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Fifth Third Bancorp/Stock Drop Case Update

A federal district court has preliminarily approved a settlement in this storied case, originally reported in PEI’s 4Q 2013 Litigation Update. The settlement calls for $6 million to be placed into an account for distribution to affected parties. The settlement agreement also mentions that attorneys for the plaintiffs might move for a Case Contribution Award, not to exceed $10,000 per named plaintiff. Defendants agreed not to take a position on any such fee motions as long as it is not in excess of one-third of the settlement fund.

As part of the settlement, Fifth Third has also agreed to several plan design changes. Participants will be prohibited from investing all new contribution monies into the Fifth Third Stock Fund. No exchanges from other investment options will be accepted, only exchanges out of the Fund, which is frozen, with the exception of reinvested dividends. Fifth Third will also bolster its participant education, specifically addressing those participants with 20% or more of their account balance invested in the Fund, highlighting the importance of asset allocation and diversification. Contributions will be funded in cash form, not shares, and this will not be changed for eight years. Lastly, all company plan benefits committee members will receive annual fiduciary training at least twice a year.; March 31, 2016.; March 24, 2016.