Two weeks before trial and after three years of litigation, a preliminary settlement has been reached resulting from “arm’s length” negotiations in this excessive fee case, with the assistance of a national mediator. Settlement provides for a $24 million settlement fund, allocated to participant monetary recoveries as well as class counsel attorneys, class representatives, and administrative settlement expenses. For the majority of participants, recovery monies will be posted to their 401(k) plan account, with those who no longer have accounts given the choice to receive monies in check form or deposited as a rollover into another tax-deferred account. Non-monetary terms include the engagement of a consulting firm to conduct a Request for Proposal for an unaffiliated investment consultant to the Plan to provide an objective evaluation of the Plan’s investment options. Also, within the “two-year period following entry of the Final Order”, BB & T must rebate any monetary compensation paid by an investment company to the recordkeeper based on the Plan’s investments as well as conduct a Request for Proposal process for recordkeeping services should BB&T decide to charge Plan participants for recordkeeping fees during that same period. Further, plan fiduciaries must receive plan fiduciary ERISA training.
www.pionline.com; December 4, 2019.