Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

News Release

U.S. Labor Department Obtains Default Judgment Appointing Independent Trustee for Abandoned Cincinnati 401(k) Plan

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Cincinnati - The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a default judgment appointing an independent trustee to manage the 401(k) plan of Cincinnati Armature Works Inc. The trustee will terminate the plan and distribute its assets to eligible plan participants.

The judgment resolves a lawsuit against the company and its owner, Walter Zuberbuhler, after they failed to provide a defense or even respond to the department’s lawsuit. The department sued to appoint an independent trustee after Cincinnati Armature Works Inc., ceased doing business in October 2004 and abandoned the retirement plan that had more than $265,000 in assets.

“When a plan is abandoned, so are the workers who invested in it,” said Joseph Menez, regional director of the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). “This legal action will ensure that the plan will be properly administered and its participants will now have access to the funds that rightly belong to them.”

The judgment, entered in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, appoints Thomas Nault, of Bellevue, Washington, as the independent fiduciary of the plan and gives him authority to make decisions on the liquidation, termination and disbursement of the plan’s assets, and to communicate with the plan’s participants and beneficiaries.

Employers and workers can contact the EBSA’s regional office in Cincinnati at 859.578.4680 or EBSA’s toll-free number, 1.800.444.EBSA (3272) for help with any problems relating to private-sector pension and health plans. 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.

(Chao v. Zuberbuhler)
Civil Action No. 1:06CV169

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: Scott Allen
Phone Number: 312.353.6976

Employee Benefits Security Administration
November 27, 2006
Release Number