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TPAs: Win Back Lost 401(k) Business With Some 401k Enginuity (May, 2003)

LOS ANGELES 401(k) Pro, Inc., and Union Bank of California (UBOC), N.A., have developed a web-based 401(k) plan administration service...

Vendor Aims for Small Biz Mart with New System (401k March, 2003)

401k Pro, aims to wedge open the small-business market with a self-serve, fully automated 401(k) System for DC...

About the Smaller-Plan Market

New Plans, Software Cut the Cost and Complexity of 401(k) Plans (, Oct ,2001)

Article focuses on the new Internet-based 401(k) plans developed for the small market, the costs and plan features, and what is being done to provide 80% of the small businesses that do not have 401(k) plans.

Pension Plans for Everyone: new 401(k)s that are affordable and easy to run (Business Week Online, July 16, 2001)

Focus of article is the emerging web-based Pension Systems Corporation Systemsgrams for small businesses, and a comparison of features and prices, and the growing rift between the "new" 401(k) plan providers and the old line plan providers.

"Flying on the Web in a Turbulent Economy" (Fortune Magazine, April '01)

Fidelity Investments.....last year began offering Web-based 401(k) administration for small companies. What's in it for Fidelity? Well, the program was expensive to set-up, isn't profitable...

"Metlife Exits TPA RecordKeeping Role" (Institutional Investor online, April '01)

Metropolitan Life Insurance has notified its plan sponsor clients that it will no longer be providing third-party recordkeeping administration...

Hancock Leaves a Business to Take Charge (The New York Times, Feb '01)

Life Insurer John Hancock Financial Services (JHN.N) is a recent example of a large financial institution that targeted the small plan 401(k) market by setting-up an in-house, 220 employee 401(k) record-keeping division, only to close it down a few years later, taking a significant loss in the process.

Web Helps Small Firms Start 401ks (Wall Street Journal, Dec '99)

Inexpensive and efficient technologies, such as software-based in-house run-it-yourself 401k Easy plans (Advisors 401k's sister system), are changing the notions that 401k plans need be complex, expensive, or in any way out of reach of small businesses.

Squeezed Out (Worth, Dec/Jan '99)

Big 401k Shops are Firing Small Clients, Which Now Must Choose Between a More Costly Plan and None at All

Retirement Talk in 401k Industry (Wall Street Journal, Oct '98)

A Lull Prompts Some Retreats

About Pension Fraud and Malfeasance

Florida Investment Broker Sentenced (Associated Press via Excite News, 4/11/2001)

An investment broker has been sentenced to 6 1/2 years in federal prison for defrauding a police pension fund.

DOL Obtains Consent Order That Requires Profit-Sharing Plan Fiduciaries To Pay $101,618 (U.S. DOL, April 2001)

The Department of Labor has obtained a consent order that requires the fiduciaries of Distribution Specialists, Inc., to pay $101,618 in restitution and civil penalties to plan participants.

ColoradoPlan Trustees Ordered to Repay Participants and Disband 401(k) Plan (U.S. DOL, March 2001)

Two Colorado officials agreed to restore $17,125 to the 401(k) pension plan of the now defunct JRMK Companies, Inc. of Denver.

Business and Company Placed on Probation, Fined for Embezzling 401(k) Funds (U.S. DOL, February 2001)

Funds which were to be rolled over from the predecessor's plan to a new plan were instead deposited in the company's operating account and subsequently used by affiliated companies and and for the employer's personal benefit.

A Case Sounds a Warning About Pension Safety (NY Times, 10/1/2000)

Workers who think that their pensions are secure because the government guarantees them, and that their 401(k) money is safe once it goes to an investment house, may want to follow closely a case in Portland, Ore., that has cost 100,000 people some major chunks of their retirement income.

Your Portfolio: Is Your Boss Raiding the 401(k) Till? (Individual Investor Magazine, 7/20/2000)

Vigilance is particularly necessary when companies undergo major shake-ups--such as a merger, an acquisition, or a restructuring. Plan participants should always pay attention to how quickly colleagues are able to withdraw or roll over their money.

Labor Department Obtains Order Freezing Assets of Third-Party Administrators (U.S. DOL, Jun '99)

U.S. Dept of Labor gets preliminary injunction of Houston, TX third-party administrator and parent company.

Labor Department Seeks to Recoup Plan Losses from Former Company Press (U.S. DOL, May '99)

U.S. Dept of Labor goes after former Louis Allis Co. president in effort to recoup monies owed participants of company plans.

Labor Department Sues Ohio Exec Over Misuse of 401k Contributions (U.S. DOL, Apr '99)

U.S. Dept of Labor sues for failure to deposit contributions into plan's investment accounts

Former Fresno Pension Administrator Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement (U.S. DOL, Jan '99)

U.S. Dept of Labor says unpaid employee welfare benefit medical plan claims could total $5 million

Pension Fund Administrator Sentenced in Fraud Scheme (The Arizona Republic, Jun '98)

Pension-fund administrator who bilked 15,000 investors out of $11.4 million in wire fraud scheme gets five years

SEC Reins In Administrator of Self-Directed IRAs (American Banker, Jun '96)

SEC lowers the boom on pension plan administrator operating as unregistered broker/dealer

Pension Firm Ordered to Cease Holding Cash (Los Angeles Times, Jun '96)

Administrator of IRAs of Irvine lacks a license to be a custodian of customers' assets, SEC says

U.S. to Crack Down on Pensions Fraud (Accountant, Jan '96)

Proposed Congressional legislation spawned by Labor Department findings of an increase in pension fraud

Firms Under Suspicion of 401k Abuse (Los Angeles Times, Nov '95)

Government says some are improperly diverting employee contributions

Executive Accused of Looting Pension Plan (Los Angeles Times, Nov '95)

Federal grand jury indicts businessman, charging he used pension assets for personal and business expenses

SEC v. Qualified Pensions, Inc. (Lit, Rel. Nos. 14642 and 14680; D.D.C. Sep 13, 1995)

QPI allegedly permitted investors to purchase illiquid, unregistered securities; also, QPI allegedly misappropriated at least $4.5 million in retirement savings

4-Year Sentence Given for Investment Fraud (Los Angeles Times, Mar '95)

Former president of First Pension in Irvine is also told to repay $74 million to investors, some of whom call term too short

Lawsuit Filed Against Educators' Fund (Los Angeles Times, Aug '94)

Investors' civil action alleges that up to $100 million has been lost

3 First Pension Principals Plead Guilty to Fraud (Los Angeles Times, Aug '94)

Express "incredible remorse" at cheating investors out of $121.5 million in retirement funds

SEC v. Cooper, VestCorp Securities, Inc., et al (Lit, Rel. Nos. 14090, 14104 and 14343; C.D. Cal., May '94)

Certain defendants allegedly misappropriated $25 million of pension funds, wrote unauthorized checks, failed to disclose that trust deeds securing the limited partnership did not exist, and more

Troubled Firms Seen Misusing Pension Funds (Los Angeles Times, Jan '94)

U.S. Dept. of Labor cites growing problem involving small, ailing companies misusing workers' 401k contributions

Plan to Regulate Pension Funds Isn't Adequate (Los Angeles Times, Jun '90)

Labor Secretary's proposed legislation incomplete

Lax Pension Plan Audits Criticized (Los Angeles Times, Nov '89)

Congressional report will warn that many funds are never examined. Some accountants are allowed to skip scrutiny of key areas.

Pension Plans Looted as Safeguards Weaken (Los Angeles Times, Oct '89)

Despite warnings, about $4 billion in retirement income may have been taken by racketeers

About Plan Costs

When Hidden Fees Erode 401(k)'s (New York Times, Jul '01)

Administrative fees once borne almost universally by employers are chipping away at the returns of many investors in 401(k) retirement plans.

New 401k Form Simplifies Price Comparisons (USA Today, Jul '99)

Labor Dept and three Industry groups unveil 401k disclosure form to help businesses compare costs of competing plans.

'Poodle-Parlor' Retirement Plans (Wall Street Journal, Nov '98)

Workers at small businesses, lacking 401k plans before, could find it easier to join now.

Your 401k Plan May Cost You Too Much (Nation's Business, Sep '98)

Tremendous variation in plan costs reflects that there are many types of 401k vendors. Choose your vendor(s) carefully.

Investing It: A U.S. Warning, of Sorts, About Fees and 401ks (New York Times, Aug '98)

U.S. Dept. of Labor releases booklet "A Look at 401k Plan Fees" to help companies and participants sort through range of fees levied on 401k plans

Labor Secretary Herman Calls for Hearings on 401k Fees (US Newswire, Nov '97)

Department's Pension Welfare and Benefits Administration to conduct public hearings to find out whether fees charged for 401k administration are appropriate

The Coming Fracas Over Fees: 401k Pension Plan Vendors Raise Fees (Institutional Investor, Mar '96)

Competition has resulted in higher, not lower fees, the cost of which is being passed on to participants