General Electric Corporation, one of the largest Fortune 500 companies in the world, is also one of the most profitable. The conglomerate employs hundreds of thousands in Tennessee and all 50 states, not to mention internationally. Some of those employees are not very happy with the way GE has handled their retirement fund investments. In fact, GE is facing a lawsuit claiming the company violated federal ERISA regulations.
The Employee Retirement Security Act protects workers from fiduciaries who mismanage or fraudulently handle their retirement plans. Companies who offer retirement plans are required to set and meet minimum standards, such as making sensible investments, for ensuring their fiduciaries manage the investments in good faith. However, three plaintiffs in the GE case say the company's retirement savings plan breached that duty. Thirty other defendants are included in a proposed class action, but 250,000 may be affected.
Allegedly, the company failed to invest wisely or modify the investments for the highest possible profit. The plaintiffs accuse the fiduciaries of choosing cheap and poorly performing investments and failing to monitor the investments as they lost nearly $700 million for the employees. Meanwhile, the company continued to make substantial profits.
The plaintiffs seek redress that will return their retirement funds to the level they would hold if not for the alleged ERISA violations. Tennessee employees may be interested to see how the giant corporation responds to the accusations. Those who feel their own employers have mismanaged their private retirement funds in violation of federal law may seek advice from an attorney who is well-versed in employment law.
Source: timesofsandiego.com, "Class-Action Suit Against GE; Ex-Employees Allege Returns from Retirement Fund Weak", Debbie L. Sklar, Sept. 27, 2017