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Hacks, Embezzlements, and 401(k) Mismanagement – What You Can Do to Protect Your Retirement Nest Egg

Hacks, Embezzlements, and 401(k) Mismanagement – What You Can Do to Protect Your Retirement Nest Egg November 17, 2018. By Anne Wallace.
Washington, DC When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton reportedly replied, “Because that’s where the money is.” Now, however, roughly $5 trillion, or a fifth of all U.S. retirement assets, sit in 401(k) accounts. Today’s Willie Suttons are there, too, as recent ERISA lawsuits and criminal prosecutions confirm.
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Fidelity Faces Self-Dealing Lawsuit over 401(k) Plan Mismanagement

Fidelity Faces Self-Dealing Lawsuit over 401(k) Plan Mismanagement October 18, 2018. By Anne Wallace.
Boston, MA On October 10, 2018, participants in the Fidelity Retirement Savings Plan filed a class action ERISA pension plan lawsuit against the Plan’s fiduciaries. The Complaint alleges that the Plan fiduciaries breached their duties under ERISA, thus harming the Plan and its participants and beneficiaries.
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401(k) Lawsuit Continues against Franklin Templeton

401(k) Lawsuit Continues against Franklin Templeton October 15, 2018. By Anne Wallace.
San Francisco, CA An ERISA pension plan lawsuit has survived numerous procedural challenges and will proceed as a class action against investment manager Franklin Templeton. Fernandez v. Franklin Resources Inc. claims that the fiduciaries in charge of managing the Franklin Templeton 401(k) Plan breached their duty to plan participants by causing the Plan to invest in funds offered and managed by Franklin Templeton, when better-performing and lower-cost funds choices were available. The motive was to benefit Franklin Templeton’s investment management business.
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Ninth Circuit Says Pension Plan Participants Cannot be Forced to Arbitrate

Ninth Circuit Says Pension Plan Participants Cannot be Forced to Arbitrate August 9, 2018. By Anne Wallace.
San Francisco, CA On July 24, 2018, the Ninth Circuit held that the plaintiffs in a pension plan lawsuit could continue their legal fight as a class action, rather than having to arbitrate individually.Munro v. University of Southern California is a major victory for ERISA plan participants who were required to sign individual arbitration agreements as a condition of employment. The Court likened these ERISA lawsuits to whistle blower lawsuits–essentially viewing the plaintiffs as public prosecutors acting in defense of the pension plan itself. This is a very broad argument that may ultimately have wider legal implications.
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Aon Hewitt Named (again) in Double-Dealing Retirement Plan Lawsuit

Aon Hewitt Named (again) in Double-Dealing Retirement Plan Lawsuit July 9, 2018. By Anne Wallace.
Charlotte, NC In April 2018, Benjamin Reetz filed a class action ERISA lawsuit on behalf of himself and other participants in the Lowe’s 401(k) Plan. The lawsuit claims that Aon Hewitt, the plan’s investment advisor, lined its pockets by recommending one of its own poorly performing investment funds. Lowe’s then fell down on the job by failing to catch what Aon Hewitt was doing. Wait, you think, didn’t I read this before, but was it about Home Depot or maybe Invesco?
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Invesco Accused of Treating ERISA Plan Participants as Captive Investors

Invesco Accused of Treating ERISA Plan Participants as Captive Investors June 13, 2018. By Anne Wallace.
Atlanta, GA On May 24,2018, participants in the Invesco 401(k) Plan filed an ERISA lawsuit in the Northern District of Georgia. The ERISA lawsuit contends that Invesco, Ltd. profited from the ERISA plan it offered to employees. The situation is rife with potential conflicts of interest because the employer, a plan fiduciary, is also an investment manager. Lest we lose track in this tangled web, self-dealing is against the law.
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Home Depot Employees File ERISA Class Action Lawsuit over 401(k) Mismanagement

Home Depot Employees File ERISA Class Action Lawsuit over 401(k) Mismanagement May 9, 2018. By Anne Wallace.
Atlanta, GA On April 12, 2018, two Home Depot 401(k) plan participants, Jaime Pizarro and Craig Smith, filed an ERISA lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Georgia. The complaint alleges that The Home Depot breached its duty to Plan participants in three ways: by choosing poorly-performing investment options, allowing investment advisors to charge unreasonable fees and ignoring a kickback scheme between an investment adviser and the plan’s record keeper. A nickel here, a buck and half there – it adds up.
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ERISA Lawsuit to Be Heard by Supreme Court in February

ERISA Lawsuit to Be Heard by Supreme Court in February February 6, 2015. By Heidi Turner.
Washington, DC An ERISA lawsuit concerning the statute of limitations in ERISA plan claims will be heard by the Supreme Court this month. The lawsuit, Tibble, et al vs. Edison International, et al, originally involved claims about imprudent investments for a company ERISA plan, but the Supreme Court will hear arguments concerning the statute of limitations in the ERISA plans.
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Report: $1.3 Billion in Top ERISA Class-Action Settlements in 2014

Report: $1.3 Billion in Top ERISA Class-Action Settlements in 2014 January 8, 2015. By Heidi Turner.
Chicago, IL An annual report of workplace litigation reveals that in 2014, ERISA lawsuits netted more than $1.3 billion in settlements, making 2014 the highest for ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) plan settlement figures in recent history. Although the number of ERISA lawsuits was down by the end of 2014, a few massive ERISA settlements drastically increased the settlement figures for the year.
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Labor Department Wins $4.7 Million in ERISA Lawsuit

Labor Department Wins $4.7 Million in ERISA Lawsuit December 5, 2014. By Heidi Turner.
Trenton, NJ An ERISA lawsuit filed in 2005 by the Department of Labor has resulted in a $4.7 million judgment against the fiduciaries of the Professional Industrial Trade Workers Union (PITWU) Health & Welfare Fund. The ERISA plan complaint alleged that the fiduciaries violated their duties by compensating themselves for their services through employer contributions.
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