Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

News Release

Trucking Company Official to Repay Losses To Simplified Pension Accounts of Company Employees

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Kansas City, Missouri - The U.S. Department of Labor obtained a judgment on October 2, 2002, requiring the fiduciary of the Michaelsen Truck Line, Inc. SIMPLE IRA plan of Mason City, Iowa to restore $26,729, plus interest, to the individual retirement accounts (IRAs) of plan participants.

The department filed suit September 27, 2002, against Gary Michaelsen, the president of Michaelsen Trucking, Inc. and the plan’s fiduciary. The department’s Kansas City regional office of the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (EBSA) investigated the alleged violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

The department’s complaint alleged that Michaelsen failed to forward contributions to the employees’ IRA accounts that were withheld from their paychecks at various times from January through December 2000, and used the money to benefit the company. The lawsuit also alleged that Michaelsen failed to forward to the participants’ IRAs the required three percent employer matching contribution for 2000.

Gregory Egan, director of the EBSA’s Kansas City office, noted that employers with similar problems, who are not yet the subject of an investigation by the agency, may be eligible to participate in the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP). Participation in the VFCP requires employers to make workers whole but allows them to avoid EBSA enforcement actions and civil penalties as well as any applicable excise taxes.

Employers and workers can contact the Kansas City regional office at 816.426.5131 or EBSA’s Toll-Free Employee & Employer Hotline number, 1.866.275.7922, for help with problems relating to private-sector pension and health plans.

The complaint was filed and the consent judgment was entered in federal district court in the northern district of Iowa in Sioux City.

(Chao v. Gary Michaelsen
Civil Action No. 02-3078)

U.S. Department of Labor news releases are accessible on the Internet. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the Central Office for Assistive Services and Technology. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202.693.7773 or TTY 202.693.7755.

Printer Friendly Version

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Employee Benefits Security Administration
October 9, 2002
Release Number