Market Conditions 2018 - Fiduciary Liability

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Over the past year an escalating number of lawsuits were filed against plan sponsors alleging "excessive fees" with regards to defined contribution plans. Plaintiffs in these cases generally allege that plan sponsors and plan fiduciaries breached their ERISA fiduciary duties by requiring participants to pay excessive fees, either by offerings plan investments with high expense ratios or by charging plan participants directly or indirectly high recordkeeping fees. In 2017 more than 30 excessive fee cases were filed across almost every circuit in the country. By comparison, there were approximately 80 lawsuits filed in the past decade across the country.