Swarm of Litigation Rocks 401(k) Space

Commentary: Over the past eight years, 13 pending or settled cases have accused companies of failing to act in the best interests of employees participating in 401(k) retirement plans. The most recent filing was made by Bailey & Glasser, LLP, which filed a class action lawsuit against AEGON USA in which it accuses the global financial services organization of forcing employee retirement savings accounts into high-priced AEGON investments and retirement programs, and routinely charging “unnecessary and exorbitant” fees. The suit claims the company has violated pension law by putting their profits ahead of the best interests on their employees and in doing so has taken millions of dollars in excessive fees.

This filing came just days before Lockheed Martin agreed to a $62 million settlement, the largest of its kind against a single company, for mismanaging its employees’ retirement accounts. The company, which manages the fifth largest 401(k) plan in the U.S., was accused of placing employee retirement funds in low-yielding money-market funds and charging excessive record-keeping fees.

Another such case, Tibble v. Edison, has even made it to the Supreme Court. In the midst of these allegations, how can employers be sure their retirement funds are safe?

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