NY Times, ABC News and Others Cover Firms 401(k) Lawsuit Against Ameriprise
The latest 401(k) lawsuit brought by the firm for the protection of employees and retirees has been the subject of numerous news articles. On behalf of Ameriprise employees and retirees, Schlichter, Bogard & Denton has filed a lawsuit against Ameriprise accusing the financial planning power house of self-dealing and breach of fiduciary duties under ERISA.
As Ron Lieber of the NY Times writes: "The law firm behind the suit, Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, in St. Louis, now inspires fear in dread in employee benefit circles." Furthermore, Lieber writes: "this is the first time that the law firm has gone after an employer that is a financial services company. It has to be frustrating for Ameriprise to see its menu of mutual funds splayed out for all of the world to see, complete with details on poor performance and a handy chart showing fees that are three to five times what they are at Vanguard."
New York Times
Susan Kim of ABC News quotes Jerry Schlichter extensively in her article Will 401(k) Fee Disclosures Bring Clarity to Perplexed Workers' Referring to the Ameriprise suit and quoting from the complaint: "As a direct result of these prohibited transaction violations, the plan, directly or indirectly, paid millions of dollars in investment management and other fees that were prohibited by ERISA and suffered millions of dollars in loses."
Reuters writers Jillian Mincer and Linda Stern write: "The most recent 401(k) fee lawsuit was filed last week against Ameriprise Financial Inc, which bills itself as "America's leader in financial planning." The suit, which was brought on behalf of several employees and is seeking class action status, alleges the financial firm pushed workers into expensive and untested proprietary funds at a cost the lawyers for the employees say is more than $20 million." "They put people into their products, and they were not vetted and were excessively expensive," Jerome Schlichter, who is representing the Ameriprise employees, told Reuters in an interview. He says the company was "self dealing."
EBN Employee Benefit News
Finally, consumer watchdog George Gombossy writes: "Ameriprise Employees Claim Firm's 401 (k) Plans For Employees Are Garbage: Its embarrassing, but six Ameriprise Financial former and current employees are accusing the largest employer of certified financial planners in the United States of providing them with expensive, underperforming mutual funds intended to earn the company money instead of its employees."