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Konica Minolta 401(k) Retirement Plan Class Action Lawsuit

UPDATE: In May 2021, the Court issued a decision denying, in part, Konica’s motion to dismiss Plaintiffs’ Class Action Complaint under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Defendants argued that Plaintiffs lacked standing to sue with respect to any funds that they did not invest in themselves. The Court rejected this, stating: “If a plan’s participants “have alleged an injury to their own investments by virtue of the Fiduciaries’ mismanagement, sufficient to create a case or controversy for Article III purposes,” then ERISA “grants Participants a cause of action to sue on behalf of the Plan.” Opinion at 7.

The Court also rejected Defendants’ arguments concerning allegations that they selected unreasonably expensive investments, stating: “First, Plaintiffs adequately plead that the Plan included funds with higher expense ratios than comparable funds, and the Plan’s funds failed to outperform the less-expensive comparable funds…. Second, Plaintiffs sufficiently allege that many funds were retained in the Plan despite their underperformance as compared to their benchmarks.” Opinion at 15-16.

Additionally, the Court held that Complaint “also plausibly pleads a failure to monitor and/or control the Plan’s recordkeeping expenses.” Opinion at 16. Specifically, during the proposed Class Period, “the cost per participant rose from $22.89 to $92.54 during the period,” but ”normal recordkeeping fees for a comparable plan would be between $20 and $40 per participant at the start of the Class Period, and should have been lower in the following years.” Opinion at 17.

The parties have begun pretrial discovery. Check back for further updates.

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Edelson Lechtzin LLP has filed a Class Action Lawsuit alleging that the Fiduciaries of the Konica Minolta 401(k) Plan breached their duty of prudence under ERISA.

Plaintiffs, on behalf of the Konica Minolta 401(k) Plan, have filed a Complaint alleging that the Plan’s fiduciaries, which include Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc., the KMBS Board of Directors, and the Konica Minolta 401(k) Plan Committee, breached their fiduciary duties by: (1) failing to review objectively and adequately the Plan’s investment portfolio with due care to ensure that each investment option was prudent, in terms of cost; and (2) maintaining certain funds in the Plan despite the availability of virtually identical or similar investment options with lower costs and/or better performance histories.

The Plan’s imprudent investment options include (1) Principal LifeTime Hybrid target date funds; (2) Fidelity Growth Company Fund; (3) Prudential Large Cap Value Fund; (4) Prudential Mid Cap Growth Fund; (5) Prudential International Growth/Artisan Partners Fund; (6) Prudential Small Cap Growth/TimesSquare Fund; (7) JPMorgan Small Cap Value Fund; (8) Dodge & Cox International Stock Fund; (9) PGIM QMA Small-Cap Value Fund; (10) PGIM QMA Mid-Cap Value Fund, (11) Prudential Day One IncomeFlex Target Balanced Fund, (12) Prudential Dryden S&P 500 Index Fund, and (13) Prudential Guaranteed Interest Contract Account.

Moreover, at least 20 out of the 26 funds in the plan were significantly more expensive than comparable funds found in similarly-sized plans (i.e., plans having $500 million to $1 billion in assets). The expense ratios for funds in the Plan are as much as 179% greater than the expense ratio for comparable funds available to the Plan.

The case is Luense et al v. Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. et al, 2:20-cv-6827, and it is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

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