Elsewhere online
August 12, 2016

Lawsuits Target Private Colleges on Pension-Plan Fees

A lawyer who has pioneered legal claims over high 401(k) plan fees has turned his attention to the nonprofit world, representing employees of seven private and state universities alleging costly mismanagement of their retirement funds, The New York Times writes.

Lawsuits filed this week, all seeking class-action status, target Duke, Johns Hopkins, Yale, Vanderbilt, New York University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The suits concern 403(b) retirement savings accounts, which are similar to 401(k) plans but are generally offered by large nonprofit and public institutions like hospitals and colleges.

Plaintiffs — represented by Jerome Schlichter, a lawyer with a high-profile specialty in 401(k) cases — claim their university-sponsored plans overpaid millions of dollars a year by using multiple providers and offered investment lists that ran into hundreds of options and bewildered employees. Some of the defendants have streamlined their plans in recent years, but the plaintiffs allege the changes came too late or did not go far enough.