Complaint Alleges Mismanagement of Retirement Funds under ERISA
SEATTLE, January 13, 2022 - Sanford Heisler Sharp is filing a class Complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington alleging that Milliman, Inc. breached basic fiduciary duties under ERISA and violated its employees’ trust by mismanaging the company’s retirement funds. Milliman is one of the premier global consulting and actuarial firms with annual revenues approximating $1.4 billion last year. Founded in 1947, Milliman has consulting practices in healthcare, property and casualty insurance, life insurance and financial services, and employee benefits.
The Complaint alleges Milliman failed to remove from the company’s Profit Sharing and Retirement Plan (“the Milliman Plan”) a family of risk-based “target risk funds,” that have significantly underperformed meaningful benchmark funds and indices for nearly a decade.
The family of target risk funds in question is managed by Unified Trust Company and Milliman. According to the Complaint, these underperforming target risk funds have led to adverse consequences for employees. For nine years the Milliman Plan has taken in over a quarter billion dollars from employees for investment in these funds. Milliman’s decision not to remove the target risk funds has cost the Milliman Plan and its employees potentially up to $85 million in retirement savings.
Charles Field, a partner at Sanford Heisler Sharp who filed the complaint, noted “Mere underperformance is not the whole story here – it’s the depth and breadth of the underperformance that drives our claims. Investment options that underperform meaningful benchmarks for eight of nine years and rank in the bottom quartile among peers is impossible to justify.”
Johan Conrod, a lawyer at Sanford Heisler added “Given the company’s sophistication and extensive assets, employees trust Milliman to provide a best-in-class retirement plan. We detail in the Complaint how Milliman failed to do that and how that failure caused participants to suffer significant losses to their retirement savings.”
Plaintiff Joanna Mattson filed the case individually and as representative of approximately 4,000 Plan participants in Milliman’s $1.7 billion 401(k) Plan. Named as Defendants are Milliman, Inc. and its Board of Directors, the Milliman Investment Committee and Administrative Committee, and their members.
As relief, Plaintiffs and the class seek (1) restitution for financial losses to Plan participants and beneficiaries resulting from the Plan’s underperforming investments; (2) divestiture of imprudent investments; and (3) the removal of the fiduciaries who have violated their duties to the Plan’s participants and beneficiaries under ERISA.
Charles Field, Johan Conrod, Shaun Rosenthal and Yusuf Parray of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, as well as Paul Taylor of Byrnes Keller Cromwell, LLP, represent the Plaintiff and the proposed class.
Read the full case here.
About Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP
Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP is a national public interest class-action litigation law firm with offices in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, San Diego, Nashville, and Baltimore. Sanford Heisler Sharp focuses on employment discrimination, wage and hour, whistleblower, criminal/sexual violence, and financial services matters. The firm has recovered over $1 billion for its clients through many verdicts and settlements.
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