Attorneys Report Settlement in Duke University 403(b) Plan Cases

One case focused on excessive fees for recordkeeping, administrative, and investment services, and the other focused on revenue sharing.

A case accusing fiduciaries of the Duke Faculty and Staff Retirement Plan of causing the plan to pay unreasonable and greatly excessive fees for recordkeeping, administrative, and investment services has been reported settled by the university’s counsel as well as the plaintiffs’ counsel.

Likewise, the docket report for a second complaint against Duke University—this one focusing on revenue sharing it took but didn’t deliver for distribution to plan participants—says the parties have settled. A stipulation of dismissal for both lawsuits was due by December 2, but neither has been filed yet.

No details of a settlement have been reported to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.

Higher education institution 403(b) plans have been the target of Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) litigation in the past two years. In the first to go to trial, a lawsuit alleging imprudence in the management of two New York University (NYU) 403(b) plans was decided in favor of the university, although the judge did find some concerning lack of knowledge among some plan committee members.

In other similar lawsuits, universities’ motions for dismissal have been approved.