Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
U.S. Labor Department sues to appoint independent fiduciary for 401(k) plan abandoned by Merrimack, New Hampshire, employer
Boston - The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit asking the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire to appoint an independent fiduciary to oversee the abandoned 401(k) plan of Media Solutions Inc. of Merrimack, New Hampshire, a defunct corporation.
The Media Solutions Inc. 401(k) Plan is a retirement plan sponsored by Media Solutions Inc. and funded in part with employee contributions. The company administered the plan from January 1997 to 2002 when the company ceased operations. William A. Russell, who was the president and owner of Media Solutions, Inc., handled the retirement plan’s administrative duties for his company.
When the company ceased operations, no steps were taken to ensure continued administration of the plan. In addition, the Labor Department has been unable to locate William A. Russell. As a result, the former employees of the company have been unable to access their 401(k) accounts. Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), plans must be managed by named fiduciaries. In the absence of a plan fiduciary, participants and beneficiaries cannot obtain plan information, make investments or collect retirement benefits.
The Labor Department’s lawsuit asks the court to appoint an independent fiduciary who will have the authority to properly distribute the plan’s assets to the remaining participants of the plan and then terminate the plan.
“American workers should know that they can turn to the Labor Department for help when they find themselves in this type of situation,” said Jean Ackerman, regional director in Boston for the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). “We took this legal action to ensure that the plan is properly managed so that its participants can finally gain access to their retirement assets.”
The case was investigated by EBSA’s Boston Regional Office. Employers and workers can contact that office at 617.565.9600 or toll-free at 866.444.3272, for help with any problems relating to private sector pension and health plans. In fiscal year 2009, EBSA achieved monetary results of $1.3 billion related to pension, 401(k), health and other benefits for millions of American workers and their families. Additional information can be found at www.dol.gov/ebsa.
Solis v. Media Solutions Inc.
Civil Action Number: 1:09-CV-376-JM
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 (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202.693.7828 or TTY 202.693.7755. The Labor Department 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.