Burlington College failed to deposit employee contributions into retirement accounts over 16 weeks this summer, documents show.

The school did not set aside money withheld from wages into retirement accounts, nor did it contribute a 7 percent match it promised to employees.

Employees learned of the problem Thursday when they received letters from the retirement fund TIAA-CREF dated Aug. 15. The last contribution the college made to employee accounts was June 9 for the April 25 pay period, according to the financial services company.

Burlington College did not notify employees until Monday.

Christine Plunkett, president of Burlington College, said the failure to deposit the money was a mistake.

In an email to staff Monday, Plunkett said she discovered the "inadvertent oversight" last week during the course of a "regular internal review." Staff were very busy this summer, "juggling many balls," she said.

Plunkett called the error a "grave concern." It is not related to the school's financial struggles, she said.

Future Planning Associates, the retirement administrator for the college, is calculating the interest employees would have earned over the summer, Plunkett said. The interest will be deposited into employees accounts as soon as possible, she said.

A recent audit questioned the college's viability and raised concerns over its ability to pay its bills after acquiring a new campus from the Roman Catholic Diocese.


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