Current and former Anthem 401(k) plan participants and beneficiaries have secured a $23.65 million class action settlement agreement ending claims that the company charged excessive fees.
Class Members include those who participated in or are a beneficiary of an Anthem 401(k) plan, previously known as the WellPoint 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan, between Dec. 29, 2009 and March 31, 2019. Class Members must have maintained a balance of greater than $1,000 during the Class period or invested in the Vanguard Money Market Fund.
Lead plaintiffs accused ATH Holding Co. LLC, an Anthem subsidiary, of charging them and other plan participants exorbitant fees. According to the Anthem 401(k) class action lawsuit, plan participants were also not provided inexpensive investment options — allegedly a violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, also known as ERISA.
ERISA is a federal law that requires companies that offer certain types of retirement and pension plans, as well as insurance plans, to meet certain standards concerning investment options, fees, and recordkeeping. The law also requires financial institutions to put the best interests of plan participants first.
The Anthem 401(k) class action lawsuit claimed that, in addition to charging excessive fees, plan participants who were interested in capital preservation only had one investment option, the Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund, which was far more expensive than other options not available.
ATH Holding Co. agreed to pay $23.65 million to end the Anthem 401(k) class action lawsuit. Under the terms of the settlement, Class Members with active accounts between Dec. 29, 2009 and March 31, 2019 with an account balance above $0 will automatically be allocated an award into their account. Those with an account balance of $0 or lower will automatically receive a check in the mail.
Former participants in Anthem’s 401(k) plan will need to submit a Claim Form by Aug. 26, 2019.
Each Class Members award will depend on the Anthem 401(k) plan they participated in. There are approximately 120,000 Class Members, according to the settlement notice.
Class Members who wish to opt out or object to the Anthem 401(k) class action settlement must have done so by Aug. 5, 2019.