Columbus graphics firm must return pension funds

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

Officers and owners of Columbus-based Clark Graphics must pay back more than half a million dollars to the company’s two pension plans after federal investigators found that the money went missing because of lax oversight. The pension plan administrator, who allegedly misappropriated the funds, owes even more.

Following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Ben­­efits Security Administration, a court ordered the company’s president, Mary Clark, to restore $505,5501 to the company’s defined benefit plan and its profit sharing plan. Plan administrator Marcia Dowdell must pay back $568,384.

The suit alleges company owners James and Steven Clark failed to monitor Dowdell’s actions as required under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Note: Employers can’t just hand retirement contributions to a third party and ignore malfeasance. ERISA requires that employers monitor company retirement plans and safeguard employees’ financial interests.

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