Federal court paves way for 16 employees of defunct Bay Area construction company to access $1M in retirement assets
SAN FRANCISCO – Sixteen people participating in an employee retirement plan sponsored by a now defunct Danville construction company will receive distributions of almost $1 million in assets following an investigation and litigation by the U.S. Department of Labor.
On January 20, the U.S. District Court of Northern California issued a default judgment against Clawson Construction Inc. and appointed AMI Benefit Plan Administrator Inc. as the new fiduciary for the company-sponsored employee retirement plan. An investigation by the department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration found plan participants had no one to administer the plan and authorize distribution of their funds when the company closed after the 2018 death of company owner John Clawson – also the plan’s sole trustee.
EBSA investigators determined Clawson Construction did not appoint a successor trustee after which the department’s Regional Solicitor of Labor filed a complaint alleging the company abandoned the plan in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
“The U.S. Department of Labor acted to get these employees access to their hard-earned retirement funds,” said Employee Benefits Security Administration Regional Director Klaus Placke in San Francisco. “Employees place their trust in, and count on, employer-sponsored benefit plans to fund their retirements.”