ERISA Class Actions

You Are Entitled To a Prudently Run Retirement Plan with Reasonable Fees

While most employees rely on employer-sponsored retirement or 401(k) plans as the primary source for retirement income, many never question whether the investment choices offered to them in their plans are appropriate or whether the fees charged are excessive.  Unfortunately, employers frequently fail to fulfill their legal obligations to you when it comes to the selection of investment options or fees being charged to you and the plans.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) imposes numerous requirements on private (non-governmental) employers who sponsor employee benefit plans and persons who manage those plans and control their assets.  ERISA sets minimum standards in the design of certain employee benefit plans, and among other things, imposes a fiduciary duty on employers, which means companies have the highest level of responsibility to act with loyalty in the best interests of employees.  Plans should not be heavily weighted in proprietary funds offered by the financial services firms managing the plans.  Employers must also ensure that all retirement plan fees and expenses are reasonable in relation to the services being provided and otherwise manage the plans prudently.

Too often plan sponsors fail to protect their employees by allowing middlemen to deplete retirement plans through excessive fees. While many sponsors claim to absorb plan expenses, the majority do not.  Instead, these excessive fees are passed on to the employees – hidden as percentages and buried in reports.

Bernstein Liebhard represents employees and retirees, and participants and beneficiaries of these plans when plan sponsors fail to ensure that retirement plan expenses and fees are reasonable and that investment options are proper.

For more information concerning the obligations of plans sponsors or to discuss your specific retirement or 401(k) plan, please contact Stephanie M. Beige at