On January 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Hughes v. Northwestern University that the plaintiff-participants will get another opportunity to assert that the Northwestern retirement plan fiduciaries violated ERISA’s duty of prudence based on the following: the number of investment options included on the plan menu; the decision to contract with multiple recordkeepers who put proprietary products into the plans; and the presence of investment options that were high-cost yet underperformed. The Court issued a narrow, unanimous opinion written by Justice Sotomayor (with Justice Barrett not taking part), which vacated the Seventh Circuit’s decision and remanded for further proceedings so that the participants’ allegations may be reevaluated as a whole.

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