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Estee Lauder 401(k) Plan Lawsuit / Settlement

A former participant in the Estee Lauder 401(k) Plan has filed a lawsuit against the recordkeepers, both prior and current, – Alight Solutions and Hewitt Associates respectively – and the Plan’s custodian, State Street Bank & Trust, claiming fiduciary breaches for unauthorized account activity, amounting to three different incidences of account distributions, reducing a $99,000 retirement account to approximately $3,800. The suit alleges that due to many fiduciary breaches of loyalty and prudence among the various named defendants, unauthorized distributions of plan assets were permitted. Alleged breaches include failure to confirm authorizations with the participant prior to the distributions, to provide timely notice of distributions via email or telephone, and to identify and stop suspicious distribution requests, inclusive of multiple distribution requests to multiple accounts with different banks. The lawsuit seeks restoration of the participant’s account in full, plus investment earnings that would have accrued from the respective transaction dates to date of judgment. On March 9, 2020 the parties involved filed a notice of settlement, with terms to be disclosed upon approval.

www.planadviser.com; October 14, 2019.
www.investmentnews.com; March 9, 2020.