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In Re Fidelity ERISA Float Litigation

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Fees for plan services are paid out of the plan assets, yet rarely are the reasonableness of the fees monitored to ensure plan participants are being charged a reasonable amount.

A U.S. District Court Judge in Massachusetts recently dismissed the action of plan participations of defined contribution plans that Fidelity Investments breached their fiduciary duties through the management of float income as the plan’s record-keeper.  Float income is money earned from interest-bearing accounts used temporarily by 401(k) plans before plan assets are disbursed when participants move assets among investment options.

There, the case depended on whether the Court agreed with the participants\’ argument that float income was a plan asset and whether Fidelity was a fiduciary under the terms of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”). The Court dismissed the action because the plan participants failed to sufficiently allege that float income was not a plan asset.

It is unclear whether counsel for the plan participants will appeal this decision.

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