Astellas U.S. LLC has agreed to a $9,500,000 settlement resolving claims it breached its fiduciary duties and prohibited transactions with respect to its management, operation and administration of the Astellas Pharma U.S. Retirement and Savings Plan.
The settlement class consists of anyone who participated in the Astellas plan at any time between Oct. 3, 2016, and March 31, 2023, including any beneficiary of a deceased person who was a plan participant at any time during the class period, and any alternate payee of a person subject to a qualified domestic relations order was a plan participant at any point during the class period.
The plaintiff claimed Astellas violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 when Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting Inc. prioritized its own interests by having the plan invest in its proprietary funds, harming plan participants’ retirement savings. Astellas allegedly failed to use the plan’s bargaining power, resulting in excessive fees for investment management services.
Astellas is a Tokyo-based pharmaceutical company that works to improve the health of people around the world by providing innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products; the Astellas U.S. affiliate is headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois.
Under the terms of the Astrellas settlement, funds will be distributed directly to the individual accounts of class members who had plan accounts with a balance greater than $0 as of March 31, 2023.
Former participants must submit a former participant claim form to receive their portion of the net settlement amount. Failing to submit the form by the specified date will result in forfeiture of their share.
The deadline for objection was Oct. 3, 2023.
A final fairness hearing in the Astellas settlement will take place Nov. 2, 2023.
The claim form submission deadline for former participants is Oct. 23, 2023.