Class Certification in Lawsuit Against TIAA Overturned

On December 1, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has overturned a lower court decision to certify a class action complaint against Teachers
Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) asserting that it engaged in prohibited transactions and facilitated fiduciary breaches by servicing collateralized plan loans to participants for approximately 8,000 qualified retirement plans. The plaintiffs argue that TIAA improperly receives certain earnings on the investment of the collateral assets.

The lower court had previously certified participants who received approximately 500,000 loans. The Second Circuit ruled that the lower court had not properly evaluated whether the transactions were too individualized to be combined into a class action case. The case was remanded to the lower court for a ruling on this issue.

Industry observers are closely watching this case as it presents a new approach to retirement plan litigation.