Humana wins 401(k) excess fee case

A federal judge in Kentucky threw out a case against Humana Inc., claiming former employees had failed to provide sufficient evidence that the company charged excessive record-keeping fees and failed to adequately search for a less expensive record keeper.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings accepted the expert testimony of the defendants’ expert Pete Swisher that Humana had a prudent process while rejecting the comparisons put forth by the plaintiffs’ expert. The judge excluded the testimony of Veronica Bray.

“Because Bray provides no reasonable explanation for her selection of the six plans and herself acknowledges they are not comparable to the Humana plan, the Court will exclude her testimony,” Jennings wrote in Moore et al. vs. Humana Inc. et al.

The judge claimed that the plan’s record keeper offered the lowest fees of any provider solicited via an RFP and that annual benchmarking revealed as “still reasonable” the record-keeping fees. Again, it’s all about a process.

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