Participants in a 401(k) plan run by Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. sued the company and its fiduciaries, alleging violations of their duties under ERISA.
"Failures by ERISA fiduciaries to monitor costs for reasonableness have stark consequences for retirees," said the complaint filed Jan. 19 in a U.S. District Court in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The "retirement plan service fees were excessive when compared with other similar-sized plans," said the complaint in the case of Spitzley et al. vs. Mercedes-Benz International Inc. et al.
"Defendants failed to employ prudent processes for ensuring that fees were and remained reasonable," said the complaint, which seeks class-action status. "To the extent that there was a process in place that was followed by the defendants, it was imprudent and ineffective given the objectively unreasonable fees paid for retirement plan services."
The complaint accused the fiduciaries of "failing to properly disclose the fees charged to participants in the plan in their quarterly statements or fee disclosure" and "failing to defray reasonable expenses of administering the plan."
A company spokesman couldn't be reached for comment.
The Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. Retirement and Savings Plan, Vance, Ala., had assets of $984 million as of Dec. 31, 2019 according to the lawsuit,