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Nevin E. Adams

There’s an old saying that when you assume… well, here are some assumptions that can create real headaches for retirement plan fiduciaries. Assuming that the Worst-Case Deadline for Depositing Participant Contributions Is the Deadline for Depositing Participant Contributions The legal... READ MORE
There are plenty of cautionary tales about beneficiary designations and unintended consequences—here’s another. It seems that Sally A. Hogen made contributions to a 401(k) plan during her employment at Honeywell International Inc. She originally designated her husband (Clifford C. Hogen) as the... READ MORE
A case that hinged on the determination of fiduciary status based on control of plan assets—has been decided—again—in favor of the defendants.  The original suit (Rozo v. Principal Life Ins. Co., S.D. Iowa, No. 4:14-cv-00463-JAJ-CFB, 5/12/17), was brought by plaintiff Frederick Rozo[1] on behalf... READ MORE
A federal appellate court took another look at an excessive fee case it had dismissed—and found nothing in a recent Supreme Court decision to change its mind. It was, in fact, the same appellate court (the Seventh Circuit) that had its judgement in the Hughes v. Northwestern University decision in... READ MORE
ERISA’s anti-alienation provisions generally serve to protect/shield retirement assets from garnishment—there is, however, an exception—and Evan Greebel just found out the hard way. In 2017, Evan Greebel was convicted of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and Conspiracy to Commit Securities Fraud as... READ MORE
A lawsuit challenging the Labor Department’s subsequent guidance/application of the so-called fiduciary rule has some support from the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). As noted in the filing, the ACLI was one of the lead plaintiffs in the Fifth Circuit decision that vacated the 2016... READ MORE
Despite surveys to the contrary, a new study finds that overall interest in ESG strategies by participants is “relatively weak” and “driven by naïve diversification.” The difference may, of course, be attributed to the difference between what individuals say—and what they actually do. Unlike... READ MORE
A recent report—and a new wave of litigation—reminds us that all target-date funds are not designed the same.  We all know that target-date funds are different, even if their names sometimes suggest otherwise.  Different management teams both set and monitor asset allocations—allocations that can... READ MORE
ADP got something of a split decision in an excessive fee case—with a federal judge allowing claims regarding high record-keeping fees and expensive investments to proceed—but culling claims about the use of participant data. The Suit The suit was filed in mid-May 2020 in the U.S. District Court... READ MORE
Capozzi Adler PC has found another $1 billion 401(k) plan with “astronomical” fees in which “high recordkeeping fees” and underperforming target-date funds left participant accounts “languishing” in the plan. The target this time is Marmon Holdings, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company, which... READ MORE
The fiduciaries of yet another multi-billion dollar 401(k) has been sued for an alleged breach of its fiduciary duty—ostensibly for causing the plan to pay “unreasonable and excessive fees for recordkeeping and other administrative services”—including a new type of allegation. This time it’s the... READ MORE
A federal appellate court says that the Labor Department is allowed to pursue its inquiry into the cybersecurity practices at a large recordkeeper. Judge Michael B. Brennan (joined in the opinion by Judges Frank H. Easterbrook and Ilana D. Rovner) of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh... READ MORE
The flurry of lawsuits unleashed on holders of the BlackRock LifePath target-date funds is not without precedent — but it’s surely a head scratcher. I’m referring, of course, to the recent swarm of lawsuits challenging nearly a dozen of the nation’s largest 401(k) plans and their decision(s) to... READ MORE
As if there wasn’t enough to worry about regarding retirement—a new research paper suggests we’re not worrying about the “right” things. More precisely, that paper, published by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, was titled, “How Well Do Retirees Assess the Risks They Face in... READ MORE
A federal judge has affirmed a $1.5 million judgment against Schlichter Bogard & Denton LLP and Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP for their role in bringing a “reckless” excessive fee suit. Back in September 2020, determining that the decision to pursue litigation was “objectively... READ MORE
L Brands, parent company of Bath & Body Works has come to terms with the plaintiffs in a 401(k) excessive fee suit.  The suit—which had been filed in late 2020 by Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah LLP and Goldenberg Schneider LPA on behalf of participants in the $1.5 billion plan—had... READ MORE
Another large 401(k) plan has been sued for a breach of fiduciary duty involving excessive fees for recordkeeping—and managed account services it says were worth nothing. This one has been filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by one Ryan K. Gosse, individually and... READ MORE
By some accounts, I recently spent a week in “retirement” — driving around sightseeing, reading some good books, hanging out with family, and yes — even walking on a beach. And I have to tell you — if that was retirement, I don’t know how I’m going to afford it. Now, I realize that isn’t the... READ MORE
Claiming that the plan fiduciaries “…employed a fundamentally irrational decision?making process (i.e., inconsistent with their duty of prudence) contrary to basic economics and established investment theory”—a new suit involving the BlackRock LifePath target-date funds has been filed. The suit—... READ MORE
In a case that has lumbered around since a 2017 embezzlement by Vantage Benefits Administrators, a custodian has finally been able to clear its name. The action followed an Oct. 31, 2017 raid by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the offices of Vantage Benefits Administrators “amid concerns... READ MORE