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Capital One, Booz Allen Face Suits Over BlackRock 401(k) Funds

Aug. 2, 2022, 3:16 PM

Capital One Financial Corp., Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., and Genworth Financial Inc. are the latest companies to face proposed class actions by workers challenging the BlackRock Inc. target date funds in their 401(k) plans.

The lawsuits challenge the performance of a suite of BlackRock target date funds that each company allegedly designated as the default investment option in its employees’ retirement plan. These funds significantly underperformed similar target date funds offered by competitors and caused the plans to lose millions in retirement savings, the lawsuits allege.

The three cases, each filed Monday in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, come on the heels of four similar lawsuits targeting Citigroup Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Stanley Black & Decker Inc., and Wintrust Financial Corp.

All seven companies are accused of improperly favoring these funds from BlackRock—which isn’t named as a defendant in any case—because of their low price tag and without properly considering their poor performance.

The defendant companies “appear to have chased the low fees charged by the BlackRock TDFs without any consideration of their ability to generate return,” participants said in each of the seven complaints.

Genworth declined to comment on the allegations. A spokeswoman for Booz Allen said the company “will respond to the allegations in the complaint at the appropriate time in the legal proceeding.” Capital One didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The plaintiffs in each lawsuit are represented by Miller Shah LLP, a firm that in 2020 filed a handful of lawsuits against companies with Fidelity target date funds in their retirement plans.

The plaintiffs suing Capital One, Booz Allen, and Genworth are also represented by Tycko & Zavareei LLP.

The cases are Hall v. Capital One Fin. Corp., E.D. Va., No. 1:22-cv-00857, complaint 8/1/22; Tullgren v. Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., E.D. Va., No. 1:22-cv-00856, complaint 8/1/22; and Trauernicht v. Genworth Fin., Inc., E.D. Va., No. 3:22-cv-00532, complaint 8/1/22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jacklyn Wille in Washington at jwille@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Nicholas Datlowe at ndatlowe@bloomberglaw.com