A proposed class action lawsuit has been filed against Shell Oil and various Fidelity business units and named plan fiduciaries, alleging excessive plan and investment management fees as a result of Shell Oil’s failure to use its bargaining power to negotiate more favorable fees. Plaintiffs also suggest that Shell permitted Fidelity to automatically place its mutual funds in the Plan’s investment menu absent of any screening or ongoing monitoring process, placing the burden of those activities on the participants themselves. Moreover, Shell allowed Fidelity to use participant confidential data to “aggressively market lucrative” retail financial products and services at the expense of participants’ retirement security. The lawsuit contends that through Fidelity’s inappropriate use of participants’ personal data, Fidelity steered participants to products and services that are not in their best interest. Fidelity has voiced its intent to “mount a strong defense against this frivolous lawsuit.”
www.planadviser.com; January 28, 2020.