When the owner of Windswept Environmental Group died in November 2008, he left behind more than a business. The Bay Shore company’s 401(k) retirement plan was orphaned, too, since the owner was the plan’s only fiduciary.
Windswept closed permanently in February 2009, and former employees were left with no one to contact concerning their accounts. Twelve plan participants collectively had more than $129,000 in the plan.
Now the U.S. Department of Labor has asked the federal court for the Eastern District of New York to appoint a fiduciary for the plan.
Note: Make sure your succession plan names someone to step in if a retirement plan fiduciary cannot fulfill his or her duties. Fiduciaries provide plan statements, monitor investment options and generally protect plan participants’ interests.