Former employees of Ameritas Holding Co. have sued the company and it retirement plan fiduciaries alleging ERISA violations in investment selection and management.
The 401(k) plan's executives "did not try to reduce the plan's expenses or exercise appropriate judgment to scrutinize each investment option that was offered in the plan to ensure that it was prudent," said the complaint filed July 28 in a U.S. District Court in Lincoln, Neb. The defendants "had substantial bargaining power" due to the plan's asset size, but they didn't act, said the complaint in the case of Colston et al. vs. Ameritas Holding Co. et al.
The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status in their complaint against the company that provides insurance and investment products to more than 5.3 million customers, the lawsuit said. Plaintiffs accused the defendants of conflicts of interest because the plan paid "excessive annuity contract management fees directly to Ameritas, its affiliates and/or third parties," the lawsuit said.
Derek Rayment, a company spokesman, wrote in an email that Ameritas doesn't comment on pending litigation.
The Ameritas 401(k) Retirement Plan, Lincoln, Neb., has assets of $779.9 million as of Dec. 31, 2021, according to the latest Form 5500.