Risk management and benefits firm Milliman is facing a trial in April over the alleged mismanagement of its own 401(k) plan.
Late last week, the company’s request to quash the case through summary judgment was shot down by the judge presiding over it, who scheduled a rare bench trial to begin April 1.
Whether the case actually goes to trial is a question. Clearing motions to dismiss and defense motions for summary judgment are considered significant victories for plaintiffs, and getting over those hurdles adds pressure to reach a settlement.
Even so, the complaint that was filed more two years ago alleged that the plan suffered losses of $85 million as a result of fiduciary violations – an amount that could make a settlement difficult to attain. Since then, an expert witness projected that the plan lost about $55 million in connection with the three target-risk collective investment trusts in question, said Charles Field, chair of the financial services litigation practice group at Sanford Heisler.
“We think it’s a just and righteous case, and our goal here is to get money in the hand of these participants so they can have money to retire on,” said Field, whose firm brought the lawsuit. “If we can’t settle the case, then we look forward to taking this to trial.”
In January 2022, the lead plaintiff in the class-action case alleged that Milliman breached its fiduciary duty to the plan by including three target-risk collective investment trusts that the company subadvised. When those products were added to the plan in 2013, they were essentially new and “untested,” according to the complaint, and they underperformed peers and benchmarks in the following years, leading to losses for the participants invested in them, theRead more on investmentnews.com