Federal court approves 401(k) settlement involving Hartford Life

By Bob Graham
January 28, 2010

A federal court in Connecticut has approved a partial settlement in a class-action civil suit involving the handling of 401(k) plans by Hartford Life Insurance Co.

The settlement, whose financial terms were not publicized, involves the administrators of all 401(k) plans that used Hartford Life Insurance Co. as a full-service provider to design, implement, administer or assist in the administering of their 401(k) plans since Nov. 14, 2003, according to a statement from Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, a law firm involved in the case.

The suit was filed Nov. 14, 2006, on behalf of Phones Plus Inc. against The Hartford Financial Services Group, Hartford Life Insurance Co. and Neuberger Berman Management alleging that the parties entered into revenue-sharing agreements and arrangements with various mutual funds, as well as among themselves, in violation of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), according to the law firm.

In December 2007, The Hartford filed a third-party complaint against Thomas Sodemann, a trustee and fiduciary of the Phones Plus Retirement Savings Plan, and as an officer and director of Phones Plus.

The law firm is now seeking people who were affected so they may participate in the settlement, records show.

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