The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is suing an Iowa trucking company and its owner for not promptly remitting more than $465,000 in deducted employee contributions to the carrier’s 401(k) plan.
The DOL alleges Ben Shinn Trucking Inc. of Eddyville, Iowa, and President Roger Shinn violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by failing to remit employees’ contributions to the retirement plan in a timely manner as required by law.
Of the nearly $518,000 Shinn Trucking collected from employees’ paychecks for its 401(k) retirement plan over a five-year period, the company was delinquent in remitting more than $465,000 from November 2013 through July 2018, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Des Moines on Nov. 18.
The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) requires employers to separate employee contributions to retirement plans from company assets as soon as possible. Companies with over 100 plan participants, as is the case with Shinn Trucking, are required to deposit 401(k) contributions no later than the 15th business day of the month after the paycheck is issued.
Shinn Trucking also failed to provide participants and beneficiaries of the company’s 401(k) plan with annual plan summaries for years 2010 to 2018, a violation of ERISA, the lawsuit claims.
The carrier is further accused of siphoning nearly $12,200 it deducted from employees’ paychecks earmarked for the company’s 401(k) plan, using the funds to pay company expenses instead, according to court documents.
Roger Shinn did not respond to FreightWaves’ request for comment regarding the lawsuit.
The lawsuit seeks to have the trucking company and Shinn repay the plan for “all losses, including lost opportunity costs, resulting from fiduciary breaches committed by them or for which they are liable.” The suit seeks to permanently bar Shinn Trucking and Shinn from serving in any fiduciary capacity to any employee benefit plan covered by ERISA.
Shinn must provide plan participants and beneficiaries with updated annual reports for plan years 2010 through 2018, the suit states.
According to the company’s website, Ben Shinn Trucking was founded in the 1930s by Benoni E. Shinn and hauls dry bulk products, including metals, glass and alloys.
It has 93 trucks and drivers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration SAFER website.