Financial Engines Advisors Excessive Fee Information Class Action

The filing of a Motion to Compel is kicking off a new, October 2020 case, originating from a July 2018 class action. The original class action concerned mismanagement of the Home Depot’s FutureBuilder 401(k) plan; this new one seeks to compel Financial Engines Advisors, LLC (FE) to produce certain documents showing that FE charged the FutureBuilder plan higher rates than it charged other plans for the same services.

The original class action (1:20-cv-04660-WMR-CCB, filed on 10/27/20) sued Home Depot, LLC, the plan’s Administrative and Investment Committees, Alight Financial Advisors, LLC, FE, and others. It says that these parties were the plan’s fiduciaries and thus subject to certain duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which, it claims, they did not fulfill.

Among these breaches of fiduciary duties, this Motion to Compel alleges that the defendants allowed FE to charge “unreasonable fees to Plan participants for managing the assets in accounts of participants who enrolled in the Professional Management Program offered by the Plan and administered by FE.”

These fees, the original complaint alleges, “we[re] excessive because they were significantly higher than … the fees that FE … charged other plans for identical services.”

The Motion refers to a document in the original case, the court’s Order on Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification and on Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment as to Counts II and VI.” It quotes the document as saying that “the fact that FE charged lower fees to other plans is a key allegation underpinning the merits of Plaintiffs’ Excessive Fees claims.” The Motion goes on to say that the specific amounts charged to others would help determine the amount of damages due to the class members who were overcharged.

The plaintiffs in the original case issued a subpoena to FE to obtain the information, but FE has not provided it, the Motion says, claiming that the information requested is “irrelevant, burdensome, and confidential.” While FE has made offers of certain, limited information on its charges to other plans, the Motion claims that these will not provide enough information to determine whether the fees charged to the FutureBuilder plan are excessive.

Three classes were defined for the original action on which this new case is based.

The Challenged Fund Class is all participants and beneficiaries of the plan who invested in the challenged funds at any time between April 12, 2012 and the date of judgment in the case.

The FE Class is all participants and beneficiaries for whom FE performed investment advisory services through the program at any time between April 12, 2012 and the date of judgment in the case.

The AFA Class is the same as the FE Class, but substituting “AFA” for “FE.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Employment

Most Recent Case Event

Financial Engines Advisors Excessive Fee Information Motion to Compel

October 27, 2020

The filing of a Motion to Compel is kicking off a new, October 2020 case, originating from a July 2018 class action. The original class action concerned mismanagement of the Home Depot’s FutureBuilder 401(k) plan; this new one seeks to compel Financial Engines Advisors, LLC (FE) to produce certain documents showing that FE charged the FutureBuilder plan higher rates than it charged other plans for the same services.

Financial Engines Advisors Excessive Fee Information Motion to Compel

Case Event History

Financial Engines Advisors Excessive Fee Information Motion to Compel

October 27, 2020

The filing of a Motion to Compel is kicking off a new, October 2020 case, originating from a July 2018 class action. The original class action concerned mismanagement of the Home Depot’s FutureBuilder 401(k) plan; this new one seeks to compel Financial Engines Advisors, LLC (FE) to produce certain documents showing that FE charged the FutureBuilder plan higher rates than it charged other plans for the same services.

Financial Engines Advisors Excessive Fee Information Motion to Compel

Home Depot FutureBuilder 401(k) ERISA Complaint

July 11, 2018

Complaint for original class action alleging breach of fiduciary duties against Home Depot and other parties in the handling of Home Depot’s FutureBuilder 401(k) retirement plan.

Home Depot FutureBuilder 401(k) ERISA Complaint
Tags: Breach of Fiduciary Duty, ERISA Violations, Employment Violations, Motion to Compel