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Banner Health Settlement

The plaintiffs in this case and one of the defendants, Jeffrey Slocum & Associates, have reached a settlement agreement. Plaintiffs claimed ERISA fiduciary breaches against the named defendants, Banner Health, certain and former employees and advisory firm Jeffery Slocum & Associates. Among other allegations, Jeffrey Slocum & Associates was alleged to have breached fiduciary duty of prudence by allowing unreasonable recordkeeping fees to the Banner 401(k) Plan’s recordkeeper, Fidelity, and the maintenance of underperforming target-date funds – the Fidelity Freedom Funds, and funds populating the Plan’s mutual fund window. In exchange for a release of all ERISA claims against Slocum (its former owners, directors, etc.), Slocum will pay $500,000 to be used to “defray only the Plan’s recordkeeping expenses that are deemed to be reasonable’’ in addition to attorneys’ fees and other administrative fees. The settlement provides a “guaranteed source of payment from Slocum” while still possible, as Slocum ceased to exist in 2016, and Slocum’s attorneys’ have alerted the Plaintiffs’ attorneys that Slocum is operating on a limited insurance policy.

www.napa-net.org; January 3, 2020.
www.planadviser.com; January 3, 2020.