Recently, there has been a significant increase in the number of lawsuits filed against 401(k) plans alleging payment of excessive fees. Many large companies including Verizon, Chevron, American Airlines, and Anthem have been sued over this violation. Even universities such as Yale, Duke, and Vanderbilt have been subject to litigation on this front. The 401(k) excessive fees litigation has officially reached the multi-employer sphere. A group of Teamsters and other union workers in California brought suit against the trustees of a supplemental income 401(k) plan, alleging that the plan paid excessive fees to two of its record keepers. Additionally, the plan offered expensive retail share classes of mutual funds when cheaper institutional share classes were available. The initiation of this case is an important reminder to sponsors of multi-employer funds that they are not immune from the recent flurry of excessive fee litigation.
Ybarra v. Board of Trustees. of Supplemental Income Trust Fund, C.D. Cal., No. 8:17-cv-02091.