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U.S. District Court Approves $13 Million Settlement Obtained by Schlichter Bogard & Denton on Behalf of Columbia University Retirement Plan Participants

Schlichter Bogard & Denton is pleased to announce that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on October 13, 2021 finally approved a settlement obtained by our firm on behalf of Columbia University employees and retirees. The settlement terms include the creation of a $13 million settlement fund and substantial non-monetary relief, including changes to the retirement plans at issue.

The complaint alleged that Columbia University breached its fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) by causing plan participants to pay excessive fees for administrative and investment services. The University denied that it committed any fiduciary breach in its operation of the plan.

As part of the approved settlement, the University has agreed to request competitive bids for administrative services in the next four years, to maintain the lowest share class of plan investments in annuities and mutual funds, to continue to use an independent consultant to make recommendations, to prohibit the recordkeeper from using confidential information obtained from plan participants to sell other investment and wealth management services, and to ensure that all participants are informed of their ability to move assets out of frozen investment options. Schlichter Bogard & Denton will monitor compliance with these terms for a three-year period.

Recognized as pioneers in ERISA litigation, Schlichter Bogard & Denton filed the first cases alleging excessive fees in 401(k) and 403(b) retirement plans. The firm won the first full trial of a 401(k) excessive fee case, and secured a landmark 9-0 decision in the U.S. Supreme Court in Tibble v. Edison in 2015.

We are proud to be pioneers in 401(k) and 403(b) litigation. Visit our website to learn more about other high-impact cases handled by Schlichter Bogard & Denton. For additional information about Schlichter Bogard & Denton’s retirement practice, please contact us at 800-873-5297 or via email at contact@uselaws.com.