A U.S. District Court judge in Richmond, Va., ruled Sept. 12 that an ERISA lawsuit against Genworth Financial and its retirement plan fiduciaries related to its 401(k) plan's offering of a BlackRock index target-date series can mostly move forward.
Two former Genworth employees filed the lawsuit — Trauernicht vs. Genworth Financial Inc. — in August alleging the BlackRock series had a poorer overall performance than other popular target-date series, both active and passively managed.
In the Sept. 12 court filing, Judge Robert E. Payne ruled that the bulk of claims against Genworth could move forward, although he did dismiss claims seeking forward-looking relief, saying that since the plaintiffs are former participants in the plan, they "would not benefit from any prospective relief."
The lawsuit is one of eight separate lawsuits recently filed against plan sponsors and fiduciaries, spearheaded by the Miller Shah law firm, alleging that the plans should not have retained the BlackRock Lifepath Index Funds. The other defendants are Booz Allen Hamilton, Capital One Financial, Cisco Systems, Citigroup, Microsoft, Stanley Black & Decker and Wintrust Financial.
A spokesperson for Genworth Financial said the company does not comment on pending litigation.
Genworth Financial Inc. Retirement and Savings Plan, Richmond, Va., had $911 million in assets as of Dec. 31, 2021, according to the company's latest Form 5500 filing.