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News Release

Labor Department Sues Former Sea Island Corporation’s Pension Plan Administrator for Failing to Forward Employee Contributions

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Atlanta, Georgia - The U.S. Department of Labor sued a former administrator of the Johns Island, South Carolina-based Sea Island Comprehensive Health Care Corporation’s defined contribution pension plan for his failure to forward $72,213.49 in employee contributions to the plan and for commingling the funds in the company’s general account.

The suit, filed February 27, 2003 in federal district court in Charleston, seeks the appointment of an independent fiduciary to oversee and, if necessary, to terminate the plan. The suit also asks the court to require William Pinder, Jr. to repay the plan for losses caused by his fiduciary breaches and to bar him permanently from acting in a fiduciary capacity to any plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Pinder was the company president from 1985 until his resignation in February 2000.

Sea Island Comprehensive Health Care Corporation is a non-profit corporation. Its plan had 207 participants, who were allowed to contribute up to 20 percent of their gross compensation to the plan via payroll deduction. The plan had assets totaling $844,803 as of December 31, 1998. The suit alleges that from May 1999 through 2000, Sea Island withheld the employees’ contributions and never remitted them to the plan.

Howard Marsh, director of the department’s Atlanta Regional Office of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), said, “We filed this case to ensure that the plan participants recoup the money they set aside for their retirement years.”

Employers with similar problems, who are not yet the subject of an investigation by EBSA, may be eligible to participate in the department's Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP). Participation in the VFCP requires employers to make workers whole but allows them to avoid EBSA enforcement actions, civil penalties and any applicable excise taxes. For more information see

Employers and workers can contact the Atlanta Regional Office at 404.562.2156 or EBSA’s toll free number, 1.866.444.EBSA (3272), for help with any problems relating to private-sector pension and health plans.

(Chao v. William Pinder, Jr.)
Civil Action No. CV-2:03-653-18

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

Employee Benefits Security Administration
March 10, 2003
Release Number