Preliminary settlement reached in high-profile 401(k) fee lawsuit

Fiduciaries would have to remove retail funds from a 401(k) plan’s investment lineup, under a proposed settlement of the Braden v. Wal-Mart excessive fee litigation. As preliminarily approved Dec. 5 by a federal court in Missouri, the settlement also calls for a $13.5 million cash payment to defray legal fees and plan expenses. This lawsuit contrasts with other recent appellate cases where fiduciaries prevailed on excessive fee claims involving retail funds. In those decisions, the range of investment options offered participants worked in fiduciaries’ favor.  (Select News, 15 Dec 2011)