A participant in Northern Trust Co.'s 401(k) plan has filed a class-action lawsuit against the bank and its benefit administrative committee, alleging a breach of fiduciary duties related to its target-date fund lineup.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, alleges Northern Trust breached its fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 by offering the Northern Trust Focus Funds as the target-date fund lineup in the Northern Trust Co. Thrift-Incentive Plan.
The suit alleges the company breached its duties by continuing to offer the lineup, which was launched in 2010, even though they have "significantly underperformed their benchmark indices and comparable target-date funds" since that time, according to the filing.
The lawsuit says the plan has lost up to $34 million in value since 2014 because the Focus Funds have remained in the investment options lineup.
As of Dec. 31, the Northern Trust Co. Thrift-Incentive Plan had $2.5 billion in assets, according to the company's most recent 11-K filing. As of that same date, the Focus Funds had a total of $396 million in assets in the plan.
Michael M. Mulder, partner, and Elena N. Liveris, associate, at the Law Offices of Michael M. Mulder, attorney for the plaintiff; and Doug Holt, Northern Trust spokesman, could not be immediately reached for comment.