European Construction Industry Federation European Federation of Building and Woodworkers

Paritarian Social Funds in the Construction Industry


The Construction Workers Pension Scheme


Type of fund


CWPS, Canal House, Canal Road, IE - Dublin 6



Mr. Pat Ferguson (Administrator)
Tel : +353 (0) 1 497 7663 -

General Information Employee Group Covered Eligibility Benefits Cost Sharing Employee contributions Additional voluntary employee contributions Employer contributions Vesting and Withdrawal Financing Preservation, portability, transferability Information to Employees Additional information

General Information


The Construction Workers’ Pension Scheme (CWPS) is an industry-wide scheme covering the entire construction industry in the Republic of Ireland including employers covered by the Construction & Electrical Industry Registered Employment Agreements (REA). It was set up to replace the Construction Federation Operatives Pension Scheme (CFOPS) and started in business on July 1st 2006. With membership in excess of 285,000 members CWPS is one of the biggest occupational pension schemes in Ireland.


The scheme allows employers to fulfill their legal obligations under the REA to provide pension, sick pay and death in service benefit cover for their employees and it gives its members the opportunity to build up valuable pension benefits for their retirement.


Board composition


The trust company is run by a Board of 11 Directors (known as the Trustee), composed of 5 representatives of employers, 5 representatives of employees and a Chairman.  All of the Directors are actively involved in the Construction Industry.


The Trustee looks after the scheme for all its members. The Directors are responsible for running the scheme according to the legal documents, which govern it. They must make sure that the scheme meets current legal requirements that the benefits are paid correctly and on time, and that the common fund is invested prudently so that it can bay benefits when they are due.


Regulatory framework


Construction & Electrical Industry Registered Employment Agreements (REA)

Employee Group Covered

  • All employees working for an employer in the construction industry and Paying PAYE / PRSI
  • Construction operatives or crafts persons


This compulsory coverage provides immediate eligibility upon 1st day working for an employer within the industry from age 20 to age 65 with no waiting period.  The employer is obliged to provide the employee with the benefits under the REA and enrolls his/her employee.


  • Retirement

At retirement, the benefits a member can choose from include: a pension payable for life, a lump sum (currently paid tax-free), a pension for the spouse upon death and increases to the pension each year.


  • Death

If the member dies in service, a cash lump sum of €63,500 is payable plus additional lump sums of €3,175 for each eligible child (under 18).  The entire value of the pension account will also be refunded (within Revenue limits)


  • Sick Pay

Sick pay benefit of €37.51 a day is paid from the fourth day of illness for a maximum of 50 working days in a calendar year if the member is currently employed by an employer taking part in the scheme; and has paid at least 13 contributions in the six months before the start of their illness.

Cost Sharing

Shared cost required by plan rules

Employee contributions

The member contributes 2.8% of the average basic construction industry wage (agreed by the National Joint Industrial Council) to the scheme.


The weekly rates for Pension, Death in Service and Sick Pay contributions for 2010 for the Building Industry are as follow:

  • Pension Benefit : €19.20
  • Death in service benefit : €1.11
  • Sick Pay : €0.69


Members’ contributions are automatically deducted from their wages to pay the scheme.  Because members’ contributions are deducted from their pay before tax and PRSI are calculated, they get tax relief on their pension and death-in-service contributions at their highest rate of tax.

Additional voluntary employee contributions

Members can pay extra ‘top up’ contributions to build their account more quickly.  Voluntary contributions are tax-effective and their investment growth is tax-free.  Employee contributions limits as are follow:



Maximum percentage to total pay per year

Up to age 29 15%
Age 30 to 39  20%
Age 40 to 49 25%
Age 50 to 54 30%
Age 55 to 59 35%
Age 60 or over 40%











Employer contributions

The employer contributes 4.2% of the average basic construction industry wage to the scheme.

  • Pension Benefit: €28.79
  • Death in Service Benefit: €1.11
  • Sick Pay: €1,37

Vesting and Withdrawal

The normal retirement date age 65 but once a member reaches age 60, and provided they are no longer employed by any of the employers who participate in the Scheme they can claim their benefits.


The trustee is responsible for deciding how the money building up in the scheme is invested and takes great care in selecting the investment managers. Investments are mainly in shares and property.

Preservation, portability, transferability

  • The member is able to transfer benefits into the Scheme from a previous pension arrangement
  • In the event of joining another employer in the construction industry, the employee may remain a member of the scheme as long as the new employer is registered with the scheme.
  • No portability of rights is provided in the event of unemployment for any period of time, as payment to the scheme must be made through an employer registered with the Scheme.

Information to Employees

  • Pension Scheme Booklet
  • Personal benefit statement per year showing how the member’s account is building up
  • Benefit Option Statement before the due retirement date
  • Trustee’s annual report, audited accounts, actuarial valuation, statement of investment policy principles available on request
  • Trust Deed and Rules

Additional Information

The full weekly contribution rate is payable to the Scheme regardless of the number of days worked in a week by any member.


Both the member and employer portion of the contribution must be paid into the Scheme together as it is a combined contribution. All contributions are kept up to date to ensure that the member is covered for Death in Service and Sick Pay benefit.


If contributions due to the Scheme have not been paid 21 days after the end of the month in which they are deducted, an arrears rate will be applied to any unpaid contributions as per Rule 4.9 of the Scheme’s Trust Deed & Rules.


No part-payment of the weekly contribution will be accepted by the Scheme.

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