Faculty and staff at some of the nation's most prestigious universities are the latest to sue their employers over high fees for retirement plans.
Plaintiffs' attorneys recently filed lawsuits against Yale, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, the University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt University and Emory University.
The eight complaints hit upon a common claim in litigation over retirement plans: Participants are paying excessively high fees for investments, record keeping and administration services.
But there's a new twist: The suits against the colleges largely center on high fees in 403(b) plans, which are retirement plans for nonprofit organizations, not the more common 401(k) plans that companies offer.
"Nonprofits with 403(b) plans are under somewhat different laws from 401(k) plans, but the fiduciary duty to put participants' interests first and work for their sole benefit is the same," said attorney Jerry Schlichter, whose St. Louis firm Schlichter Bogard & Denton is representing the plaintiffs in all of the cases.