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Fiduciary Governance

A participant lawsuit claims that American Airlines has put retirement savings at risk by investing with managers and funds that “pursue leftist political agendas through environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies, proxy voting, and shareholder activism.” Participant-plaintiff (and... READ MORE
Evan Greebel, pharma bro Martin Shkreli’s lawyer and co-conspirator, lost his bid to protect his 401(k) from garnishment to pay restitution to his victims. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case, effectively ending Greebel’s quest to keep his retirement plan free from a $10.4 million judgment... READ MORE
The IRS has issued guidance on the expansion of the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) under Section 305 of SECURE 2.0.  The guidance is contained in Notice 2023-43, which provides interim guidance in advance of an update to Revenue Procedure (Rev. Proc.) 2021-30.  The issues the... READ MORE
An excessive fee suit has moved past a motion to dismiss—apparently because of a slight shift in its arguments about recordkeeping services. This suit was filed by participant-plaintiff Michael Mazza, a former participant (and senior director of marketing) in the $879 million, 10,205 participant... READ MORE
Citing an “unlawful decision to elevate unrelated policy goals over the financial health of the Plans,” a new participant suit has charged three New York plans with jeopardizing the retirement security of plan participants. More specifically, the suit (Wayne Wong v. NYCERS, TRS and BERS) targets... READ MORE
Appearing at the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2023 Spring Policy Forum on May 11, Lisa Gomez, Assistant Secretary for the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), told attendees that the department is busy working on getting guidance out the door.   On the retirement side, Gomez... READ MORE
An excessive fee suit where plan fiduciaries had prevailed on most issues — has now settled the remaining claims. The suit — filed in mid-2020 by seven former employees of Schneider Electric Holdings, Inc. — had targeted Schneider Electric, the two committees that oversee the $4.5 billion plan,... READ MORE
Ah, Spring: one day cold, one day warm. Like Mother Nature, private-sector pension plans showed mixed results in April, according to multiple reports.  Funded Status    Reports about how the funded status of private-sector pension plans fared in April varied, but they were fairly consistent... READ MORE
The impact of the pandemic over the last two years has prompted businesses of all sizes to reevaluate their benefit packages and small businesses are no exception.   In fact, nearly all small business owners surveyed (93%) have re-evaluated their strategy and plan to make changes to their business... READ MORE
Snap, Crackle — and now, Pop! Another multi-billion 401(k) plan has won its case against allegations of excessive fees. The victor this time—winning dismissal of a proposed class action with prejudice[1] — was Kellogg’s, and the fiduciaries of its $1.9 billion 401(k) plan. The suit had been filed... READ MORE
The fiduciary standards in ERISA include an obligation to act prudently and solely for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to participants and beneficiaries and for defraying reasonable expenses, and those standards apply to DB plans and DC plans. The Department of Labor (DOL) has not been... READ MORE
The fiduciaries of the 99 Cents Only Stores have come to terms in an excessive fee suit involving their 401(k) plan – and for considerably more than…99 cents. That said, the relatively quick (the suit was filed only about a year ago on March 25, 2022) settlement was, by the standards of such... READ MORE
A bill has been introduced in the Maine House of Representatives that would prohibit consideration of nonpecuniary factors such as environmental, social, corporate governance (ESG) factors in investment of Maine Public Employees Retirement System funds. Rep. Chad Perkins (R-Dover-Foxcroft)... READ MORE
Terms of a proprietary fund suit settlement with Mutual of America have been revealed. The plaintiffs had claimed the plan fiduciaries had “an imprudent and disloyal preference for its own proprietary funds.” Represented in the action by Nichols Kaster PLLP, the participant/plaintiffs had claimed... READ MORE
“Following several years of thorough and active litigation…including numerous dispositive and procedural motions, full discovery, and preparation for a twelve-day jury trial originally scheduled for April 2023,” the parties in an excessive fee suit have come to terms. Here participant-plaintiffs... READ MORE
The plaintiffs had claimed the plan fiduciaries had “an imprudent and disloyal preference for its own proprietary funds” — but have now come to terms. Back in September of 2022, participant-plaintiffs Eric Goldstein, Matt Sudol, and Bonnie Zelazek, individually and as representatives of a class of... READ MORE
Another Midwestern federal court has found that the plaintiffs in a 401(k) excessive fee suit have failed to make their case. This suit had been brought by participant-plaintiffs Ruth Williams, Tovah Allen, Carolyn Ross, Alicia Bates, and Tracy Young against Centene Corporation, the Board of... READ MORE
Another excessive fee suit with participant-plaintiffs represented by two active ERISA litigants — has been dismissed on a number of grounds. The defendants in this case — DISH Network Corporation, the board of directors of that firm, and the retirement plan fiduciaries of the $841 million DISH... READ MORE
A federal judge has denied the Labor Department’s motion to move a suit involving the so-called ESG regulation from a federal court in Texas to Washington, DC. U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk denied the Department of Labor’s (DOL) motion (State of Utah et al. v. Walsh et al., case number... READ MORE
Live Nation finds itself in the crosshairs of litigation — and it has nothing to do with Taylor Swift tickets. As it turns out, Live Nation Entertainment Inc. (which merged with TicketMaster in 2010), currently embroiled in controversy about access to tickets for mega star Taylor Swift, now also... READ MORE