Fiduciary Named to Indiana 401(k) Plan

A federal district court has issued a judgment that authorizes the appointment of an independent fiduciary for an Indiana 401(k) plan.

The decision comes out of a Department of Labor (DOL) lawsuit, Perez v. Hellman (docket Number: 1:13-cv-01056), filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The defendants named in the suit were Theresa A. Hellman and Robin M. Polin, both individually and as fiduciaries of the Specialty Staff Inc. 401(k) Plan, based in Carmel, Indiana.

The DOL’s suit alleges that as fiduciaries of the plan, the defendants did not ensure that the plan was properly administered. For example, copies of Annual Reports Form 5500 were not filed in a timely manner, administrative expenses on behalf of the plan were not paid, and no actions were taken to ensure the affairs of the plan were properly administered after Specialty Staff Inc. ceased doing business around December 2010.

In November, the DOL’s Regional Solicitor’s Office filed a motion for a judgment on the pleadings. On December 5, the court granted the motion and ordered the defendants removed as fiduciaries of the plan. The court also barred them from being a fiduciary or service provider to any plan covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

AMI Benefit Plan Administrators, of Youngstown, Ohio, was then appointed as the plan’s independent fiduciary.

Records maintained by the plan’s asset custodian show that as of September 2012, the plan had 13 participants with assets totaling $44,044.23.

The full text of the judgment from the court can be downloaded here.