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January 30, 2007 > Trustee to restore nearly $77,200 to Bay Area pension plan

Trustee to restore nearly $77,200 to Bay Area pension plan

The U. S. Department of Labor has reached agreement with the pension plan trustees of the Gordon Sand Co. Retirement Plan, Hayward, to restore $77,194 to the company's pension plan. The Labor Department also may assess civil monetary penalties.

The agreement resolves the department's lawsuit against trustees George E. Gordon III and Salud Arellano-Gordon for alleged violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The suit alleged the trustees failed to remit employer contributions owed to the company's pension plan for the years 1997-2003. George Gordon has waived his right to receive benefits from the plan.

The department's suit, filed last June in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleged that the Gordons failed to collect and forward employer contributions to the plan. They also allegedly failed to distribute benefits in accordance with the plan's documents. Subsequent to the department's investigation, the Gordons began making benefit distributions. There are 15 participants remaining in the plan.

"This case exemplifies our commitment to protect workers' hard-earned benefits," said Francis Clisham, regional director in San Francisco for the department's Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA). "By restoring these funds, we are also restoring the opportunity to the employees to plan and save for their retirement."

The department's suit resulted from an investigation conducted by EBSA's San Francisco regional office.

In fiscal year 2006, EBSA achieved record monetary results of $1.4 billion related to pension, 401(k), health and other benefits for millions of American workers and their families. Employers and workers can reach EBSA's San Francisco office at (415) 975-4600 or through its toll free number, 1 (866) 444-EBSA (3272), for help with problems relating to private-sector retirement and health plans.

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