Plan settlement shows you what’s wrong


Finding things wrong with a 401(k) plan is very easy when a settlement in. a lawsuit has been reached.


BTG International just settled a lawsuit where they are paying $560,000 in a settlement. The complaint stated that the 401(k) plan more than 100 investment options, 53 of them “appear to be managed by John Hancock, with the remainder paying revenue sharing to John Hancock.” John Hancock is a solid plan provider, but more than 100 investments in a 401(k) plan and 53 managed by Hancock? This was a lawsuit waiting to happen.


The complaint also alleged that BTG limited their selection of funds to only those funds which provided enough revenue sharing. They also alleged that the defendants failed to accurately disclose the fees John Hancock received on Form 5500 filings from 2012 to the present.


I’m an ERISA attorney and if I had a client that had more than 100 investments, I’d say they’d have a problem even without looking into the Hancock proprietary products. We can argue whether plans should have more than a dozen funds (not including target date funds), but we all can agree that with over 100 funds, it’s probably at least 80-85 too many. I always say in life, “don’t make yourself a target.”

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