Court Dismisses Recordkeeping Fee Lawsuit

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has dismissed an ERISA fiduciary lawsuit against electronics manufacturer, Ricoh USA. The plaintiffs had claimed that the employer breached its fiduciary duty to a 401(k) plan it sponsors when it selected the plan’s recordkeeper. As evidence, the plaintiffs pointed to a dozen recordkeepers offering similar services at lower costs than what the fiduciaries selected for the plan. The court dismissed the lawsuit because it found that the plaintiffs did not provide enough detail in their complaint about the lower-cost competitor services to demonstrate that those services were actually comparable to those the plan employed. The court said in the absence of this detail, it was unable to determine whether the comparison between the plan’s service provider and the competitors is actually an “apples to oranges” comparison rather than an “apples to apples” comparison. The plaintiffs were given an opportunity to amend their complaint to address this issue.