The text of the complaint includes substantial detail about the inner workings of the Home Depot retirement plan, and its relationships with advice providers Financial Engines and, later, Alight Financial Advisors.
The central claim in the failed class action was that plaintiffs were forced to overpay significantly for advisory services; defendants successfully argued the plaintiff failed to state an actionable claim.
A district court has ruled that the complaint “does not sufficiently plead that the defendants were engaged in the conduct of an association-in-fact enterprise or that each defendant engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity.”
The fact that two U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, the Fifth and the Tenth, have issued conflicting rulings about the propriety of the DOL’s process in creating and implementing a stricter fiduciary standard, leaves the retirement plan industry with a number of challenging questions.
SEC-mandated regulatory filings from Wells Fargo Advisors have triggered state and federal inquiries into whether the firm’s advisers have made inappropriate referrals or recommendations, including with respect to rollovers for 401(k) plan participants.
Since the last study of this kind by CEM Benchmarking, average DB fund costs have increased from 0.40% to 0.60%, whereas DC plan costs have remained constant at 0.39%; overall, DB plans outperformed DC plans in the last decade by only 0.46%.
ERISA requires plan sponsors to regularly monitor investment lineups to ensure they remain prudent—a task made more complicated by the multi-layered construction of target-date funds; a new paper points to the best practices of defined benefit plans for some guidance.
A district court found plaintiffs met the requirements of ERISA Rule 23(a) and the class is maintainable under at least one of the subdivisions of ERISA Rule 23(b).
With the new opinion, the district court seeks to make clear where the line is when it comes to pleading standards in ERISA lawsuits.
For one thing, a federal court judge found the defendants provide no authority supporting their contention that a plan document executed after the participant has ceased participation in the plan can bind the participant to arbitration.
Fidelity confirms that it will soon begin charging a 0.05% fee on assets invested through its platform into Vanguard products.
Looking at asset flow data provided by Wells Fargo, there is very little money going into the standalone index equity fund options being added to DC plan menus—and this is probably a good thing.
The new edition aims to support the needs of employers providing defined contribution plans by enabling service providers to prepare consistent RFP responses, resulting in reduced response times and more accurate evaluations.
Institutional investors with less than $1 billion in assets paid 65% more for investment management than medium-size funds ($1 billion to $10 billion in assets) and 91% more than the largest funds (greater than $100 billion in assets), Callan found.
Proprietary fund lawsuits are viewed by plaintiffs’ firms as one of the types of excessive fee cases that are likely to get past motions to dismiss; and so it stands to reason that more—potentially many more—of these lawsuits are on the way.
Data shows about one-fourth of nonprofit plan sponsors are not aware of what comprises a formal fee policy statement, and half of respondents are unfamiliar with the tenants of fee levelization.