Two 401(k) plan participants filed a class-action lawsuit against Barrick Gold of North America Inc., Salt Lake City, and other fiduciaries, alleging they violated their duties by not reducing expenses in their investment options lineup.
The complaint filed April 24 in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City alleges the mining company, its board and benefits committees violated their fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 by not using the "substantial bargaining power regarding the fees and expenses that were charged against participants' investments" as a large plan.
The plan "lost millions of dollars in offering investment options that had similar or identical characteristics to other lower-priced investment options," according to the filing, noting that the plan between 2014 and 2018 only offered four passive investment options as an example.
As of Dec. 31, 2018, the Barrick Retirement Plan had $560 million in assets, according to the company's most recent Form 5500 filing.
Mark K. Gyandoh, partner at Capozzi Adler, attorney for the plaintiffs, declined comment beyond the filing. Barrick Gold officials could not be immediately reached for comment.