A federal judge issued a mixed ruling on Duke University’s request to dismiss a lawsuit that claims its 403b retirement plan charged employees excessive fees and made poor investments.
In a key decision for colleges and universities defending themselves against 403b lawsuits, judge Catherine C. Eagles of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, did not dismiss the plaintiff David Clark’s allegations that Duke’s retirement plan involved high investment fees and favored certain investments with many options over lower-cost alternatives.
Other allegations against the University were dismissed by Eagles because they were filed too late or were not supported by enough facts to make them plausible.
Colleges and universities are the latest plan sponsors to be targeted by class action lawsuits over excessive retirement fund fees and questionable investment choices.
According to the Duke Chronicle, “Other allegations against the University were dismissed by Eagles because they were filed too late or were not supported by enough facts to make them plausible. This class-action lawsuit could affect the more than 37,000 employees and retirees in the University’s Faculty and Staff Retirement Plan.”
The suit, filed last August, said in part, “Defendants failed to use the Plan’s bargaining power, causing the Plan to pay unreasonable and greatly excessive fees for recordkeeping, administrative and investment services. Defendants also selected and retained investment options for the Plan that consistently and historically underperformed their benchmarks and charged excessive investment management fees.”
Among the charges represented by attorney, Jerome Schlichter, the Missouri Law firm Schlichter, Bogard & Denton LLP, which filed the suit, has also brought a number of other suits on retirement plan fees, including one that resulted in a $57 million settlement with Boeing and another ending in a $62 million settlement with Lockheed Martin. It has also filed cases against Yale University, New York University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Mr. Kelly attended Boston College where he studied English Literature and Economics, and also attended the University of Siena, Italy where he studied studio art.
Mr. Kelly has been a decades-long community volunteer in his hometown of Long Island where he established the community assistance foundation, Kelly's Heroes. He has also been a coach of Youth Lacrosse for over 10 years. Prior to volunteering in youth sports, Mr. Kelly was involved in the Inner City Scholarship program administered by the Archdiocese of New York.
Before creating ForexTV, Mr, Kelly was Sr. VP Global Marketing for Bridge Information Systems, the world’s second largest financial market data vendor. Prior to Bridge, Mr. Kelly was a team leader of Media at Bloomberg Financial Markets, where he created Bloomberg Personal Magazine with an initial circulation of over 7 million copies monthly.