A 401(k) plan participant has filed a class-action lawsuit against retailer L Brands Inc., Columbus, Ohio, alleging the company breached its fiduciary duties in the management of the plan.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Columbus, said the parent company of Bath & Body Works and Victoria's Secret breached its fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 by allowing unreasonable record-keeping expenses to be charged to the plan and utilizing more expensive share classes of its investments rather than less expensive options.
The suit said the L Brands Inc. 401(k) Savings and Retirement Plan breached its duties by paying excessive record-keeping fees to Wells Fargo during the class period beginning Nov. 23, 2014, to the present. Wells Fargo is listed as the current record keeper of the plan in its most recent Form 5500 filing as of Dec. 31. Principal Financial Group acquired Wells Fargo's record-keeping business earlier in 2019.
Also in the filing, the suit said the company breached its duties by not offering institutional share classes of some of its investment options.
As of Dec. 31, the L Brands Inc. 401(k) Savings and Retirement Plan had $1.6 billion in assets, according to the Form 5500 filing.
L Brands officials and Jeffrey S. Goldenberg and Todd B. Naylor, partners at Goldenberg Schneider, the plaintiff's attorney, could not be immediately reached for comment.