In this edition of Construction Magazine, the team in CERS reflect on business planning and how pensions can fit into any business contingency plan.
The current challenges facing the construction industry seem endless. From uncontrolled, rising costs of materials to crippling inflation, supply chain issues and an energy crisis – one compounding the other. These challenges are preventing business owners from building effective contingency plans. In fact, the sheer pressure mounting on the industry almost makes the previous two years (characterised by numerous lockdowns), easier to navigate from a business perspective.
So why – in the midst of these difficult times are we promoting pensions as part of your business contingency plan?
Over the last 50 years, CERS has supported employers who faced recessions, market crashes, inflation, and government crises. Throughout this whole period, our team helped employers develop pension provision as a tool in their business-planning arsenal. There is a direct connection between employee benefits and retaining skilled staff, something that many construction companies struggle with currently. Promoting pensions as part of an employee attraction and retention plan makes good business sense. Employers are competing with one another for a limited pool of skilled labour and this impacts business contingency planning. This is why we believe that pensions should be part of every successful business plan.
Niche Construction Needs
CERS was established over 50 years ago to address the specific needs of the construction sector. Our pension consultants have close relationships with industry leaders and understand the pressures faced by those in the sector. There are wider benefits, which include:
Less burdensome: The CERS Scheme is a multi-employer arrangement with an independent trustee company. This structure removes the burden of pension governance from employers freeing up their time so they can focus on their business without having worries or time constraints associated with being a Trustee or having a requirement to hire a pensioneer trustee company to do that for them.
More flexibility: CERS provides bespoke pension solutions for each company, ensuring employers can choose the contribution amount, the retirement age and protection benefits that meet their specific needs.
Lifecycle management: CERS is a full service Scheme, ensuring we look after all elements of your pension needs from the start of your journey with CERS right through the full life cycle of your scheme.
Low cost, high value: We offer a transparent and competitive charging structure with no annual or monthly administration, trusteeship, or pension authority fees applied to Employers.
We know construction: Our team of pension consultants specialise in the construction sector. We understand what goes on in the industry and how employers are adjusting their offering to attract and retain staff. These invaluable insights bring an added layer of knowledge that other pension providers lack.
Education: Sometimes, pensions are treated as an “unseen benefit” – something that staff forget about. It can be helpful to educate staff about the real benefits that a company pension scheme offers and this can be quantified during our annual presentation sessions to employees. These sessions can be arranged, free of charge, throughout the year.
Managing Change and Business Contingency Planning
Over the last 50 years, CERS has adapted to the ever-changing nature of the pension and the construction industry. Our business is your business and we want to protect it and see it develop in a future-proof, robust way. Regulations in the pension industry have significantly changed over the last 50 years and this includes the recently transposed IORP II regulations. These regulations will bring a whole new range of governance requirements to existing pension schemes in Ireland.
There are significantly more regulatory obligations and costs for pension schemes as a result of IORP II. The pension landscape in Ireland will see significant change. There are currently more than 100,000 pension schemes, the majority of which are one-person arrangements. The net effect of the new rules could well be to reduce that number to less than 200 schemes and will affect many in the construction industry.
The probable outcome of a smaller number of much larger schemes means that multi-employer pension schemes such as CERS are likely to be a key element of the solution. This will allow costs of managing a single scheme to be spread across many employers and centralise the regulatory obligations. By offering a single trust containing multiple employer pension arrangements, CERS offers economies of scale especially when it comes to compliance with new IORP II regulations.
Over the last 50 years, we have helped thousands of members build a strong plan for their future. If you would like to build pension provision into your business plan, we can help. Get in touch with our team by phone (01 407 1430) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).