Michael Best Partner Jorge M. Leon was quoted in Law360's article "Retirement Plan Suits Find A New Target: Academia" on August 19, 2016.
At least a dozen of the nation's most prominent universities have been hit with class actions over retirement plan fees, a spate of suits that attorneys say follows a familiar path and should serve to put other academic institutions and nonprofits on notice.
Over a nine-day stretch, complaints were filed against 12 private universities, including New York University and Ivy League institutions such as Yale University and Columbia University, alleging their retirement plans charged employees excessive fees.
With the exception of one case, the plaintiffs are represented by Schlichter Bogard & Denton LLP and its founder Jerome J. Schlichter, who is regarded by some as a pioneer in the field of retirement plan litigation.
Schlichter has made waves primarily in the 401(k) space. But the newest series of lawsuits, believed to be the first of its kind, shift attention to 403(b) plans, which are similar to 401(k)s that companies offer but are generally for nonprofit organizations.
Jorge M. Leon, a partner in Michael Best & Friedrich LLP's employee benefits group, called the lawsuits groundbreaking.
"Whether there's good or bad that comes out of these lawsuits, it's a wakeup call," he said. "I think what it means for plan sponsors of 403(b) plans, it means they need to make sure they've got their houses in order."
To read the full Law360 article, click here.