When your plan is big enough, you will be a target of the ERISA litigators.
Human resources outsourcing firm TriNet is the latest target of ERISA litigation.
As a professional employer organization, TriNet provides MEPs to its clients. The TriNet 401(k) includes more than $2.9 billion in assets among more than 162,000 plan participants as of the end of 2018.
The complaint alleged that TriNet breached its fiduciary duty to participants by selecting mutual funds for the plans’ investment menus that had higher fees than others available. The plaintiffs also argue that investment management fees were higher than necessary because the plan didn’t include passively managed funds for several asset classes and didn’t include the lowest-cost share class available.
The complaint also alleged that the Plan had higher-than-necessary record-keeping fees. Participants in the larger MEP paid about $100 annually for administrative costs between 2014 and 2018, while those in the smaller MEP paid $329 in 2014 and $147 in 2018, according to the lawsuit. A comparable average for similarly sized plans is about $35 per year, per the lawsuit complaint.
Expect more MEPs to be sued as this seems to be a burgeoning area for litigators.