Technology firm Juniper Networks is facing a putative class action brought by one of its current employees accusing the firm of mishandling its 401(k) plan investments by paying too-high fees, among other alleged failures.
Since August 2015, Juniper, its board of directors, the firm’s investment committee and individuals who carried out various functions in the firm’s 401(k) plan, as fiduciaries under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, allegedly breached their duties to the plan and its participants through a variety of failures, according to a lawsuit filed by Brian Reichert, a Juniper staff software engineer since this January, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division.
Reichert previously worked in the same position at Apstra, which Juniper recently acquired, the suit says.
Among Juniper’s alleged infractions are authorizing the 401(k) plan to pay “unreasonably high fees for retirement plan services;” failure to ensure that investments in the plan’s portfolio were properly reviewed to ensure they were appropriate in terms of cost; having certain funds in the plan when other similar but lower-cost or better-performing options were available; allowing the plan to pay managed account service fees that were unreasonably high; and not disclosing to plan participants information about the plan that would allow them to make informed investment decisions, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit seeks to force Juniper to make up for the losses arising from the alleged breach of the fiduciary duty.
Juniper’s 401(k) had 6,860 participants and $1.4 billion in assets in 2019, according to the suit.
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