Do you have a corporate retirement plan, like a 401k or company stock purchase plan? Well then, this case is for you!
Northwestern University has two plans, an employee match plan, where they throw in cash to match the employee’s contribution, and a Voluntary Savings plan the University doesn’t throw any scratch in.
At issue is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Employees of Northwestern, led by busybody extraordinaire April Hughes argue that the people managing those funds for Northwestern suck like the vacuum of space at what they do. Performance is weak as balls, and the fees they charge are high.
Hughes and company are like, “Someone needs to make a fucking law to hold these incompetent fucks to a certain standard. We’re losing our asses here.”
But traditionally, the courts have found that as long as people have other options, this is a free-market issue, and y’all need to invest elsewhere if you’re unhappy.
ERISA dictates the people managing this shit operate with “care, skill, prudence, and diligence [of] a prudent man [sic].” One of the complaints against them, is that they offered retail plans with high fees, when the same fucking plan in wholesale version with lower fees was available to them. Plus, they also complain that because they wanted to offer a gazillion fucking options, managing all that shit increased the fees to do so.
Isn’t it ironic that all these fuckwads at a prestigious university are the ones pushing radical left-wing ideology, complaining about greedy corporations, and yet they can’t even manage their own fucking retirement plan without bitching and moaning that their own experts don’t know what they’re fucking doing?
Northwestern is basically like, “This is ridiculous. We’re educated people. How dare you question us, punks!” They argue that in order to lose, Hughes and company have to prove intent to do a shit job. Did they know they were making poor investments, or paying exorbitant fees, and were like, “Fuck ’em, we don’t care. We’re doing this bad shit over here instead.”
A district court, and then the seventh circuit on appeal sided with Northwestern, stating it’s basically a free market issue, and they could have invested elsewhere.
However, in a unanimous decision where Justice Barrett couldn’t be bothered, SCOTUS sided with Hughes, telling the seventh circuit that they’re fucking idiots. Yes of course, they could have gone elsewhere, but ERISA is a law, and these idiots at Northwestern are in violation of it. Their investment skills suck ass, and their fees are ridiculous for such shitty ass work, which therefore means, they aren’t operating with “care, skill, prudence, and diligence” as the law demands.
Hear oral arguments and/or read about the case here.