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Kimberly-Clark, the latest big 401(k) lawsuit

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Kimberly-Clark Corp. is the latest defendant in a proposed class action Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) lawsuit. The complaint alleges that Kimberly-Clark breached its fiduciary duties by authorizing the plan to pay unreasonably high fees for retirement plan services.

The 401(k) has more than 16,000 participants and assets of approximately $4 billion. The lawsuit claims Kimberly-Clark’s plan provider arrangement involves “cobbled together services from many providers, which often leads to a duplication of services and higher fees with no additional benefit to plan participants.” The complaint listed 10 covered service providers for the plan, which seems to be quite a lot.

According to the complaint, from the years 2015 to 2019, the average annual administration fees were at least $78 per participant. The lawsuit claims that the fees should $30 per participant, if not lower.

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