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Bankruptcy Court OKs Terminating Santa Barbara News-Press Employee Retirement Plan | Local News

In another blow to former Santa Barbara News-Press employees, the bankruptcy trustee is terminating the company’s 401(k) retirement plan and will pay the fees out of their accounts.

When Ampersand Publishing owner Wendy McCaw filed for bankruptcy in July, the News-Press stopped publication, and Managing Editor Dave Mason told employees their jobs were eliminated.

McCaw claims in court documents that the parent company has about $5 million in debts, including payments to former employees and vendors, and much less in assets.

Last month, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Ronald A. Clifford III approved terminating the Nationwide Financial 401(k) employee benefit plan because the business no longer exists.

Bankruptcy trustee Jerry Namba and his attorneys said former News-Press employees “have apparently been contacting (plan administrator Latitude Retirement) to inquire about the status of their 401(k) accounts and how the funds will be distributed.”

Requests to distribute the money couldn’t be processed because of the bankruptcy filing, bankruptcy attorneys wrote in court documents.

Former News-Press sports writer Mark Patton said he’s been trying to roll over his 401(k) into an IRA account “and have been getting nothing but a total run around from everybody,” including Nationwide, Latitude, and the bankruptcy attorneys.


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