Duke University 403(b) Plan Lawsuits Settlement Details Announced

In addition to a gross monetary payment of $10.65 million, the university agreed to other non-monetary actions.

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, and a second complaint—this one focusing on revenue sharing it took but didn’t deliver for distribution to plan participants—have been combined for a settlement agreement.

A settlement agreement was announced by counsel for both parties, but details of a settlement had not at that time been reported to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.

The recently filed settlement agreement calls for a gross monetary payment of $10.65 million to a settlement fund for the plaintiffs.

The agreement also lists non-monetary actions by Duke University. Duke agreed for a three-year period to hire an independent consultant regarding bids for recordkeeping services; ease the ability of participants to transfer their investments out of frozen annuity accounts; analyze the cost of different share classes of mutual funds considered for inclusion in the plan; and avoid the use of plan assets to pay salaries of Duke employees who work on the plan.

Duke University denies all allegations of wrongdoing and denies all liability for the allegations and claims made in the lawsuits.