Current Cases

MassMutual Thrift Plan Litigation

Status Current Case

Practice area Employee Benefits / ERISA

Court U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

Case number 3:22-cv-30147


On November 9, 2022, Cohen Milstein filed a class action against Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance and the fiduciaries responsible for managing the MassMutual Thrift Plan, a defined contribution retirement plan.

Plaintiff, who is a participant in the MassMutual Thrift Plan, bring this this action on behalf of all of the Plan’s participants and beneficiaries and alleges that MassMutual and other fiduciaries managing the MassMutual Thrift Plan failed to act prudently and solely in the interest of the Plan participants and beneficiaries and instead engaged in self-dealing in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

This conduct ultimately resulted in the Plan and its participants and beneficiaries sacrificing tens of millions of dollars in retirement savings through poor performance and above average expenses (for which MassMutual was usually the benefactor).

On January 31, 2023, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint, and that motion is pending before the Court.

The name of the case is: Lalonde, et al. v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, et al., Case No. 3:22-cv-30147, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Class Action Allegations

Plaintiff alleges that, from December 4, 2016 through the present, Defendants violated ERISA’s fiduciary duties under 29 U.S.C. § 1104 and its prohibitions on self-dealing under 29 U.S.C. § 1106 by managing the Plan and its assets through a process that favored the economic interests of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (“MassMutual” or the “Company”) over those of Plan participants and beneficiaries. This flawed process resulted in a series of outcomes that caused the Plan and its participants and beneficiaries to sacrifice retirement savings to poor performance and swollen costs which inured to the benefit of MassMutual’s bottom line.

Among other things, Plaintiffs claim that Defendants:

  1. retained a series of excessively expensive and poorly performing proprietary mutual funds that are rarely, if ever, selected by objective and nonconflicted fiduciaries of large retirement plans like the MassMutual Plan;
  2. failed ensure that the Plan held the least expensive share class and/or investment vehicle for the investment strategies Defendants selected for the MassMutual Plan;
  3. caused the MassMutual Plan to transfer a substantial portion of its assets into MassMutual’s general account in connection with the Plan’s stable value investment, granting the Company a bounty to use for its business, without adequately compensating the Plan for the risk this imposed on the Plan or considering alternative stable value products with better terms; and
  4. caused the MassMutual Plan use pay MassMutual unreasonable recordkeeping fees while attempting to off-load that business line to Empower.

This conduct ultimately resulted in the Plan and its participants and beneficiaries sacrificing tens of millions of dollars in retirement savings. Plaintiff brings this action to remedy this unlawful conduct and obtain other appropriate relief as provided by ERISA.

Can I Sign Up for this Class Action?

Yes. If you were a participant in the MassMutual Thrift Plan between December 4, 2016 and the present, you may qualify to participate in this litigation.

Please contact us.

Contact Us to Sign Up or for More Information

If you believe you may be qualified to participate in this proposed class action or if you have information which might assist us in the prosecution of these allegations, please contact one of the following persons:

Kai Richter, Esq. –

Daniel R. Sutter, Esq. –

Eleanor Frisch, Esq. –

Jillian Pincus, Paralegal –

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC

1100 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 500

Washington, D.C. 20005