ABB Mistakes Cost 401(k) $35.2 Mln

Company and its retirement plan managers breached fiduciary duty, court rules.

ABB Ltd.’s U.S. unit and its retirement plan managers cost plan participants more than $35 million through breaches of fiduciary duty, a U.S. judge ruled.

ABB Inc. and managers of its Personal Retirement Investment and Savings Management (Prism) plans failed to control record-keeping fees and didn’t pursue rebates, for which U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey in Kansas City, Missouri, found them liable for $13.4 million.

Its U.S. unit, based in Cary, North Carolina, offered union and non-union workers comparable Prism plans, matching 50 percent of participant contributions to the company’s 401(k) plan as much as 6 percent of their annual pay, according to the court’s ruling.

“The Prism plan was used by ABB to attract and retain employees,” Laughrey said. Fidelity Trust acted as its record-keeper.

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