Edison 401(k) Case Will Be Reheard by Ninth Circuit

Employee Benefits News examines legal developments that impact the employee benefits and executive compensation employers provide, including federal and state legislation, rules from federal...

By Jacklyn Wille

Aug. 5 — The nine-year legal battle over fees and investments in Edison International Inc.'s 401(k) plan is headed for review by a full panel of appellate court judges ( Tibble v. Edison Int'l, 9th Cir., No. 10-56406, order granting en banc rehearing 8/5/16 ).

In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit entered what looked like the final chapter in the Edison 401(k) saga, when a three-judge panel ruled that the Edison workers who sued over the company's 401(k) fees forfeited their claim that plan fiduciaries failed to monitor these fees. The court announced on Aug. 5 that this decision will be reheard in front of a full panel of Ninth Circuit judges.

This dispute over Edison's 401(k) plan went to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015, resulting in a worker-friendly ruling making it harder for 401(k) plan fiduciaries to have lawsuits over mutual fund fees dismissed on statute-of-limitations ground.

The year following that Supreme Court decision has seen a flurry of new lawsuits challenging the fees associated with 401(k) plan investments. Recent lawsuits have targeted Intel Corp., Anthem Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Chevron Corp.

The decision to rehear the case against Edison was made by a majority vote among the Ninth Circuit's active, nonrecused judges, according to the court's two-page order granting rehearing. Judges Jay S. Bybee, Sandra S. Ikuta and John B. Owens didn't participate in the vote.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bna.com

Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Request Pension & Benefits Daily