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Schlichter Bogard and Denton Achieves $14 Million Preliminary Settlement of Retirement Plan Case Against Johns Hopkins

On August 6, 2019, a class of Johns Hopkins University retirement plan participants represented by Schlichter Bogard & Denton filed a motion for preliminary approval of the settlement reached in their ERISA class action suit.  The $14 million settlement, if approved by the court, would conclude the case, which alleged that the fiduciaries of the Johns Hopkins University 403(b) Plan included poorly performing and high-cost investments and allowed excessive recordkeeping and administrative fees to be charged. The case was filed in 2016 in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.

The settlement also includes substantial non-monetary relief for Johns Hopkins retirees and employees. The plan’s fiduciaries will be required to issue a request for competitive bids for recordkeeping and administrative services.  Any contracts resulting from this request for proposal process must restrict the plan’s recordkeepers’ ability to cross-sell non-plan products and services to participants. The settlement agreement contains other provisions that will protect plan participants, including requiring the plan’s fiduciaries to retain an independent consultant to analyze the plan’s investment structure.

“We are pleased that Johns Hopkins employees and retirees will not only receive compensation but will also have an improved plan enabling them to build their retirement assets for the future,” said Jerry Schlichter, managing partner of Schlichter Bogard & Denton. Articles discussing the settlement can be found here, here, and here. For additional information about Schlichter Bogard & Denton’s ERISA and Financial Abuse practice, please contact Schlichter Bogard & Denton at 1-800-873-5297 or sbd@uselaws.com.