Allianz Asset Management of America LP has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by current and former participants in a company 401(k) plan who accused the company and its fiduciaries of violating ERISA.
An agreement-in-principle document was filed Monday by attorneys representing both parties in a U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif. Terms were not disclosed, although the document said details of the class-action settlement would be provided to the court by Aug. 18 in Rocke et al. vs. Allianz Asset Management of America LP et al.
Plaintiffs sued in January alleging that the plan contained proprietary investments that they said represented self-dealing by Allianz.
In addition, the participants said defendants didn't follow the resolution of a 2015 lawsuit, filed by different plaintiffs who claimed ERISA violations by Allianz by filling the investment lineup with proprietary products as well as investment options from Pacific Investment Management Co., an Allianz subsidiary.
Allianz agreed in December 2017 to pay a $12 million settlement.
"Little else has changed since the settlement," the January lawsuit said. "Despite agreeing as part of the settlement to retain an independent consultant to evaluate the plan's lineup and investment policy statement for a period of up to three years, defendants still maintain an all-proprietary lineup."
The lawsuit said the defendants removed a few proprietary products, but it said most of these investments were funds that had been liquidated.
Allianz Asset Management of America LP 401(k) Savings and Retirement Plan, Newport Beach, Calif., had $1.9 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2021, according to the latest Form 5500.