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COLLECTED WISDOM™ on Court and Legal Actions Related to Retirement Plans

A directory and index of articles that review what is happening in the courts and legal system.

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University of Pennsylvania Wins Dismissal of Case Against 403b

Abstract: U.S. District Judge Gene E. K. Pratter of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania dismissed all claims against the University of Pennsylvania and its vice president of human resources. The case had challenged multiple recordkeepers, multiple investment options and the use of retail share class funds.

Source: Planadviser.com, September 2017

Jerry Schlichter's Fee Lawsuits Have Left an Indelible Mark on the 401k Industry

Abstract: It's had a tremendous impact and brought awareness to the fees being charged in plans. But, observers say the litigation has also contributed to fee hysteria among employers and, following some large monetary settlements, resulted in a plaintiff's bar that seems to be unnecessarily piling on the litigation to score a quick payday.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), September 2017

Novitex Sued Over 401k Plan Fees, Not First Modest Plan Hit

Abstract: Novitex Enterprise Solutions is the latest company to be accused in federal court of letting its 401k plan participants be charged excessive recordkeeping and administrative fees. The lawsuit is the latest to target a company with a modest 401k plan.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), September 2017

Gucci Sued Over 401k Plan Fees, Transamerica Funds

Abstract: The lawsuit challenges Gucci's relationship with its 401k service provider, Transamerica Retirement Solutions. Gucci allowed Transamerica to fill its $96.5 million plan with expensive, proprietary funds that earned fees for Transamerica at the expense of plan participants, according to the complaint.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), September 2017

403b Litigation Concerns

Abstract: Over the last year, many colleges and universities have been the subject of lawsuits over the management of their 403b retirement plans. The complaints in the lawsuits have common threads and they identify patterns of high-risk practices. The courts have begun to weigh in on some of these issues, but their interpretations of the issues vary.

Source: Sentinelgroup.com, September 2017

Fiduciary Liability Defenses for Advisers Under ERISA

Abstract: If an investment adviser makes a recommendation to a retirement plan sponsor or investment manager, who then follows that recommendation and later challenges it as a breach of fiduciary duty, there are several types of defenses available to the adviser.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), September 2017

Voya Charged Big Fees to Small 401k, Lawsuits Says

Abstract: Voya Financial is accused in a new lawsuit of charging excessive recordkeeping and administrative fees to a small 401k plan.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), September 2017

Recent Plan Fiduciary Victories in ERISA Single-Stock Fund Litigation

Abstract: Over the last few months, there have been a significant number of court decisions ruling against plaintiffs alleging ERISA breach of fiduciary claims related to single-stock funds. These recent decisions suggest a new era in the ongoing saga of ERISA single-stock fund litigation, and one that may bode well for ERISA plan fiduciaries.

Source: Morganlewis.com, September 2017

Proving Loss Causation in Breach of Fiduciary Claims -- The Split Widens

Abstract: Most circuit courts of appeals agree that ERISA requires that causation between the alleged breach and the claimed loss must be established before any liability may be imposed upon a breaching fiduciary. The courts are split, however, as to whether an ERISA plaintiff or the defendant-fiduciary bears the burden of proving the causal link between breach and loss.

Source: Jacksonlewis.com, September 2017

Edison International Agrees to Pay $13.2 Million in 401k Fee Lawsuit

Abstract: Parties in the landmark Tibble v. Edison lawsuit have agreed the defendant, Edison International, will pay more than $13 million in damages to cover allegations of excessive 401k fees.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), September 2017

DST, Ruane Cunniff Sued Again Over Valeant Stock in 401k Plan

Abstract: Investment firm Ruane Cunniff & Goldfarb Inc. and DST Systems Inc. face a third lawsuit over the alleged imprudent investment of DST's 401k plan assets in Valeant Pharmaceuticals stock.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), August 2017

Morningstar and Prudential Deny Racketeering Claims

Abstract: Another ERISA lawsuit has emerged in federal court, this one naming both Morningstar and various Prudential companies as defendants in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The complaint suggests the companies engaged in “Tammany-like” collusion to steer assets into more favorable investments; both providers have issued strong denials and requests for summary judgement.

Source: Planadviser.com, August 2017

NYU Retirement Plan Suit Trimmed by Judge but Moving Forward

Abstract: New York University convinced a federal judge to dismiss several challenges to its retirement plans, but claims attacking the plans’ record-keeping fees and actively managed funds are moving forward.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), August 2017

Excessive Fee Suit Alleges Fiduciary "Abdication"

Abstract: A new excessive fee suit claims that plan fiduciaries "abdicated" their responsibilities, allowing the plans' trustee "to lard the Plans with high-cost mutual funds."

Source: Napa-net.org, August 2017

Standing and Plausibility in ERISA

Abstract: A district court in New York has held that a plaintiff cannot assert claims against a plan in which she did not participate and cannot assert claims of fiduciary breach without plausible allegations of wrongdoing.

Source: Erisa-employeebenefitslitigationblog.com, August 2017

Edison Hit With $7.5m Judgment in Long-Running 401k Suit

Abstract: Edison International must pay more than $7.5 million to compensate employees for its decision to include high-fee retail share mutual funds in its 401k plan when identical institutional share classes were available at lower cost.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), August 2017

ERISA (7th Circuit): Are ERISA Plan Forum Selection Clauses Enforceable?

Abstract: ERISA gives plan beneficiaries a choice on where to bring suit seeking ERISA benefits. Section 1132(e)(2) allows plan beneficiaries to bring suit "in the district where the plan is administered, where the breach took place, or where a defendant resides or may be found." But what happens when the plan has a forum-selection clause? Are forum selection clauses enforceable?

Source: Boomerisablog.com, August 2017

Seventh Circuit Upholds ERISA Plan's Forum Selection Clause

Abstract: In a mandamus petition involving an issue of first impression, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that ERISA's venue provision did not invalidate a forum selection clause in an ERISA-governed health plan.

Source: Westlaw.com, August 2017

Sears Hit With Second Lawsuit Over Company Stock in 401k Plans

Abstract: Sears Holdings was sued for the second time in a month over its decision to retain and continue purchasing its own declining stock as an investment option in the retailer's 401k plans

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), August 2017

Participant Fails to Establish Class Status in Prudential Lawsuit

Abstract: A federal district court judge has denied class action status to an ERISA challenge filed by a retirement plan participant invested in a stable value product offered by Prudential. The denial of the class certification motion goes into some detail regarding what it takes to establish class standing under ERISA.

Source: Plansponsor.com, August 2017

What Hitchcock v. Cumberland Means for Plan Fiduciaries

Abstract: Earlier this year, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the participants in a university's pension plan do not have to exhaust administrative remedies before they pursue claims of ERISA violations. A recent blog entry discusses what this ruling means for plan fiduciaries.

Source: Asppa.org, August 2017

Arch Coal Beats ERISA Lawsuit Over Company Stock in 401k Plan

Abstract: Arch Coal defeated a lawsuit by employees accusing it of failing to divest their 401k plan of the company's stock during a three-year period when its value declined from $680 to $1.42 per share.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), August 2017

Winning Early Motions to Dismiss Breach of Fiduciary Claims, the Ministerial Defense

Abstract: One argument to use in seeking early dismissal of breach of fiduciary duty claims is the ministerial defense. The recent case that highlights the point is Turner v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.

Source: Boomerisablog.com, August 2017

Reliance Escapes Lawsuit Over SandRidge's 401k Stock Losses

Abstract: Reliance Trust isn't liable for the losses suffered by SandRidge Energy employees who invested their retirement savings in the natural gas company's stock as it declined into bankruptcy, a federal court ruled.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), August 2017

Target Defeats Challenge Over Company Stock in Its 401k Plan

Abstract: Target Corp. defeated a lawsuit by employees challenging the retailer's decision to allow company stock in its 401(k) plan despite allegedly knowing its value was artificially inflated because of its now-defunct Canada operations.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), August 2017

Voya's Win in 401k Fee Suit Bodes Well for Other Recordkeepers

Abstract: The dismissal of a lawsuit against Voya Financial for its relationship with 401k robo-adviser Financial Engines could be a harbinger of success for other major retirement-plan record keepers locked in similar legal battles.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), July 2017

Franklin Templeton 401k Challenge Gets Class Treatment

Abstract: Participants in the Franklin Templeton 401k Retirement Plan who sued the company over the plan's in-house mutual funds got permission to move forward as a certified class.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), July 2017

Plan Sponsor Admits to Stealing From 401k

Abstract: The owner of PCI, a commercial janitorial company that contracted with area school districts, and CDM, a company that performed construction and property management services in a metro area in Kansas, has pleaded guilty to theft from an employee benefit plan.

Source: Planadviser.com, July 2017

The Supreme Court Indirectly Stiffens a Fiduciary Breach Time Limit

Abstract: The Supreme Court appears to have barred equitable tolling under ERISA Section 413's six-year statute of repose for fiduciary breach claims, subject only to well-pled allegations and proof of fraud or concealment.

Source: Erisa-employeebenefitslitigationblog.com, July 2017

Sears Hit With 401k Class Action Over Company Stock

Abstract: Sears kept its own stock as an investment option in the 401k plan although it knew or should have known that the retailer was in "extremely poor financial condition," workers allege in a new lawsuit.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), July 2017

Appointing and Monitoring a 401k Investment Manager Under ERISA

Abstract: Employee-benefit attorneys advising retirement plan sponsors frequently mention that plan fiduciaries are not liable for the acts or omissions of an appointed investment manager, and aren't obligated to invest or otherwise manage plan assets subject to their oversight. However, a recent district court decision has implications for how retirement plan sponsors should monitor their adviser.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), July 2017

Tracking Down the Valid Claims-More Victories for 401k and 403b Fiduciaries

Abstract: Even responsible fiduciaries get caught in the net of retirement plan class action litigation. At least a few courts are carefully examining the conclusory allegations in these complaints and finding them wanting. It is too early to tell whether this is will be a trend in fee litigation, but responsible fiduciaries should be heartened by these victories.

Source: Cohenbuckmann.com, July 2017

MFS Investment Management Sued Over Claims of Self-Dealing in 401k Plans

Abstract: MFS Investment Management has been sued for self-dealing in its company 401k plans, becoming the latest fund firm to be targeted for stocking its retirement plan primarily with proprietary investments.

Source: Pionline.com, July 2017

Trial Lawyers Want to Defend Fiduciary Rule in Court

Abstract: Industry groups that support the Labor Department's fiduciary rule came out swinging in new legal briefs, one of which offers to defend in court a key provision of the rule that the DOL is no longer defending.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), July 2017

Voya Beats Lawsuit Over Stable Value Funds in Retirement Plans

Abstract: Voya Retirement Insurance and Annuity Co. beat a lawsuit accusing it of earning undisclosed profits by setting the crediting rate for its stable value funds in retirement plans for its own benefit.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), July 2017

Brown University Sued Over Retirement Plan Fees

Abstract: Brown University is accused of filling its two retirement plans with high-cost, poorly performing investment options, allegedly causing participants millions of dollars in losses.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), July 2017

DOL's New Stance on Fiduciary Rule at Odds in Thrivent Case

Abstract: Thrivent Financial for Lutherans stepped up its fight against the fiduciary rule's anti-arbitration condition that would bar class litigation against financial advisers by citing the Labor Department's latest court argument.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), July 2017

Marathon Petroleum Execs Sued Over Stock in Retirement Plan

Abstract: Marathon Petroleum executives are accused in a new lawsuit of wrongly allowing workers to invest their retirement savings in the stock of Marathon Oil Corp.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), July 2017

Pioneer Natural Resources Sued Over 401k Fees

Abstract: Pioneer Natural Resources USA is accused of choosing inappropriate, high-cost mutual funds in its 401k plan and paying Vanguard unreasonable, excessive recordkeeping fees.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), July 2017

Nationwide's 401k Recordkeeping Fees Are Excessive, Lawsuit Claims

Abstract: Nationwide has been sued for allegedly charging 401k plans excessive recordkeeping and administration fees in a lawsuit that also challenges the practice of assessing fees based on the amount of plan assets.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), June 2017

Waddell & Reed Sued Over In-House Funds in Its 401k Plan

Abstract: Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. is the latest financial services company accused of filling its workers' 401k plan with high-fee, poorly performing in-house funds, when less expensive, better performing outside options were available.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), June 2017

Washington University Sued Again Over Its $3.8B Retirement Plan

Abstract: Washington University in St. Louis was hit with a second lawsuit accusing it of filling its $3.8 billion retirement plan with duplicative, expensive, and underperforming investment options.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), June 2017

Putnam Beats Class Action Over In-House 401k Investments

Abstract: Putnam Investments defeated a class action challenging the allegedly high-fee proprietary investment funds in the company's 401k plan.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), June 2017

Fidelity Defeats Class Action Over Stable Value Fund

Abstract: Fidelity Management Trust is free of a class action by 401k investors who said the company's stable value fund carried excessive fees and used an unduly conservative investment strategy.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), June 2017

Revenue Sharing Spurring 401k Lawsuits With More to Come

Abstract: With the focus on 401k and 403(b) lawsuits, it may be time for employers sponsoring a corporate retirement plan to get out of the line of fire by eliminating revenue sharing altogether.

Source: 401ktv.com, June 2017

Allianz Workers Get Class Treatment in Suit Over 401k In-House Funds

Abstract: Allianz Asset Management of America L.P. workers won class certification on their lawsuit challenging the allegedly high-fee, in-house mutual funds in their 401k plan.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), June 2017

401k and 403(b) Lawsuit Update: Two Cases Settled and One Filed

Abstract: In what is becoming common place in the rash of 401k and 403(b) lawsuits, two cases were settled and one new one filed in the span of just one week. Northrup Grumman plan sponsors settled; a case against the Washington University 403(b) plan was filed; and Merrill Lynch settled claims against it by a plan sponsor.

Source: 401ktv.com, June 2017

401k Self-Dealing Suit Filed Against Capital Group

Abstract: The lawsuit claims that when selecting and retaining investment options in the plan, the Capital Group's benefits committee did not act prudently and solely in the interest of plan participants and beneficiaries, but put the interest of Capital Group and its subsidiaries first by selecting, retaining and failing to remove expensive group-affiliated investment options managed by CGTC, CRMC, and/or CII.

Source: Planadviser.com, June 2017

Northrop Grumman Settles Multi-Million Dollar 401k Fee Suit

Abstract: With the sting of defeat still fresh from a federal judge's dismissal of his Chevron suit, tort lawyer Jerry Schlichter bounced back with the announcement of a $16.75 million 401k fee settlement with Northrop Grumman.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, June 2017

Washington University Is 15th School Sued Over Retirement Plan

Abstract: Washington University in St. Louis is the latest college to face a proposed class action over the fees and investment options in its retirement plan.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), June 2017

Merrill Lynch to Pay $25M in Lawsuit Over Fees in Small 401ks

Abstract: Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. will pay $25 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the broker-dealer firm of profiting from excessive fees charged to small 401k plans.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), June 2017

Another Court Dismisses Conclusory 401k Fee Suit

Abstract: We have now had a second case in Minnesota in which a judge looked under the hood and found no substance there. The Minnesota judge dismissed the case with prejudice (meaning plaintiffs won't have a second bite at the apple.) Is this the beginning of a trend?

Source: Cohenbuckmann.com, June 2017

Questioning 401k Lawsuits Based on Investment Outcomes

Abstract: No one can predict the excess return relative to a benchmark (Alpha) that is usually associated with active investment management. Then it should come as no surprise that no one can predict the market (beta). Choosing investments is a subjective endeavor. So why are so many legal actions and allegations against Employer Retirement Plans Sponsored Plans based on subjective endeavors with unknown outcomes?

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, June 2017

Lawsuit Filed for Retirement Plans Using United of Omaha GICs

Abstract: The lawsuit alleges United of Omaha breached its ERISA duties by improperly exercising its discretionary authority "to maximize its own compensation and retain large profits rather than crediting the participants and beneficiaries of the plans with appropriate returns."

Source: Planadviser.com, June 2017

Partial Victories to Two Universities in Their Motions to Dismiss Code Section 403(b) Fee Litigation

Abstract: Ddistrict courts in Georgia and North Carolina, respectively, ruled on defendants' motions under Henderson v. Emory University and Clark v. Duke University. Although the defendants in these cases has some success in eliminating certain causes of action, other causes of actions involving the payment of excessive fees and use of multiple recordkeepers will continue through litigation.

Source: Mwe.com, June 2017

Chevron Again Defeats Lawsuit Over Its $19 Billion 401k

Abstract: Chevron Corp. defeated for the second time a proposed class action accusing it of breaching fiduciary duties by allowing poorly performing investments that allegedly carried high management fees in its $19 billion 401k plan.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), June 2017

Wells Fargo Scores Rare Win in 401k Fee Litigation Series

Abstract: Wells Fargo & Co. defeated a proposed class action claiming the company stuffed its $35 billion 401k plan full of expensive and poorly performing target-date funds affiliated with the company.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), May 2017

Another Bundled 401k Provider Sued by Employees

Abstract: T. Rowe Price has become the latest bundled 401k provider accused of self-dealing in their 401k plan. A former employee has accused the Maryland based money manager of offering expensive, retail share classes to their plan participant/employees when other, less expensive share classes existed.

Source: Nwp401k.com, May 2017

Princeton Joins List of Schools Sued Over Retirement Plans

Abstract: Princeton University is the latest college to be hit with a proposed class action challenging the fees and investment options offered through the school's retirement plans.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), May 2017

University of Chicago Latest College Hit With Retirement Plan Suit

Abstract: The University of Chicago is accused in a new lawsuit of carrying high fees and offering a poor selection of investment funds in its two retirement plans ( Daugherty v. The University of Chicago).

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), May 2017

Update on University Section 403(b) Cases: Inconsistent Rulings

Abstract: A novel theory proceeding in both the Duke and Emory cases is the claim that the defendants were imprudent to hire multiple recordkeepers, where consolidating services with one recordkeeper could have resulted in lower fees for participants.

Source: Benefitslawadvisor.com, May 2017

Courts' Interpretations of 401k Fiduciary Laws Are Changing

Abstract: It appears that laws of fiduciary prudence under ERISA are evolving. A recent district court decision, in Lorenz v. Safeway, demonstrates this point. The prudence requirement in being gauged based on the portfolio in aggregate but also on individual investment options.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), May 2017

Duke Is Second School to Lose Round in Retirement Plan Lawsuits

Abstract: A lawsuit accusing Duke University's retirement plan of high fees and poor investments is moving forward after a federal judge issued a mixed ruling on the school's motion to dismiss.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), May 2017

Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case Against University Survives Motion to Dismiss

Abstract: The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia issued the highly anticipated first ruling in the university breach of fiduciary duty cases. In Henderson v. Emory University, the court ruled that, for most of the claims asserted, the plaintiffs had properly stated a claim that survives the defendants' motion to dismiss.

Source: Ballardspahr.com, May 2017

Fourth Circuit Agrees: Fiduciaries' Faulty Process for Eliminating Stock Funds Did Not Cause Plan's Losses

Abstract: This case demonstrates that the "would have" standard for showing that a plan fiduciary's breach did not cause a loss is difficult, but not impossible, to satisfy. Making a prudent choice by an inadequate process, however, is just lucky. Plan fiduciaries are on much safer ground when they establish and carefully follow a prudent process.

Source: Thomsonreuters.com, May 2017

Emory Is First College to Lose in Retirement Plan Lawsuits

Abstract: Emory University must continue defending a lawsuit accusing its retirement plans of carrying high fees and offering poor investment options.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), May 2017

Fourth Circuit Upholds Ruling in Tatum v. RJR Pension Investment Committee

Abstract: The district court ruled that the defendant's breach of its duty of procedural prudence, occurring when the plan sold non-employer stock funds, did not cause the substantial losses in the retirement plan.

Source: Erisalawyerblog.com, May 2017

Are Your Target-Date Funds Making You a Target?

Abstract: Although participants' entire accounts may be invested in these funds, all too many TDFs are selected by fiduciaries simply because it is convenient, or there is some incentive, to offer their provider's funds. This makes them an easy target for class action lawyers. Custom TDFs, which are designed for an employer's specific participant group, are also vulnerable if they don't include appropriate investments.

Source: Cohenbuckmann.com, May 2017

Starwood Hotels Can't Escape ERISA Lawsuit Over 401k Fees

Abstract: Starwood Hotels must defend a proposed class action accusing it of violating federal benefits law by allegedly mismanaging the company's $1.2 billion 401k plan.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), May 2017

District Court Dismisses Allegations That Stable Value Fund is Too Conservative

Abstract: A district court in Rhode Island dismissed claims by participants in the CVS Employee Stock Ownership Plan that plan fiduciaries imprudently invested plan assets in the plan's stable value fund.

Source: Erisapracticecenter.com, May 2017

At the Intersection of the NFL Draft, ERISA, Divorce, Venue and Spousal Benefits

Abstract: Judge Woodlock, in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, just issued an order on venue and QDROs in ERISA litigation that is a "must read" as a tutorial on a number of ERISA issues.

Source: Bostonerisalaw.com, May 2017

R.J. Reynolds Cleared Again in Nabisco 401k Stock Dump

Abstract: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. once again escaped liability for losses suffered by its 401k plan when the company sold off the stock of its Nabisco subsidiaries.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), May 2017

Advisory Firm Dodges ERISA Suit Against BB&T

Abstract: Often when a retirement plan participant files suit against a plan sponsor, investment manager or recordkeeper, the advisory firm gets dragged in as well. While in this case the advisory firm has now been dismissed from the pool of defendants, the wider case itself will still apparently move forward.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2017

Get Over the Fear of Hiring an ERISA Attorney

Abstract: Plan sponsors should get over their phobia of lawyers and hire an ERISA attorney when they need to. This article is when and why retirement plan sponsors should hire an ERISA attorney.

Source: Jdsupra.com, April 2017

Disney Execs Escape Lawsuit Over Valeant Stock in 401k

Abstract: Walt Disney Co.'s 401k plan fiduciaries don't have to defend a proposed class action challenging their decision to allow plan participants to invest their retirement assets in a mutual fund that invested heavily in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International stock.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), April 2017

401k Lawsuits Can Be Avoided With the Right Fiduciaries

Abstract: The complicated task of establishing a Retirement Committee or a Benefits Committee come with some basic Do's and Don't's and selecting the right fiduciaries is as important as selecting the right advisor or vendor. This article covers some tips for plan sponsors when selecting committee members.

Source: 401ktv.com, April 2017

PODCAST: 403(b) Plan Fee Litigation Update

Abstract: Employee Benefits attorneys Eric Altholz and Chris Lockman provide a brief update on class action lawsuits alleging various breaches of fiduciary duties under ERISA pending against a dozen major universities. All of these lawsuits are related to the administration of the 403(b) plans maintained by the universities, but these issues are not limited to higher education institutions.

Source: Employeebenefitsupdate.com, April 2017

JPMorgan Stable Value Fund Lawsuit Gets Class Treatment

Abstract: Thousands of workers who invested their retirement savings in JPMorgan's stable value funds got approval to sue the company as a certified class.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), April 2017

Fear of Litigation Looms Over DC Plans

Abstract: In a list of the most important factors driving decision-making at defined contribution plans, litigation risk ranked second only to meeting participant retirement goals. Investment fees and plan costs are a top concern for defined contribution plan sponsors, according to PIMCO's annual consultant survey.

Source: Institutionalinvestor.com, April 2017

Investors Can Go After Fiduciary Advisers Even if DOL Doesn't

Abstract: There is a threat of litigation hanging over advisers' heads, even as the DOL says it will focus on compliance around the fiduciary rule. The rule invites the plaintiffs' bar to go after bad actors, making any temporary freezes on enforcement of limited value.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), April 2017

Fujitsu Loses Early Bid to Toss 401k Fee Lawsuit

Abstract: Fujitsu Technology couldn't convince a federal court in California to dismiss a lawsuit accusing it of breaching fiduciary duties by making imprudent investments in its 401k plan.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), April 2017

Charles Schwab Seeks to Arbitrate 401k Case

Abstract: Charles Schwab Corp. urged a federal court to order a former employee challenging the investment options in the company's 401k plan to submit his claims to individual, non-class arbitration.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), April 2017

Fiduciary Litigation: Another One Bites the Dust

Abstract: Plaintiffs seeking to obtain an emergency injunction blocking the DOL's fiduciary regulation were rebuffed again by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The denial kept the DOL's fiduciary litigation streak unblemished.

Source: Asppa.org, April 2017

How to Avoid Costly Beneficiary Designation Litigation

Abstract: A recent federal district court opinion in Florida demonstrates the potential pitfalls that plan administrators may face with respect to disputes over beneficiary status and provides guidance as to how administrators may avoid costly disputes.

Source: Lexology.com, April 2017

Five Major 401k Lawsuits That Directly Impact Advisors

Abstract: There's a clear need to increase awareness about litigation risk and to understand the key issues that have made their way to the highest courts. These decisions have implications for 401k retirement plan advisors, plan sponsors and other plan fiduciaries alike. Recent decisions should help shape compliance strategies for those responsible for managing defined contribution plans.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, April 2017

Cliffs Natural Resources Beats ERISA Challenge to Stock Drop

Abstract: Iron mining company Cliffs Natural Resources beat back claims that it harmed workers' retirement savings by allowing them to invest in the company's declining stock.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), April 2017

Putnam Prevails in 401k Self-Dealing Suit

Abstract: Before ultimately finding plaintiffs' claims were time-barred, a judge found Putnam's mutual fund fees were reasonable and a comparison to Vanguard funds was "apples to oranges."

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2017

Judge in Putnam 401k Suit Deals Potential Setback to Plaintiffs Using Vanguard as Fee Benchmark

Abstract: A federal judge has seemingly dealt a blow to plaintiffs bringing claims against financial services companies for excessive retirement plan fees, following a recent ruling in a self-dealing lawsuit involving Putnam Investments' 401k plan. Specifically, the judge shot down arguments that Putnam received excessive management fees from their proprietary mutual funds, saying plaintiffs' comparison of Putnam fund fees to those of Vanguard Group's passively managed funds was "flawed."

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), April 2017

BlackRock Accused of Self-Dealing With 401k Plan

Abstract: BlackRock Inc. and its subsidiaries are accused in a new lawsuit of loading the company's $1.56 billion 401k plan with its "expensive and poor-to-mediocre" in-house investment options.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), April 2017

Court Finds Intel Alternative Investment Suit Time-Barred

Abstract: The lawsuit claimed the defendants breached their fiduciary duties by investing a significant portion of the plans' assets in risky and high-cost hedge fund and private equity investments through custom-built target-date funds.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2017

Jackson National Target of DC Plan Self-Dealing Suit

Abstract: The lawsuit says disclosures show the proprietary funds used in the DC plan lineup were far more expensive than comparable funds and underperformed their benchmarks.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2017

Peabody Energy Cleared in ERISA Challenge to Stock Losses

Abstract: Peabody Energy Corp. isn't liable to employees who allegedly lost retirement savings by investing in the bankrupt coal company's stock, a federal judge ruled.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), April 2017

American Airlines Loses Round Over Mutual Fund Fees

Abstract: American Airlines Inc. can't escape a proposed class action challenging the affiliated mutual funds in its 401k plan.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), April 2017

Arbitration Provision Not Binding on Plan Participants' Claim for Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Abstract: In making its ruling, the court held that the participants' ability to bring claims of fiduciary breach under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act is unaffected by their arbitration agreements.

Source: Bsllp.com, March 2017

Investment Firm CEO Liable for Retirement Plan's Penny Stock

Abstract: The president of a defunct investment firm is liable for investing the firm's retirement plan in penny stock that he&'d personally invested more than $500,000 in.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), March 2017

Embezzlement of 401k Deferrals by COO of Architecture Firm is (Doubly) Costly

Abstract: On March 22, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled against Christine Bodouva that her restoration of funds to her Company's 401k Plan should be offset against the District Court's order for forfeiture in her criminal trial.

Source: Lexology.com, March 2017

Eaton Executives Escape Lawsuit Over Stock in Retirement Plan

Abstract: Eaton Corp. executives dodged a proposed class action accusing them of breaching their ERISA fiduciary duties by allegedly allowing artificially inflated stock to be invested in the company's retirement plan.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), March 2017

Oracle 401k Challenge Jumps Another Legal Hurdle

Abstract: A federal district court judge has granted the recommendation of a magistrate judge, to the effect that an ERISA lawsuit filed against Oracle will not be dismissed before trial.

Source: Planadviser.com, March 2017

USC Can't Force Retirement-Plan Fee Claims Into Arbitration

Abstract: The University of Southern California can't make retirement plan participants take their claims about plan mismanagement to arbitration. The decision means participants may proceed with their claims in federal court instead of undergoing arbitration, an alternative dispute resolution method usually preferred by employers because of its confidentiality.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), March 2017

Anthem Workers Advance Challenge to 401k Plan Fees

Abstract: Anthem Inc.'s pension committee must defend allegations that the company's 401k plan carried excessive fees. The proposed class action accuses the committee of including high-fee mutual fund share classes in Anthem's 401k plan and paying excessive record-keeping fees to Vanguard.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), March 2017

Texas Judge Shoots Down Latest Effort to Halt DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Opponents of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule were dealt another blow Monday, when Chief Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn of the U.S. District Court for Northern Texas denied the financial trade association plaintiffs' motion for an injunction to stop the regulation.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), March 2017

Bank of America Prevails in 401k Asset Transfer Case

Abstract: Bank of America prevailed against employees who challenged a $3 billion transfer from the company's 401k plan to its cash balance defined benefit plan.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), March 2017

Eighth Circuit Sends Fund-Mapping Case Back to Trial Court to Redetermine Damages

Abstract: The Eighth Circuit has weighed in again on the fund-mapping portion of this long-running case. Its latest decision affirms the trial court's determination that a fiduciary breach occurred, but reopens the question of damages because the trial court failed to consider any method for measuring the plans' losses other than the method suggested by the Eighth Circuit's previous decision.

Source: Thomsonreuters.com, March 2017

Eighth Circuit Remands Tussey v. Abb, Inc. Back to District Court

Abstract: Because the district court apparently mistook direction for a definitive ruling on how to measure plan losses, and as a result entered judgment in favor of the ABB fiduciaries despite finding they did breach their duties, on this appeal, the Court vacated the judgment on that claim and remanded the case back to the district court for further consideration regarding whether the participants can prove losses to the plans.

Source: Erisalawyerblog.com, March 2017

DOL Alleges Company Failed to Remit Employees 401k Withholdings

Abstract: According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that defendants established a 401k plan and that employees withheld $12,611.85 as plan contributions and $17,966.56 in loan repayments and defendants breached their duty by failing to these remit sums to the plan.

Source: Flarecord.com, March 2017

Safeway Workers Advance Two Challenges to JPMorgan Funds

Abstract: Grocery giant Safeway can't escape two proposed class actions challenging the fees and investments in its 401k plan, including its decision to offer JPMorgan target-date funds.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), March 2017

Insperity Must Face Lawsuit Over 401k Fees, Funds

Abstract: A lawsuit accusing human resources provider Insperity Inc. of loading its 401k plan with high-fee investment funds and paying itself excessive recordkeeping fees is moving forward.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), March 2017

Allergan Stock Drop Leads to Second ERISA Lawsuit

Abstract: Allergan now faces another lawsuit by employees who claim an ongoing investigation into generic drug pricing caused them to lose retirement savings held in the drugmaker's stock.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), March 2017

TIAA Dodges Retirement Fee Lawsuit by University Workers

Abstract: Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America dodged a lawsuit accusing it of charging excessive fees to participants in retirement plans sponsored by the University of Chicago and Nova Southeastern University.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), March 2017

Familiar Arguments in New JP Morgan ERISA Challenge

Abstract: JPMorgan Chase Bank is now the target of another ERISA challenge against its own 401k plan, this one leveling many of the same complaints against the company found in a previous lawsuit.

Source: Planadviser.com, March 2017

Why (Almost) Every Mutual Fund Company Can Expect to Be Sued

Abstract: If your employer's 401k plan is full of mutual funds, you're not alone: the companies that issue those mutual funds put them in their 401k plans, too. But this long-standing practice may be about to change. A new wave of litigation is targeting companies that put their own investment products in their workers' 401k plans.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), March 2017

Experts Still Expect Private Enforcement of Fiduciary Standard

Abstract: Even if the DOL leadership under President Trump declines to enforce a strict fiduciary standard, private litigators will undoubtedly pick up any slack if the administration fails to fully eliminate the Obama-era conflict of interest rulemaking.

Source: Planadviser.com, March 2017

Seventy Seven Energy Sued Over Chesapeake Stock in 401k

Abstract: Fiduciaries of the Seventy Seven Energy Inc. 401k plan face accusations that they violated ERISA by allowing plan assets to be invested in the "extremely volatile" stock of Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), February 2017

J.C. Penney Agrees to Settle 401k Suit

Abstract: Department-store chain J.C. Penney is poised to pay $4.5 million to settle allegations over company stock in the firm's 401k plan, following a district court judge's preliminary approval of the settlement.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), February 2017

Oracle Corp. Faces Setback in 401k Fee Lawsuit

Abstract: Oracle Corp. got some bad news on Feb. 16 when a magistrate judge recommended that a proposed class action challenging the fees in its 401k plan move forward.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), February 2017

Allergan Stock Losses Spawn ERISA Class Action

Abstract: Allergan's connection to an alleged price-fixing scheme among generic drug makers spawned a proposed class action Feb. 14, with an Allergan employee claiming he lost retirement savings by investing in the company's stock.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), February 2017

T. Rowe Price Accused of Self-Dealing With 401k Plan

Abstract: T. Rowe Price Group Inc. is accused of profiting at the expense of its employees' retirement savings by offering, almost exclusively, in-house mutual funds in the company's $1.7 billion 401k plan.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), February 2017

TIAA Lawsuit Puts the Spotlight on 403(b) Participant Loans

Abstract: Participant loans from 401k plans have never been an employer favorite plan provision. Now participant loans from 403(b) plans have come into focus. It's in the form of a class action law suit recently filed by participants in the Was hington University 403(b) plan against TIAA. The Plaintiffs allege that TIAA violated several provisions of ERISA regarding the manner in which loans were administered.

Source: Retirementplanblog.com, February 2017

The Latest Trend in Excess Fee Litigation

Abstract: The newest wave of retirement plan lawsuits targets self-dealing in the sponsored plans of several big name financial firms. This latest trend proves that even industry professionals get lax with their procedures and fail to properly fulfill their fiduciary duties. However, Plan Sponsors can take simple, effective steps to prevent themselves from falling to the same fate.

Source: Ekonbenefits.com, February 2017

TIAA Loan Practices Questioned in Latest ERISA Lawsuit

Abstract: A participant who drew four loans from a retirement account over the years argues her provider inappropriately kept portions of interest payments that should have been credited back to her account.

Source: Planadviser.com, February 2017

Robo-Advisers Steer 401k Plan Litigation Trend

Abstract: Robo-advisers -- companies that provide digital financial advice -- are winning ground in the retirement plans industry, but with that growth comes some legal challenges.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), February 2017

Fee Litigation Update: Moving Beyond Allegations of Self-Dealing

Abstract: In 2016, we saw a considerable uptick in the number and variety of excessive fee lawsuits commenced against plan fiduciaries of defined contribution plans. Article looks at these filings, many of which have advanced novel theories of imprudence that are not dependent on allegations of self-dealing. The article also identifies affirmative steps that plan fiduciaries may take to prevent these types of claims from succeeding.

Source: Proskauer.com, January 2017

Aon Hewitt Sued Over Fee Scheme in Caterpillar's 401k Plan

Abstract: Aon Hewitt Financial Advisors is the latest retirement services company accused of violating ERISA by entering into a fee-sharing agreement with online investment adviser Financial Engines Inc.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), January 2017

Edward Jones' Self-Dealing Suit Permitted to Proceed

Abstract: Defendants unsuccessfully argued that the breach of fiduciary claims should be dismissed because they fulfilled their duties by offering an array of investment options.

Source: Planadviser.com, January 2017

Another Provider Charged With Self-Dealing in Its 401k Plan

Abstract: A new lawsuit challenges not only the use of allegedly more expensive proprietary funds, but with no longer offering a stable value fund, and of being negligent in its deployment of a self-directed brokerage account option. The suit, brought by plaintiff Christopher W. Severson, alleged that "the Schwab Fiduciary Defendants imprudently and disloyally larded the Plan with unnecessary, expensive and poorly performing investment products and services offered and managed by the Schwab."

Source: Napa-net.org, January 2017

JPMorgan Sued for Self-dealing in Its 401k Plan

Abstract: JPMorgan has been sued by a participant in its 401k plan for allegedly causing employees to pay millions of dollars in excessive fees through a scheme motivated by "self-interest." The plaintiff claims JPMorgan, as well as various board and committee members, breached their fiduciary duties by, among other things, retaining proprietary mutual funds from the bank and affiliate companies for several years, despite the availability of nearly identical, lower-cost and better-performing funds.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), January 2017

Franklin Resources Can't Get 401k Fee Lawsuit Dismissed

Abstract: Franklin Resources lost its bid for quick dismissal of a lawsuit claiming that it stuffed its workers' 401k plan with in-house mutual funds that carried excessive fees and performed worse than competitors' funds.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), January 2017

How to Make Your 401k or 403(b) Plan a Litigation Target

Abstract: Sometimes it seems as if these defendant fiduciaries were almost asking to be sued, since the practices being described in the complaints are so vulnerable to challenge. These lawsuits keep proliferating, so fiduciaries of 401k and 403(b) plans would be well advised to learn from what the defendants were alleged to have been doing wrong.

Source: Cohenbuckmann.com, January 2017

Hospital Target in 403(b) Lawsuit Starts Off the Year

Abstract: Plan participants of Eseentia Health in Minnesota filed a class action lawsuit against the 403(b) plan sponsor claiming that the organization paid excessive fees to their recordkeepers. Experts are predicting an increasing number of lawsuits, especially against 403(b) plans which many consider low hanging fruit.

Source: 401ktv.com, January 2017

J.C. Penney Agrees to Pay $4.5 Million to Settle 401k Suit

Abstract: Department-store chain J.C. Penney is poised to pay $4.5 million to settle allegations over company stock in the firm's 401(k) plan, following a district court judge's preliminary approval of the settlement.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), January 2017

Recordkeeping Fees Trigger Latest Excessive Fee Suit

Abstract: A new excessive fee lawsuit claims that plan fiduciaries caused plans to "pay excessive fees" and failed to "monitor and control the Plans' escalating costs," resulting in millions of dollars of losses to the plans, and this time share classes are not the issue.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, January 2017

Outlook for 2017 Retirement Plan Litigation

Abstract: Copycat lawsuits targeting 403(b) plans, as well as litigation probing a fiduciary's duty to monitor investments, the DOL fiduciary rule, church retirement plans and cybersecurity issues are likely to crop up this year.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), December 2016

Prudential Cleared in 401k Pay-to-Play Lawsuits

Abstract: Prudential Retirement defeated a pair of lawsuits accusing it of operating a "pay-to-play" scheme for the mutual funds offered through the 401(k) plans it services.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), December 2016

Process Remains Critical Factor in ERISA 401k Plan Litigation

Abstract: A recent decision by the Northern District of California provides a welcome counterpoint in the fact that a detailed complaint has been filed alleging various breaches of the duty of loyalty and duty of prudence does not mean that there was any breach of fiduciary duty whatsoever.

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.com, December 2016

Hotel Giant Starwood Hit With 401k Fee Class Action

Abstract: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is the latest company accused of breaching its fiduciary duties by layering up its 401k plan with high-priced, poorly performing investment options.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), December 2016

Delta Air Lines Latest Company Hit With 401k Class Action

Abstract: Delta Air Lines is accused in a new lawsuit of selecting high-priced, poorly performing and duplicative investment options in the company's 401k plan despite the availability of less-expensive alternatives.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), December 2016

D.C. Court of Appeals Denies Emergency Request to Halt Conflict of Interest Rule

Abstract: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied the emergency request from the National Association for Fixed Annuities for an injunction blocking the implementation of the Department of Labor's conflict of interest rule and related exemptions.

Source: Erisapracticecenter.com, December 2016

DOL Files Lawsuit to Appoint Independent Fiduciary to Administer 401k

Abstract: The department is seeking the removals of Hidebumi Minagawa as plan administrator and trustee, and of Hailu Solomon as trustee, and the appointment of an independent or successor fiduciary with discretionary authority to administer the plan in order to effectuate its termination and the distribution of the plan's remaining assets.

Source: Dol.gov, December 2016

Fidelity, Putnam 401k Investors Get Class Treatment

Abstract: A pair of lawsuits accusing Fidelity Management Trust Co. and Putnam Investments LLC of 401k mismanagement were certified as class actions.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), December 2016

Edison Workers' 401k Fee Challenge Revived by Ninth Circuit

Abstract: Edison International workers convinced an appeals court to revive their claim accusing the company of breaching its ERISA fiduciary duties by failing to monitor allegedly high fees charged in the company's 401k plan.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), December 2016

A Guide to Avoiding 401k Litigation

Abstract: As the pool of large plans diminishes and the litigation theories become well-known, it is inevitable that the volume of 401k litigation will expand. Fortunately, most plan sponsors can avoid 401k litigation by taking a few obvious steps. Here are some suggestions.

Source: Greensfelder.com, December 2016

DOL Sues Company for Abandoning 401k Plan After Ceasing Operations

Abstract: The complaint seeks the removal of Authorized Factory Service as the plan fiduciary, and the appointment of an independent fiduciary to administer the plan in order to effectuate the termination of the plan and the distribution of plan assets to all affected participants and beneficiaries.

Source: Dol.gov, December 2016

DOL Sues Defunct Company to Restore Unremitted Participant Contributions to 401k

Abstract: The lawsuit seeks to require each of the fiduciary defendants, the company, and plan trustee to jointly restore all losses caused to the plan by their fiduciary breaches.

Source: Dol.gov, December 2016

Financial Engines a Litigation Target?

Abstract: A handful of recent lawsuits have named, but not charged, Financial Engines in alleged "pay-to-play" arrangements with providers. That could be getting ready to change.

Source: Napa-net.org, December 2016

Wave of Lawsuits Strikes Retirement Plan Sponsors

Abstract: A significant number of lawsuits have been filed against retirement plan sponsors for failing to properly administer their plans and subsequently violating ERISA regulations. Although lawsuits like these were once seen as taboo, they have recently shed light on plan mismanagement and also exposed plan sponsors to a lot of risk.

Source: Dgccpa.com, December 2016

ERISA Stock Drop Suit Filed Against Exxon Mobil

Abstract: Misrepresentations regarding climate change caused Exxon Mobil's stock price to be artificially inflated, the compliant says.

Source: Planadviser.com, December 2016

Voya Facing Lawsuit Over Stable Value Funds

Abstract: A 403(b) plan participant is claiming that Voya set crediting rates for stable value funds lower than rates of return in order to make a profit.

Source: Planadviser.com, December 2016

401k Plan Fee Litigation Update

Abstract: The wave of fee litigation is ongoing and has significantly increased the responsibility of 401k plan fiduciaries to follow well documented, prudent processes to monitor 401k plan fees and expenses. This article reviews the litigation trends and then provides some observations and take-aways.

Source: Milesstockbridge.com, December 2016

Wells Fargo Hit With Class Action Over Target-Date Funds

Abstract: Wells Fargo enriched itself at its employees' expense by including costly, in-house target date funds in its 401k plan, a new class action complaint alleges.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), November 2016

Stock Drop Lawsuit Did Not Satisfy Dudenhoeffer Pleading Standard

Abstract: In this appeal, the Fifth Circuit reversed, ruling that the amended pleadings did not plausibly allege alternative actions as required by the Supreme Court. The court found that it was not reasonable to say that a prudent fiduciary at that time could not have concluded that disclosure of nonpublic information or freezing employer stock trades -- both of which would likely lower the stock price -- would do more harm than good.

Source: Thomsonreuters.com, November 2016

FMC Sued Over 401k Stake in Sequoia Fund, Valeant

Abstract: FMC Corp. is accused in a new lawsuit of mishandling workers' retirement savings by allowing more than $40 million in 401k assets to be invested in the Sequoia Fund and the stock of controversial drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

Source: Pionline.com (registration may be required), November 2016

Disney Fiduciaries Beat Lawsuit Over Valeant Stock in 401k Plan

Abstract: Fiduciaries of Walt Disney Co.'s 401k plan convinced a federal judge in California to toss out a proposed class action challenging their decision to allow participants to invest their plan assets in the Sequoia Fund and Valeant Pharmaceuticals' stock.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), November 2016

This Is Why You Monitor Your Recordkeeper

Abstract: Unlike many of the excessive fee lawsuits that we have seen over the past few years, a new suit has been filed against the recordkeeper, rather than against the plan sponsor or retirement plan committee. The complaint alleges that Xerox (the recordkeeper for the three Ford plans), as a precondition to making Financial Engines' investment advice tools available on their platform, required FE to overcharge participants and pay Xerox a "kick back" from the fees charged for providing investment advice.

Source: Pension-Consultants.com, November 2016

The University Fee Cases - Product of the Past, Possible Wave of the Future

Abstract: The suits resemble the dozens of "excessive fee" class actions against 401k plan sponsors and fiduciaries in recent years. But they are novel in many respects, especially because their targets, the fiduciaries of 403(b) retirement plans, have not been the focus of much ERISA fiduciary breach litigation until now. The new cases will test the essential structure of such plans and will determine whether fiduciary standards developing in 401k matters should be applied in the same manner in the 403(b) context.

Source: Groom.com, November 2016

Edward Jones Hit With Second ERISA Lawsuit Over 401k Fees

Abstract: Edward D. Jones & Co. breached its fiduciary duties to employees in its 401k plan by including mutual fund investments from business partners and affiliates that charged higher fees than competitors, a new lawsuit alleges.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), November 2016

Revenue Sharing in Managed Accounts Targeted by Class Action Law Firm

Abstract: Managed accounts within DC plans continue to be targeted by class action law firms with the latest filed by Schneider Wallace on behalf of three participants in the $14 billion Ford Motor Company plan against their recordkeeper Xerox HR Solutions.

Source: 401ktv.com, November 2016

Plan Administrator Pays for Failure to Furnish Documents

Abstract: After ruling that a 401k plan administrator violated ERISA when it failed to furnish a custodial agreement and other documents requested by a plan participant, a trial court has imposed penalties totaling $15,959.

Source: Thomsonreuters.com, November 2016

Should Your ERISA Plan Have a Forum Selection Clause?

Abstract: With relatively few exceptions, administrators of employee benefit plans covered by ERISA have enjoyed success enforcing forum selection clauses in cases across the country. As such, employers should consider implementing a forum selection clause in their plans.

Source: Bradley.com, November 2016

A Potential Impact of the 403(b) University Lawsuits on 401k Self-Directed Brokerage Accounts

Abstract: 403(b) plans, with their wide variety of investments which are subject only to the control of the participants, are essentially structured in the same manner as SBDAs in 401k plans. Should the plaintiffs succeed in their claims that it was imprudent to permit employees the ability to invest in a wide range of securities without fiduciary oversight, it may well be the death knell of SBDAs.

Source: Businessofbenefits.com, November 2016

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