University of Pennsylvania's request to appeal the decision in an ERISA suit against the university has been denied.
The university filed the petition for a rehearing after an appeals court judge in Philadelphia in May reversed portions of a U.S. District Court's dismissal of a lawsuit against University of Pennsylvania that said the university had breached its fiduciary duties of its 403(b) plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
The lawsuit, which was originally filed in August 2016, claimed the university enabled the 403(b) plan's providers, TIAA-CREF and Vanguard Group, to collect excessive fees by using duplicative investment options and retaining underperforming investment options.
After a U.S. District Court judge in Philadelphia dismissed the suit in its entirety in September 2017, Judge Dennis Michael Fisher said earlier this year that the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would reverse the dismissals of the third and fifth counts of the fiduciary lawsuit.
In the third count, the plaintiffs said the university charged "excessive administrative fees, failed to solicit bids from service providers, failed to monitor revenue sharing, failed to leverage the plan's size to obtain lower fees or rebates and failed to comprehensively review plan management," and the fifth count said the university allowed "unreasonable investment fees, including and retaining high-cost investment options with historically poor performance compared to available alternatives, and retaining multiple options in the same asset class and investment style," according to the appeals court filing.
"The Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of five of the seven claims. The University continues to believe that the remaining claims are without merit," said University of Pennsylvania spokesman Ron Ozio in an emailed statement. "The University retirement plan was at all times administered prudently and in the best interests of our faculty and staff. We are disappointed that our petition for rehearing was not accepted, but believe we will ultimately prevail."