Columbus Regional Healthcare System Inc. has agreed to settle an ERISA lawsuit filed by former participants in a terminated 403(b) plan, according to a notice filed Sept. 25 in U.S. District Court in Columbus, Ga.
Terms weren't disclosed in the document filed by attorneys representing the plaintiffs and the defendant. They said details would be provided to the court within 45 days in Goodman et al. vs. Columbus Regional Healthcare System Inc. The agreement was reached through mediation, the document said.
The former participants sued in February 2021, alleging plan fiduciaries offered higher-priced retail shares of mutual funds instead of cheaper institutional shares.
They also accused plan executives of keeping poor-performing investments in the plan lineup and of emphasizing actively managed funds when similar, cheaper index funds were available.
The plaintiffs were participants of a Columbus plan that was terminated May 31, 2019. Columbus Regional Healthcare was acquired by Piedmont Healthcare Inc., Atlanta, in 2018, the original complaint said.
Columbus Regional Healthcare System is a wholly owned subsidiary of Piedmont, which is not a defendant.
Participants in the former Columbus Regional Healthcare System Retirement Savings Plan are now participants of the Piedmont Columbus Regional Healthcare System Retirement Savings Plan, the original complaint said. The Columbus plan had about $183 million in assets and covered 4,700 participants with account balances as of May 31, 2019, when it was terminated, the original complaint said.