A federal court judge in New York denied a request by Aegis Media Americas and its fiduciaries to dismiss an ERISA complaint filed by former 401(k) plan participants.
The one-page ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Gregory H. Woods didn't identify his reasons in Kennedy et al. vs. Aegis Media Americas Inc. et al.
Aegis Media Group was acquired by Dentsu Inc. in 2013, leading to the creation of the Dentsu Aegis Network, which was later rebranded as Dentsu International. Dentsu isn't listed as a defendant in court documents. The former participants sued in May 2020, accusing the defendants of breaching their fiduciary duties by failing to provide lowest-cost shares for investments, failing to reduce plan costs and failing to "objectively and adequately" review the investment options.
The complaint acknowledged that plan executives made some changes in the investment lineup in 2018, but it contended that the changes were "far too little and too late." The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status for ERISA violations they say took place between May 8, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2018.
The BenefitsPlus 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan, New York, had $734 million in assets as of Dec. 31, 2019, according to the latest Form 5500 filing. The Dentsu International Americas LLC BenefitsPlus 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan, New York, had assets of $986.3 million, as of Dec. 31, 2021, according to the latest Form 5500.