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Defined Contribution plan fees

Senate Finance Chair releases outline of broad, bipartisan retirement legislation

On June 17, 2022, Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) released an outline of the bipartisan Enhancing American Retirement Now (EARN) Act. The Committee is expected to take up this legislation beginning the week of June 20. The EARN Act, together with the Retirement Improvement and Savings Enhancement to Supplement Healthy Investments for the…Read More

Post-Hughes v. Northwestern – plaintiffs win in three motion-to-dismiss decisions

On January 24, 2022, in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court vacated the Seventh Circuit’s decision in Hughes v. Northwestern – an ERISA prudence case implicating a number of issues that have been raised in 401(k) fee litigation. The Court rejected the Seventh Circuit’s reliance on the availability of lower cost alternatives as a defense to claims that the cost of certain funds and of plan recordkeeping was unreasonably high, remanding the case for consideration under the rule in Tibble v. Edison, that a fiduciary has an obligation to remove imprudent investments.

Multiple employer plans – fiduciary litigation risk – introduction

Multiple employer plans (MEPs) are emerging as a provider-based alternative to single employer 401(k) plans, particularly for smaller employers. It seems likely that, as these MEPs accumulate assets, they will begin to be the target of the same sort of fiduciary litigation that has afflicted the single employer 401(k) plan community. In this introductory article…Read More

Biden Administration agency agenda

In this article we review possible retirement policy agency initiatives of a Biden Administration. We will follow up with a discussion of possible legislative initiatives when the Congressional situation becomes clearer.

2019 year in review

In this article we review some of the significant retirement policy developments of 2019, including Congress’s consideration of broad bipartisan legislation (the SECURE Act), DOL’s electronic participant communications proposal, and the Supreme Court putting three ERISA retirement plan cases on its docket. Legislation Retirement policy-related legislative activity focused on passage of the Setting Every Community Up…Read More

Target Date Fund litigation – Intel plaintiffs challenge the use of alternative asset classes in 401(k) plan TDFs

In this article we focus on the recent complaint filed against Intel (Anderson v. Intel), challenging the significant allocations to hedge funds and private equity in the Intel plans’ TDFs. We note that sponsors have generally been reluctant to include alternative/non-traditional investments as separate, explicit investment options in 401(k) fund menus, largely because of challenges…Read More

Pay to play lawsuits — issues for plan sponsors

Recently, in two separate lawsuits, plaintiffs sued Fidelity, alleging ERISA fiduciary violations in connection with an “infrastructure fee” it charges certain funds that participate in its FundsNetwork mutual fund “supermarket.” In a series of lawsuits going back at least to 2016, plaintiffs have also sued recordkeepers (including Fidelity, Aon Hewitt, and Voya) over fees they…Read More