Clients think they should hold a retention.
The tiny sub contractor at the bottom of the food chain knows he will never see it.
But why should a retention be necessary?
The client will say that he needs to hold money back to pay for anything that needs to be put right.
But retentions are not used for that. They are used to short change the company that did the work.
Strictly speaking, if the client enters into a contract for, say, a house with a basement and at the end he gets the key and for the first time he is able to check the outcome, one can understand the risk until that moment - especially since the workforce might not have even done the work but run away with a deposit.
But our work is far simpler than that.
The answer is not to hold a retention. The answer is to enter into a Value Engineering agreement putting client and worker on the same team. That gives the client the ability to keep an eye on everything and to sack his workers if he isn't happy.
The point, as I see it, is that retentions simply don't exist in construction any more.
There are amounts the entity above will not pay the entity below, and if the entity above can fool the entity below into thinking they might be paid then they are called retentions.