Your 401(k) fees are attracting more attention — from lawyers

Here’s a term you really don’t want used to describe your 401(k): “One of the most expensive plans in America.”

That’s what law firm Nichols Kaster calls the $1.3 billion retirement plan at the center of a proposed class action against Fujitsu Technology and Business of America Inc. In a lawsuit filed last week in San Jose federal court, the attorneys alleged a cornucopia of fiduciary breaches tied to excessive fees, record keeping, and the components of the company’s target-date funds. The case, and several like it in the past year, may be harbingers of a new cycle of 401(k)-gone-bad litigation, this time targeting ever-smaller retirement plans.

Lawsuits such as this one are just the beginning, said Marcia Wagner, a principal at the Wagner Law Group who represents plan sponsors and vendors under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act. The case follows a parade of high-profile suits filed by Jerome Schlichter, of the St. Louis law firm Schlichter Bogard & Denton, alleging breaches of fiduciary duty at some of the largest plans in the U.S.

The focus of the suits is expanding as well, with a wider array of plan permutations and fees coming under scrutiny.

Read more: Bloomberg


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