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Lawsuit accuses T. Rowe Price of self-dealing in company 401(k) plan

T. Rowe Price Group has been sued by a participant in a company 401(k) plan, alleging that the plan offered only T. Rowe Price investment options without considering less-expensive ones.

The plan “favored the economic interests of T. Rowe Price Group Inc. and its affiliates over the interests of their employees,” the participant charged in the complaint, David G. Feinberg vs. T. Rowe Price Group Inc. et al. The complaint was filed Feb. 14 in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Mr. Feinberg is seeking class-action status in challenging the management of the T. Rowe Price U.S. Retirement Program, which had more than $1.7 billion in assets in 2015, according to the lawsuit.

“We believe the suit is without merit and intend to defend vigorously,” said Kylie Scott, a T. Rowe Price spokeswoman, in an email Friday.

Since Feb. 14, 2011, the lawsuit said the 401(k) plan offered only T. Rowe Price investment funds. “In addition, defendants frequently offer or offered the higher cost retail versions of their mutual funds in the 401(k) plan,” the lawsuit said. “They did so despite the fact that significantly cheaper versions of these funds were available.”