On Friday, for the second week in a row, the Ninth Circuit reversed dismissal of a 401(k) plan excessive fee litigation challenging the offering of retail share classes of mutual funds instead of cheaper institutional share classes. As with its decision reviving the other 401(k) plan litigation (discussed in detail here), the Ninth Circuit declined … Continue Reading
On Friday, the Ninth Circuit became the first circuit court to rule in a 401(k) plan fee and investment litigation following the Supreme Court’s January 2022 decision in Hughes v. Northwestern University, 142 S. Ct. 737 (2022). In Davis v. Salesforce.com, Inc., No. 21-15867 (9th Cir. Apr. 8, 2022), the Ninth Circuit, without discussing Hughes, … Continue Reading
In the first decision since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Hughes v. Northwestern Univ., No. 19-1401, 595 U.S. ___ (U.S. Jan. 24, 2022) (discussed further here), a Georgia federal district court held in favor of plaintiffs and declined to dismiss allegations that defendant’s 401(k) plan included costly and underperforming funds and charged excessive recordkeeping fees. … Continue Reading
To the disappointment of many in the ERISA community, the Supreme Court issued a six-page opinion on January 24th that declined to opine on most of the issues that were before the Court in Hughes v. Northwestern University, No. 19-1401 (U.S. Jan. 24, 2022). In a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Sotomayor, in which Justice … Continue Reading
A South Carolina federal district court denied plaintiffs’ demand for a jury trial in an ERISA fiduciary-breach action. The court held that, because federal courts in the Fourth Circuit and elsewhere have consistently held that ERISA claims are equitable in nature even when plaintiffs seek monetary relief, jury trials are unavailable. The case is Williams … Continue Reading
A Kentucky federal district court ruled that a participant in CommonSpirit Health’s 401(k) plan failed to state plausible claims for breach of fiduciary duty related to the fees and performance of actively managed target date funds and recordkeeping fees. The court first rejected plaintiff’s claim that the plan fiduciaries should have offered a passively managed … Continue Reading
The Fifth Circuit in Schweitzer v. Inv. Comm. of Phillips 66 Sav. Plan dismissed claims against 401(k) plan fiduciaries related to allowing plan participants to hold a single stock that was not an employer security as a plan investment alternative. No. 18-cv-20379, 2020 WL 2611542 (5th Cir. May 22, 2020). The Court held that: (i) … Continue Reading
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