On August 29, 2022, in Albert v. Oshkosh Corporation, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of an ERSIA fee-related prudence claim against fiduciaries of Oshkosh’s defined contribution plan. The case is especially interesting because it was a Seventh Circuit decision in the Northwestern ERSIA fee-related prudence litigation that the Supreme Court vacated and remanded in January 2022. The Supreme Court’s opinion in that case represented its most extensive discussion of the standards to be applied to motions to dismiss in these sorts of cases. In Oshkosh, the Seventh Circuit gives its first interpretation of the extent, and limits, of the Supreme Court’s decision in Northwestern.
In this article, we focus on the court’s decision and supporting legal analysis, and on the key legal issue: in fee-based ERISA prudence claims, what must a plaintiff plead to survive a motion to dismiss?