Parties in Princeton University ERISA Lawsuit Reach Agreement to Settle

The District Court had previously denied a motion to reconsider an earlier decision to let parts of the lawsuit move forward.

In a lawsuit charging Princeton University with failing to leverage its retirement plans’ collective and massive bargaining power to benefit participants and beneficiaries, a letter has been submitted saying the parties have agreed to settle.

The defendants were also accused of inappropriately contracting with two recordkeepers instead of one and with failing to investigate, examine and understand the real cost to participants for administrative services, thereby causing the plans to pay unreasonable and excessive fees for recordkeeping and investments.

For more stories like this, sign up for the PLANSPONSOR NEWSDash daily newsletter.

In September 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey granted in part and denied in part Princeton’s motions for dismissal and summary judgment. In December of that year, the court agreed to stay the case pending a decision by the 3rd U.S. Court of Appeals in a similar case, Sweda v. University of Pennsylvania.

The 3rd Circuit Court ultimately revived the lawsuit against fiduciaries of the University of Pennsylvania’s 403(b) plan, which had been fully dismissed by a District Court in 2017. Considering that, in August 2019, the District Court in New Jersey denied a motion for reconsideration of its earlier decision in the Princeton University lawsuit.

In a letter to the judge, which is dated April 14, an attorney representing Princeton wrote, “The parties have now reached an agreement in principle on all substantive terms with respect to the settlement, including therapeutic relief. We anticipate providing the defendant a draft of the settlement papers by next week. We will continue to update the court as to the status of the settlement.”