March 21, 2022
An Ohio federal judge on Friday denied Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.’s bid to toss a proposed class action alleging the company breached its fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act through the mismanagement of employees’ pension plan.
In a 14-page opinion, U.S. District Judge James L. Graham denied a request by Nationwide Mutual, its subsidiaries and benefit committee members to end the proposed class action alleging they violated ERISA by transferring assets from the pension plan — called the Guaranteed Investment Fund, which is an investment option under Nationwide’s larger savings plan — to a Nationwide Mutual subsidiary that serviced the plan.
The judge held that the most recent rendition of the complaint sufficiently alleges a fiduciary breach by stating “outright” that the defendants favored the economic interests of Nationwide Mutual over plan participants.
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