Law.com reports that litigation over allegedly excessive administrative expense charged by 401(k) plans is being filed around the country.
The suits come amid stepped-up investigations by a congressional committee, the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission into inadequate disclosures of administrative fees charged to employees in 401(k) and other retirement plans.
Among other things, the cases that have been filed have attacked undisclosed fees charged for mutual funds and annuities. At least one alleges that the sponsoring employer violated its fiduciary duty to its 401(k) plan participants by engaging a mutual fund company that charged undisclosed fees. And some cases challenge employers that engage funds that charge high fees, even where full disclosure is made to employees.
It does not appear that any of these cases have been finally decided. However, some courts have decided motions in which they have upheld the viability of the plaintiffs' legal theories.
We will keep you advised as we follow this new area of employer liability.