American Century Employees Sue Company for Self-Dealing in 401(k) Investment, Excessive Fees

Employees of asset manager American Century filed a class action suit against their employer this week for myriad of 401(k)-related allegations, including charging excessive fees, self-dealing and more.

Read the court filing here.

From Investment News:

The class-action lawsuit, Wildman et al v. American Century Services, LLC et al, alleges breach of fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income security Act of 1974 for excessive investment management and record-keeping fees, imprudent fund selection and for self-dealing by American Century, which plaintiffs contend filled the retirement plan with proprietary investment options for its own benefit. Steve Wildman and Jon Borcherding, former American Century employees, are the named plaintiffs representing the class of plan participants.

Since 2010, fiduciaries of the $600 million American Century Retirement Plan populated the plan’s investment menu solely with American Century funds, using a selection process “tainted by self-interest” rather than a prudent one that would have led fiduciaries to use less-expensive funds with similar or better performance, the complaint said.

“Defendants have used the Plan as an opportunity to promote American Century’s mutual fund business and maximize profits at the expense of the Plan and its participants,” the plaintiffs said in the complaint, claiming the firm earned millions of dollars in fees by retaining proprietary investments.

Plan fiduciaries also allowed “grossly excessive” revenue-sharing payments to be made to JPMorgan Retirement Plan Services and Schwab Retirement Plan Services Inc., the plan’s two record keepers over the relevant time period, according to the complaint, filed Jun. 30 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Western Division.

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