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News Release

U.S. Labor Department action clears way to distribute $900,000 in 401(k) assets to former employees of South Bay company

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

San Francisco – The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a consent judgment and federal court order appointing an independent fiduciary to distribute $900,000 in assets from an abandoned 401(k) plan to 28 former employees of Silicon Valley Research based in San Jose, California.

The order gives the fiduciary, Nicholas Saakvitne, authority to distribute the assets to participants and beneficiaries before terminating the plan. The company, which developed and marketed software for use by integrated circuit designers, ceased operating in late 2002. At that time, the company failed to administer, terminate and wind up the plan. The company has since been revived under new owners, who agreed to assist the department in winding down the 401(k) profit-sharing plan.

“The Labor Department is committed to helping workers regain access to their benefits when their plans are abandoned,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor Bradford P. Campbell of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).

The judgment and order resolve a lawsuit filed by the department in August 2006 alleging that plan participants have been unable to access their accounts or receive benefit distributions because the company abandoned the plan.

The legal action resulted from an investigation conducted by EBSA’s San Francisco Regional Office. In fiscal year 2006, EBSA achieved monetary results of $1.4 billion related to pension, 401(k), health and other benefits for millions of American workers and their families. Employers and workers can contact the agency’s San Francisco office at 415.625.2481 or EBSA’s main number toll-free at 1.866.444.EBSA (3272) for help with problems relating to private sector pension and health plans.

Chao v. Silicon Valley Research Inc. Savings and Investment Plan
Civil Action Number C06-05021, United States District Court for the Northern District of California

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 202.693.7828 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.

Employee Benefits Security Administration
August 15, 2007
Release Number
07-1247-SAN (SF-103)