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Duke University and a group of employees and retirees that were suing it over complaints about its 403(b) retirement plan have reached a settlement worth $10.65 million.

The plaintiffs filed suits in 2016 and 2018 in U.S. District Court in the Middle District of North Carolina alleging breach of fiduciary duty. They argued Duke did not fulfill its duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, forcing retirement plan participants to pay excessive fees for record keeping, administrative services and investment services. Duke denied breaching its fiduciary duty.

In addition to the creation of a $10.65 million settlement fund, Duke agreed to take several actions for a three-year period, according to the St. Louis-based law firm representing the plaintiffs, Schlichter Bogard & Denton. Those actions are to hire an independent consultant regarding bids for record-keeping services, make it easier for participants to transfer investments from frozen annuity accounts, analyze costs of different mutual fund share classes being considered for the plan and avoid using plan assets to pay salaries of employees working on the plan.

The suits were part of a spate of closely watched 403(b) lawsuits filed by the same law firm, which had filed cases over excessive fees in 401(k) plans.