In the last two years, class action attorneys have sued over 150 employers, alleging that their 401(k) plans charge recordkeeping and investment fees that are too high, while their investment returns are too low. This spike follows a steady increase in retirement plan class action litigation over the last 20 years.
Because courts have struggled to distinguish the “plausible” claims that employers should be required to defend, from the “meritless goats” that should be promptly dismissed, many class actions alleging fiduciary breaches against employers (large and small) have proceeded to the costly discovery phase of litigation. In turn, plaintiff class action attorneys have regularly extracted large, multi-million dollar settlements from employers and their insurers facing burdensome discovery–even when fiduciaries have acted diligently.
This webinar addressed how employers can take steps to avoid being the next class action targets, minimize risk, and if they are sued, pursue winning strategies. Dorsey attorneys Steve Lucke, Andrew Holly and Kirsten Schubert shared their experiences defending employers in 401(k) and similar ERISA class action disputes, including winning early motions to dismiss a case.
Lynn Dudley, Senior Vice President, Global Retirement and Compensation Policy at American Benefits Council offered the industry perspective, including efforts to stem the tide of litigation through amicus briefs. Rhonda Prussack, Senior Vice President and Head of Fiduciary and Employment Practices Liability at Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, offered the perspective of a fiduciary insurer as to how employers can manage fiduciary risk.
View the materials from the webinar.