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Plaintiff drops fiduciary breach suit against Empower

A participant in a 401(k) plan administered by Empower Retirement dropped his ERISA fiduciary breach lawsuit against the record keeper and several affiliates three years after he filed it.

U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn issued an order of dismissal Monday in the case of Wahan Krikorian et al. vs. Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Co. et al., collectively doing business as Empower Retirement.

In issuing a motion to dismiss the case, the judge noted the parties will pay their own attorney fees and costs. His order didn't detail reasons for the plaintiff's action.

Mr. Krikorian sued four Great-West entities alleging they committed "acts of self-dealing" due to their role in providing services and products through Empower Retirement to the 401(k) plan of TPS Parking Management LLC.

TPS was not named as a defendant. The four defendants were Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Co.; Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Co. of New York; Great-West Trust Co. LLC; and Advised Asset Group LLC.

The original complaint said Empower entered into revenue-sharing agreements with mutual funds, affiliates of mutual funds, fund advisers, subadvisers and others for which Empower received revenue-sharing payments "for its own benefit … in violation of the prohibited transaction rules" of ERISA.

Commenting that the lawsuit was "without merit," Stephen Gawlik, a spokesman for Empower wrote in an email that "we are pleased with this result."