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Get What You Deserve Out of Your 401(k)

By December 19, 2012July 16th, 2019Uncategorized

Missouri 401(k) Litigation attorneys are willing to help people get what they deserve out of their company 401(k). An increase in 401(k) litigation in recent years has shown that attorneys have become more familiar with 401(k) fees and what constitutes a breach in fiduciary duty. Of the lawsuits filed since 2006, in those that were settled, plan participants received between $10 million and $18 million from their employers. Typically, defendants have been plan providers (such as Fidelity Investments) and employers. In the future, as Registered Investment Advisors continue to grow in the 401(k) market, they will also become defendants in cases.

Common claims in 401(k) litigation include not outlining specific costs, using revenue-sharing, using mutual funds, using expensive share classes despite the availability of less expensive share classes, failure to negotiate investment provider rebates when required by plan documents, and failure to monitor record-keeping costs when required by plan documents.

In one Missouri legal decision, the case of Tussey v. ABB Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, multiple fiduciary breaches were found, most of which were from the employer. They included not negotiating rebates from investment providers and not monitoring record-keeping costs. In addition, the employer selected share classes that were more expensive when less expensive share classes were available. In this case, the plaintiffs were awarded $36.9 million.

In another case, Braden v. WalMart, allegations stated that the defendant had access to lower-cost institutional shares but, on the basis of fees, did not evaluate or select plan investment options. Attorneys for the plaintiffs argued that Wal-Mart could have negotiated lower, more competitive costs by using cheaper share classes. While this case was originally dismissed by the District Court, the decision was reversed by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the plaintiffs won their case.

If you believe you have a claim against your employer or plan provider, it’s crucial that you contact an attorney with experience in 401(k) litigation, as these cases can be complicated and require specific expertise.