A U.S. District Court judge in New York dismissed a lawsuit filed against Deloitte LLP and its fiduciaries by former employees who claimed two company defined contribution plans violated provisions in ERISA.
Four former employees sued in October 2021 alleging excessive record-keeping fees and excessive investment management fees for some investments in the plans' lineup. They sought class-action status in Singh et al. vs. Deloitte LLP et al.
U.S. District Court Judge John G. Koeltl dismissed the complaint involving the Deloitte Profit Sharing Plan because none of the plaintiffs had invested in it.
"They are not participants, beneficiaries or fiduciaries of that plan within the meaning of ERISA," Mr. Koeltl wrote Jan. 13. "Accordingly, the plaintiffs lack standing" to sue regarding the profit-sharing plan."
He also rejected complaints involving four of six investments cited by the plaintiffs in their complaint against the Deloitte 401K Plan. Because the plaintiffs didn't invest in them, they "will not have their individual plan benefit affected in any way" by those funds' performance or fees, Mr. Koeltl wrote.
As for the two other funds in the this plan, the judge dismissed the allegations of excessive record-keeping fees because "the plaintiffs' comparison does not compare apples to apples," leading to his conclusion that "the comparison fails to indicate plausibly imprudence on the part of the defendants."
The judge gave the plaintiffs 30 days to amend their lawsuit.
The Deloitte Profit Sharing Plan had $9.3 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2020, according to the latest Form 5500. The Deloitte 401K Plan had $9.9 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2020, according to the latest Form 5500.