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.
Brokers serving retirement plans and other institutional investors were accused of routing orders for equities to an offshore affiliate in Bermuda that “executed them on a riskless basis and opportunistically boosted profits by adding a mark-up or mark-down on the price of a security.”
Along with non-monetary relief, Allianz will pay $12 million into a common fund for the benefit of class members, to be allocated pro rata among the members in proportion to their account balances in the plan during the relevant period.
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.
Drawing on a number of recent decisions, the district court ruled the plaintiffs did not adequately describe how the offering of a fund in which they did not invest caused a non-speculative injury.
The lawsuit contended that among defined contribution plans with more than $1 billion in assets, the average plan has costs equal to 0.33% of assets per year; in 2013, total fees for the Fujitsu plan amounted to approximately 0.88% of plan assets.
Based on Great-West’s investigation and the work of FBI agents, it appears that unauthorized individuals have been fraudulently obtaining access to funds held in a small number of retirement accounts.
The district court decision spells out a number of caveats impacting this type of ERISA litigation, explaining why it is dismissing some claims while permitting others to go to a full trial.
Discussion in the new appellate decision lays out some important distinctions regarding the initial district court’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit, weighing arguments of standing and mootness.
The complaint states that Johns Hopkins has not prudently managed its 403(b) plan, but a district court judge disagrees, at least on several aspects of the complaint.
The uncertainty over the fiduciary rule and increased participant litigation are prompting sponsors to move to lower-cost investment options.
The ERISA lawsuit has gained class certification after the plaintiffs successfully established numerosity, typicality and commonality.
A court certified a class in the consolidated lawsuit after first rejecting BB&T’s arguments that the class did not meet commonality and typicality requirements.
A federal court judge found most claims were not plausibly alleged by the plaintiffs.
The lead plaintiff suggests the providers created an asset allocation solution designed to seed high-fee funds over lower-cost options—charges the firms flatly deny.
Plaintiffs claim their 401(k) and 403(b) plan fiduciaries failed to adequately monitor investment services providers.
Large banks are accused by the federal pension funds of working together behind the scenes to protect their interests as middle men in the securities lending marketplace.