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Columbia Settling Retirement Plan Lawsuit

May 27, 2021
 
 

Columbia University in New York plans to pay $13 million and make changes to its retirement plan management in order to settle a class action complaint.

Details about the settlement were made public in a recent court filing in U.S. District Court in New York, Pensions & Investments reported. The sides had announced a preliminary settlement without sharing terms in April.

At issue are two lawsuits filed in August 2016 that were later consolidated. Plaintiffs alleged the university and its fiduciaries charged unreasonable record-keeping fees and kept low-performing investments in two 403(b) retirement plans.

Columbia does not agree with the allegations but is happy to put the case behind it, the university told Pensions & Investments in a statement. An attorney representing the plaintiffs told the publication that settlement terms will improve retirement plans for university employees and retirees.

The suit against Columbia was one of a spate filed in 2016 alleging retirement plans at wealthy universities charged employees unreasonable and excessive fees. By last year, several of those lawsuits had been settled for amounts ranging from $3.5 million at Brown University to $18.1 million at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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