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News Release

Labor Department Obtains Court Judgment Removing Portland Company From Management of 401(k) Plan

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Portland, Oregon - The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a default judgment removing defunct Emerald Solutions, Inc., Portland, Oregon, from its position as plan administrator of the company’s 401(k) plan. The court action clears the way for former employees of Emerald Solutions, Inc. to regain access to their retirement accounts.

“The Labor Department is committed to protecting workers’ benefits,” said Francis Clisham, director of the San Francisco regional office of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). “Our action ensures that the former employees of Emerald Solutions will now have access to their retirement assets.”

The default judgment provides for the appointment of an independent fiduciary to terminate the 401(k) plan and distribute benefits to participants.

Emerald Solutions was formerly known as Zcom, Inc., which also conducted business in Bellevue, Washington. The company ceased business operations during 2002 and was dissolved through bankruptcy proceedings on November 14, 2005. Emerald Solutions failed to appoint a successor plan administrator or trustee to complete the 401(k) plan’s liquidation and termination, leaving 133 former employees unable to access their retirement benefits.

On May 22, new Labor Department rules took effect that facilitate a voluntary, safe and efficient process for winding up the affairs of abandoned plans. The new rules allow financial institutions to take responsibility and distribute the assets of 401(k) plans to affected workers and their families. The department estimates that 1,650 such plans are abandoned each year. Information about the new rules is available under the Abandoned Plan Program section of EBSA’s Web site at

This case was investigated by the Seattle district office of EBSA. In fiscal year 2005, EBSA achieved monetary results of $1.7 billion related to pension, 401(k), health and other benefits for millions of American workers and their families. Employers and workers with questions or concerns regarding their private-sector pension and health plans can contact the regional office at 206.553.4244 or EBSA’s toll free number, 1.866.444.EBSA (3272).

(Chao v. Emerald-Delaware, Inc.)
Civil Action No. 06-148-HA

U.S. Department of Labor news releases are accessible on the Department's Newsroom page. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202.693.7765 or TTY 202.693.7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit the Department's Compliance Assistance page.

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

Contact Name: Michael Shimizu
Phone Number: 206.553.7620

Employee Benefits Security Administration
July 20, 2006
Release Number
06-1249-SEA (06-65)