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EBSA News Brief

Office of Public Affairs Chicago Ill.
For Immediate Release: January 15, 2014
Contact: Scott Allen or Rhonda Burke
Phone: (312) 353-6976
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov or burke.rhonda@dol.gov
Release Number: EBSA-14-02-KAN

US Department of Labor sues trustees of Western Steel Erection 401(k) Plan to recover more than $5,000 in retirement benefits

Date of Action: Jan. 14, 2014

Type of Action: Complaint

Names of Defendants: Stephanie J. Jochims and Robert C. Jochims

Allegations: The U.S. Department of Labor has filed suit against Stephanie J. Jochims, the former owner of Western Steel Erection, Inc., and her husband Robert C. Jochims, in an effort to recover $5,167 in employee retirement contributions and loan repayments intended for the Western Steel Erection 401(k) Plan. The company was located in Long Lake, Minn.

An investigation by the Labor Department's Employee Benefits Security Administration revealed that the defendants, as co-trustees of the company's 401(k) plan, failed to forward employee retirement contributions and loan repayments during the months leading up to the company's closure in February 2010.

The Department's lawsuit alleges that the Jochims violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by retaining the contributions in the company's account and using them for non-plan purposes. The lawsuit also alleges the Jochims failed to properly terminate the plan, causing the participants to incur unnecessary fees and costs.

Resolution: The Labor Department seeks a court order requiring the restoration of all plan losses and barring the Jochims from serving as a fiduciaries or service providers to any employee benefit plan. The Labor Department also seeks to have an independent fiduciary appointed to distribute the plan's remaining assets to the participants.

Court: U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

Docket Number: 0:14-cv-00132

Employers and workers can reach EBSA's Kansas City office at 816-285-1800 or toll-free at 866-444-3272 for help with problems relating to private-sector retirement and health plans. Additional information can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa.

U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755.