contract or client.

Can I request a Letter of Compliance for a Trade Union?

No, CWPS does not issue any Letters of Compliance for Trade Unions.

How do I request a Letter of Compliance?

Contact our dedicated LOC department to request a Letter of Compliance by phone 01-4071437 or email loc@cwps.ie and have your Employer ID ready. 

What do I need to do to get a Letter of Compliance?

All pension contributions due to CWPS must be paid up to date for all your registered employees in accordance with the Scheme rules. This means that the previous month’s pension contributions must be paid by the 21st day of the following month. Evidence of compliance for the previous tax year in the form of an Auditor/Accountant's letter should be provided to CWPS at the start of each year to avoid delays when issuing a Letter of Compliance. The name of the project, public body/contract or client must be supplied to CWPS at the time of your LOC request. 

I am a newly registered employer with CWPS, how can I get a Letter of Compliance?

If the firm is registering in CWPS, a Letter of Compliance can be obtained on registration once the registration is approved by the manager and an advance non-refundable payment of 13 weeks contributions for each member is made to CWPS. The 13 weeks advance payment will be effective from date of joining CWPS and is payable via electronic banking or bank draft. These payment methods are the only acceptable methods of making this advance payment.

Can I get a Letter of Compliance if I do not have any employees?

Yes, but only under certain conditions. Please see our full Policy Document on 'CWPS for Employers/Letter of Compliance' section for further details.

Can I get a Letter of Compliance for previous years?

No. We cannot issue Letters of Compliance for previous years as all Letters of Compliance issued are dated at the time of issue.

How will I receive my Letter of Compliance?

We can issue Letters of Compliance by e-mail if an email address has been received and/or by post. The e-mailed version of the Letter of Compliance is a PDF version which cannot be printed off however it can be forwarded to the relevant person(s) requesting it. The Letter of Compliance issued by post will contain a hologram and for this reason it cannot be copied. Under no circumstances will Letters of Compliance be faxed to employers.

How long does it take to get a Letter of Compliance?

The official turnaround time is 3 working days from date of request to date of issue, however we aim to issue Letters of Compliance as soon as possible to employers who meet the required criteria. We also make every effort to contact employers who do not meet the required criteria within 3 working days to resolve any outstanding issues. Please contact the Compliance team as early as possible with your request so we can deal with it in a timely fashion.

Employer Registration

What do I need to do to register my firm in CWPS?

You need to fill in the following registration forms and send them back to us - Employer Registration Form, Deed of Adherence & New Member Registration Form. You can download a copy of these forms from our website or you can contact us and we will send them out by post or email.

I’m registering a Limited Company where do I need to sign on the Deed of Adherence?

You need to fill in the front of the Deed and sign part 1 and put an imprint of your company seal in the box on the back.

What if I don’t have a company seal?

If you do not have a seal, you can send a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation which will suffice.

I’m a sole trader where do I need to sign on the Deed of Adherence?

You need to fill in the front of the Deed and you, and any partner need to sign part 2 on the back.

I’m a sole trader but have no employees apart from myself, can I still register in CWPS?

No. If you are a sole trader you cannot register as a member of CWPS or any other Occupational Pension Scheme (OPS) as you are a self-employed individual, who is taxed under Schedule D. You can pay to a Personal Pension/Stakeholder plan for yourself. However, if you have employees in the future who are assessed for tax under Schedule E, you can register these employees in CWPS. These contributions are allowed against your personal tax bill, in the same way as other business expenses are allowed.

What date do I register in CWPS?

CWPS will accept registration from the date you put on the registration forms.  However, you should be aware that liability for any unpaid periods in respect of pension contributions deducted  for any employee(s) will remain with you as their employer.

When should I register my employees?

If you are registering new employees in the Scheme you should do so within two weeks of the date they start work for you to make sure that they are covered for death in service and sick pay benefit.

When I send in the registration forms what happens next?

Once we receive your registration forms we will send you a Certificate of Registration, an  employer’s manual called “Your Pension Toolkit”, and a copy of the members’ booklet called “A step by step guide to your benefits”.

When do I have to send in the pension contributions?

In the first week of each month we will send you a pension payment schedule showing the contributions due for your employees up to the last Friday in the previous month. To comply with the Pension Act, 1990 as amended  you must return this pension payment schedule with any changes, and your payment to us by the 21st of that month, i.e. return contributions for January on or before 21st of February.

I’ve just registered in CWPS, how do I get a Letter of Compliance?

If the firm is registering in CWPS, a Letter of Compliance can be obtained on registration once the registration is approved by the manager and an advance non-refundable payment of 13 weeks contributions for each member is made to CWPS. The 13 weeks advance payment will be effective from date of joining CWPS and is payable via electronic banking or bank draft. These payment methods are the only acceptable methods of making this advance payment.

Is there any Tax or PRSI relief on the contribution?

There is PAYE relief on the employee portion of the Pension and Death in Service Benefit part of the contribution only. This amount should be deducted from the gross pay before the tax is calculated. All other deductions i.e. Sick Pay, Health Trust etc. are net deductions and should be deducted after tax is calculated.  From January 2010 there is no PRSI relief on the employee portion of Pension and Death in Service contributions.

Is there any tax relief for the employer?

Yes. For a Limited Company, the employer portion of the Pension and Death in Service contribution can be claimed against Corporation Tax at the end of each financial year. For a Sole Trader this can be claimed against personal tax.

What employees can I register?

You can register all manual workers i.e. craftsmen and general operatives aged 18 to 65 who are directly employed by your firm.

Can I register my office staff?

Yes, the Scheme is open to all your staff working in the Construction Industry. You can register and deduct pension contribution for these employees in the same way as your manual workers.

Can I register in CWPS as a member if I am a director of the firm?

If you are a director of a Limited Company you may register yourself as a member as Revenue rules do allow contributions to be paid by directors of Limited Companies so registration is open to you. If you are a sole trader you cannot register as a member of the scheme due to your self-employed status and under Revenue rules.

Can I register in CWPS as a member if I am a sole trader?

No. If you are a sole trader you cannot register as a member CWPS or any other Occupational Pension Scheme (OPS) as you are a self-employed individual who is taxed under Schedule D. You can pay to a Personal Pension/Stakeholder plan for yourself. However, if you have employees who are assessed for tax under Schedule E, you can register these employees in CWPS. These contributions are allowed against your personal tax bill, in the same way as other business expenses are allowed.

Can I register C45 workers?

No, as CWPS is an approved Occupational Pension Scheme with the Revenue Commissioners under Section 774 of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997. The scheme can only accept pension contributions from PAYE/PRSI workers.

When do I start making deductions from employees?

CWPS will send a Monthly Pension Payment Schedule to you for your employees from the date you registered them in the Scheme (as indicated on the New Member Registration form). Employers should be aware that they are liable for contributions for employees from the date that the employee joined their firm if pension contributions have been deducted from their wages.

What happens if I don’t register an employee?

Under the Terms of the Pensions Act, 1990 as amended the minimum requirement for an employer is to provide access for all their employees to a Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA). Membership of CWPS fulfils this requirement.

Online Payment System (OPS)

What is the Online Payment System?

Online Payment System (OPS) is a system where you can update  pension contributions for your employees  online and CWPS will collect the money from your bank account.

How will I benefit from Online Payment System?

As all transactions are done electronically it will save time and reduce costs by cut down on postage and cheque charge.

Are there fees associated with this service?

No. This service is free of charge to all our participating employers.

Do I need to install any software?

No, there is no extra software required. All you need is access to the internet and a web browser.

How do I register for Online Payment System?

Simply pop us an email at opssupport@cwps.ie expressing your interest in registering or call our dedicated support team on 01-4071488 and quote your Employer ID.

How do I pay for the pension contributions online?

To use our Online System all employers must pay their pension contributions by Electronic Payment Collection.  If you are not already doing this you can download an Electronic Payment Collection form from the Forms section, complete it and send it back to us and we will do the rest.

Can I track my previous payments through Online Payment System?

Yes, previous payments through OPS can be tracked under the Previous Submissions page on your online account.

What do I need to log in?

To Log in you will need a user name and Password. These will be supplied to you upon registration with our OPS support team.

What is my Employer ID?

Your Employer Id is the number you were assigned when you joined the CWPS. This appears on all correspondence you receive from the Scheme.

What is my Password?

Your password is a unique code which will be supplied to you when you register to use OPS.

What do I do if I have forgotten my log in details?

Please contact the support team at opssupport@cwps.ie

What do I do if I lock myself out of the online service?

Please contact the support team at opssupport@cwps.ie

Is my Data Safe?

Yes, our Website has been extensively tested for security and is fully certified by Espion Security.

Why should I provide an email address?

You need to provide a valid email address so that we can notify you when your next schedule is available to be updated and also when your receipt/allocation listing is available to be viewed online.

What if I don’t have access to the email address I provided you with?

If you no longer have access to the email address which you provided us with, please contact a member of our support team at opssupport@cwps.ie quoting your employer id and give us details of your new email address.

Electronic Payment Collection

How Does Electronic Payment Collection Work?

The  Electronic Payment Collection works like this: - Complete the Electronic Payment Collection Form with your bank details and return it to us. You can download a copy of the form in the Form Section. - Every month you must log on to the website and update your monthly contributions on time whether or not you have any changes to make. - Based on the information you submit to CWPS each month, your liability is calculated and your Electronic Payment is activated. - The exact amount due is collected from your Bank Account. - You will receive an email to say that your receipt and allocation list are available on the website. - You are in control of the amount which is deducted from your account as the collection is only activated on receipt of your updated online submission  -You must also make sure that there are sufficient funds in your bank account to cover this liability.

Is my data and information safe?

Yes, our Website has been extensively tested for security and is fully certified by Espion Security.

How long will it take to set up?

Once we have received the fully completed and signed mandate it will take approx 2 days.

When will the payment be collected from my bank account?

Once you submit your online schedule payment will be collected within 2 working days.

How can I change / amend my bank account details?

If you need to change or amend your bank account details please contact a member of our support team at opssupport@cwps.ie

How can I cancel Electronic Payment Collection?

To cancel an Electronic Payment Collection you must notify your bank in good time in writing. The cancellation of Electronic Payment Collection will mean that you can no longer avail of the Online Payment System.

Can I track my previous payments through Online Payment System?

Yes, previous payments through OPS can be tracked under the Previous Submissions page on your online account.

Get in touch

Call us now on
+353 1 4977663

Email: info@cwps.ie