Retention refers to a portion of the payment due to a contractor that is withheld by the client or main contractor to ensure that all work is completed satisfactorily and according to the contract specifications. Typically, this is a percentage of the contract value, held back as a financial safeguard until the completion of a project or until any defects are rectified during a specified defect liability period. The practice of retention aims to provide an incentive for contractors to complete their work to the required standards and address any issues that may arise before receiving full payment. It’s a common contractual mechanism designed to protect the interests of the client while ensuring high-quality outcomes in construction projects.