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May 19, 2015

Employers must monitor 401(k) fees, Supreme Court rules

“In a move that could brighten retirement prospects for millions of Americans, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employers have a duty to keep watch over 401(k) plans to guard against high management fees that can erode retirement savings.

“A unanimous high court said Monday that employers can be sued if they fail in their “continuing duty to monitor” mutual funds in 401(k) accounts for unnecessarily high fees, potentially shaking up the $5.8-trillion market for administering the plans.

“The decision involving Edison International in Rosemead surprised analysts both for its sweep and the agreement of the frequently fractured court. The ruling effectively shifts the burden in disputes over monitoring retirement plans from workers to the employers that administer them.”


“Others, though, see a major change.

‘The ruling will send a “shock wave to the retirement-provider community and force them to discharge their fiduciary duties and protect people’s savings,’ said Dennis Kelleher, chief executive of Better Markets Inc., a Washington financial reform group.”


Read the full LA Times article by Dean Starkman here.

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