Five former employees of TriNet Group Inc. have sued the fiduciaries of two company 401(k) plans alleging violations of ERISA.
"The plans had substantial bargaining power regarding the fees and expenses that were charged against participants' investments," said the complaint filed Sept. 29 in a U.S. District Court in Tampa, Fla., seeking class-action status. "Defendants, however, did not try to reduce the plans' expenses or exercise appropriate judgment to scrutinize each investment option that was offered in the plans to ensure it was prudent."
The plaintiffs accused the plans' fiduciaries of retaining certain investment options "despite the availability of identical or materially similar investment options with lower costs and/or better performance histories," said the complaint in the case of Huang et al. vs. TriNet HR III Inc., TriNet HR IV Inc. et al.
“TriNet is committed to transparency with all fees charged on its 401(k) plans and works with an independent investment adviser to conduct ongoing benchmarking of plan fees and investment fees,” spokeswoman Renee Brotherton wrote in an email. She declined to comment further.
The plans had aggregate assets of $4.1 billion at the end of 2018, according to the complaint.