DoL Obtains Settlement Agreements for Pension Plans

October 3, 2006 ( - The Department of Labor (DoL) has obtained settlement agreements from Circle Trust Company (CTC) of Darien, Connecticut, and other corporate and individual defendants, which were accused of engaging in imprudent and risky investments.

According to a DoL press release, CTC, Trust Advisors LLC, and certain corporations and individuals have agreed to restore more than $8.8 million to 1,500 pension plans nationwide.  The settlements relate to pension plan investments in Trust Advisors Stable Value Plus Fund (SVF), a collective trust administered by CTC.  Circle Trust also agreed to allow a $10 million priority proof of claim in its receivership proceedings, the DoL announcement said.

According to the DoL suit against CTC filed in November 2005, from July 1999 until the present, the company violated ERISA by, among other things, causing SVF to invest in a number of speculative and imprudent investments recommended by Trust Advisors, which resulted in millions of dollars in losses to the trust fund (See DoL Sues CT Investment Firm ). 

On September 30, an independent fiduciary appointed on behalf of SVF filed a petition seeking bankruptcy protection for the SVF, and the Connecticut Banking Commissioner was appointed as the receiver of CTC.