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Standing Up For Plan Members Who Challenge Excessive Administration Fees Under ERISA

Employer-sponsored retirement plans are a staple of the American workforce. They allow employees to save for retirement without having to manage their funds on an individual basis.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) governs most employer-sponsored retirement and pension plans, including 401(k)s. ERISA sets legal parameters around the operation of these plans, including administrative fees. Unreasonable fees are a violation of ERISA. Plan members can pursue legal action – including class action claims – to hold plan trustees accountable for excessive fees and other misuse of plan funds.

Experienced Advocates For Plan Participants

At the Ponder Legal Group, we are fierce advocates for whistleblowers, including employees, former employees and retirement plan participants. Our lawyers have many decades of experience standing up for the underdogs against parties in a position of power, such as retirement plan fiduciaries. We can advise you of whether you have a strong claim for excessive ERISA administration fees. If so, our attorneys can chart a strategic course of action to recoup funds and hold trustees accountable.

Understanding The Fiduciary Role Of Retirement Plan Trustees

Trustees, who are often third parties, are responsible for managing employer-sponsored retirement funds on behalf of the beneficiaries. They can engage other third parties to perform administrative functions.

Plan trustees are fiduciaries, meaning they must act in the interests of the plan beneficiaries rather than advancing their own financial interests. To the extent that third-party administrators perform trustee-like duties, they are also fiduciaries.

ERISA And Reasonable Administrative Fees

ERISA allows trustees to incur reasonable administration fees for managing the plan funds. It also allows them to approve reasonable administration fees for third parties.

Plan participants are entitled to transparency about those fees and their purpose. Beneficiaries can pursue legal action based on:

  • The trustees' failure to provide transparency about administrative fees
  • Their failure to monitor administrative fees
  • Their approval of excessive administrative fees

Excessive fees can deprive plan participants of thousands or even millions of dollars, which is why whistleblowers play a critical role in uncovering excessive fees and recouping those losses.

Get Advice On Whether You Have A Case For Excessive ERISA Fees

It can be challenging to determine whether ERISA plan fees are excessive. Our lawyers understand the many factors that go into that analysis. We excel at approaching these kinds of cases from a powerful angle, laying a strong foundation of evidence and expert opinions.

To learn more, please contact our team online or by phone at 888-201-0303 for a free initial consultation. We have offices in Washington D.C.

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