401k Litigation Update
- Monday, 18 March 2019 10:59
In 2016 and 2017, 107 complaints were filed with the DOL about 401k plans. This is the most since 2008-2009 according to Retirement Study done at Boston College.
Some things are obvious- when markets fall, complaints tend to rise. These complains tend to fall with plans that were not being paid enough attention to typically, and resulted in “hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements…”
Further, the complaints are typically “obvious and preventable. What are the primary complaints:
- Neglecting to have and follow prudent fiduciary policies, procedures and practices.
- Failing to mitigate conflicts of interest
- Offering inappropriate investment choices
- Lacking required transparency
The time to adjust your behavior is before complaints and problems occur, of course. A common theme in the study is that as soon as lawsuits and investigations start, everyone starts getting educated on their fiduciary duties, but thats too late. Also note that these issues are not about investment advice, but about fiduciary processes, so if you have an investment adviser, thats just not enough!
Oscar Health sues Florida Blue, alleging monopoly of individual ACA health insurance market
- Thursday, 15 November 2018 17:58
Naseem S. Miller / Orlando Sentinel
Oscar Health, the new player in Florida’s ACA marketplace, has filed a federal lawsuit against Florida Blue, alleging that the insurer is using improper tactics to stifle competition in the state and monopolize the individual plan market.
In an antitrust lawsuit filed on Tuesday morning in the federal court’s Middle District of Florida, Oscar alleges that Florida Blue, the largest provider of ACA plans in Florida, has launched a “targeted campaign” to prevent Oscar from entering Orlando by “coercing” brokers into “anticompetitive exclusive agreements” and preventing them from selling Oscar’s plans.
More than 190 brokers have backed out of agreements to sell Oscar’s individual plans, resulting in loss of sales for Oscar, it said.
“When we go to a new city, one of the first things we do is to introduce ourselves to local brokers,” said Bruce Gottlieb, general counsel and executive vice president of strategic partnerships at Oscar. “In every city we’ve gone to, we’ve been able to sign up most of the largest brokers in the city. … Except for Orlando. Florida Blue is preventing brokers telling clients about the lowest-priced plans in the region.”
Another 401k suit
- Wednesday, 07 February 2018 10:53
NAPA is reporting another fee-based lawsuit against a Plan Sponsor:
“Yet another 401(k) provider and investment manager has been sued by one of its own participants for breaching its fiduciary duties to the plan – and while the claims are familiar, the venue is different.
This time the target is Mutual of Omaha in a suit filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska by Berger & Montague and Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky Wotkyns LLP on behalf of Tamera S. Lechner, a participant in the plan, which had approximately 6,000 participants and some $500 million in assets.
Lechner alleged that the plan’s fiduciaries selected United of Omaha-branded investment funds “when each of these Omaha-branded funds invested all of its assets in another publicly available investment fund managed by an unrelated third party – causing the Plan to pay a fee to United of Omaha in addition to the fee charged by the underlying fund’s manager when the Plan could simply have offered the underlying fund and avoided paying any additional fee to United of Omaha.”
For the full article click here