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Schlichter Bogard to Lead Challenge to Pentegra 401(k) Plan Fees

Feb. 22, 2021, 7:28 PM

A proposed class action challenging the $2.1 billion retirement plan Pentegra Retirement Services Inc. administers for thousands of employees across nearly 250 financial institutions will be led by Schlichter Bogard & Denton LLP, after a New York federal judge denied a competing request from Capozzi Adler PC.

Both firms are experienced and have devoted significant time to investigating the case, the judge said. But the Schlichter firm’s superior attorney resources make it the better choice to serve as interim class counsel, Judge Philip M. Halpern of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said in an order docketed Feb. 19.

Schlichter has a team of 13 attorneys dedicated solely to retirement plan litigation, while Capozzi Adler’s practice group includes three partners, two associates, and five support staff, Halpern said.

Halpern added that the Schlichter attorneys, unlike Capozzi Adler, responded to the defendants’ pre-motion letters, “signifying that they have already begun to prepare to defend against Defendants’ forthcoming motion to dismiss.”

Both Schlichter and Capozzi Adler sued Pentegra and related defendants last fall, claiming the company engages in self-dealing and charges excessive fees with respect to the retirement plan it administers for employees in the financial industry. Halpern consolidated the cases in December.

Schlichter is a St. Louis-based law firm known for its lawsuits challenging 401(k) plan fees and its multimillion-dollar settlements with Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co., ABB Inc., and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and others.

Capozzi Adler, based in Pennsylvania, filed more than three dozen proposed class actions against retirement plan sponsors in 2020, securing settlements with global chemical distributor Brenntag North America Inc., defense contractor ManTech International Corp., and health technology company Cerner Corp.

Groom Law Group represents the Pentegra defendants.

The case is Khan v. Bd. of Dirs. of Pentegra Defined Contribution Plan, 2021 BL 58167, S.D.N.Y., No. 7:20-cv-07561, order docketed 2/19/21.

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; Steven Patrick at spatrick@bloomberglaw.com

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