This page provides the answers to class members’ most frequently asked questions.

The information provided is in summary form and is not intended as a complete explanation of your rights. For full and complete information, you are directed to review carefully the Notices.

About The Settlement

What is this lawsuit about?

In the Class Action, the Class Representatives claim that the Defendants failed to prudently monitor and control the Plans’ brokerage expenses and failed to prudently monitor certain Plan investments affiliated with the Plans’ recordkeeper (Voya). Specifically, the Class Representatives claim that the brokerage expenses charged to the Plans were unreasonable and that Defendants failed to adequately monitor the fees and performance of four Voya funds. A more complete description of what Plaintiffs allege is in the Amended Complaint, which is available here.

The Defendants have denied and continue to deny all of the claims and assert that they have always acted prudently and in the best interests of participants and beneficiaries. Defendants believe that the Plans’ investment options performed well and that the Plans’ fees were reasonable and appropriate. Defendants deny all allegations of wrongdoing made in the Amended Complaint in this Action, and deny that the Class Representatives, the Plans, or any of the Plans’ current or former participants suffered any losses. Defendants further maintain that they acted prudently and loyally at all times when acting in any fiduciary capacity with respect to the Plans.

Why is there a Settlement?

The Court has not reached a final decision as to the Class Representatives’ claims. Instead, the Class Representatives and the Defendants have agreed to the Settlement. The Settlement is the product of arm’s length negotiations between the Class Representatives, the Defendants, and their counsel, who were assisted in their negotiations by a neutral, experienced mediator. The parties to the Settlement have taken into account the uncertainty, risks, and costs of litigation, and have concluded that it is desirable to settle on the terms and conditions set forth in the Settlement Agreement. The Class Representatives and Class Counsel believe that the Settlement is best for the Settlement Class. Nothing in the Settlement Agreement is an admission or concession on the Defendants’ part of any fault or liability whatsoever. They have entered into the Settlement Agreement to avoid the uncertainty, expense, and burden of additional litigation.

How Do I know if I am a Class Member?

Your legal rights may be affected if you are a member of the following Settlement Class:

All participants and beneficiaries of the Mercy Health Corporation Employees’ Retirement Plan at any time from August 3, 2014 through December 10, 2021, and all participants and beneficiaries of the Rockford Health System Retirement Plan and Rockford Health Physicians Retirement Plan at any time from January 1, 2017 through December 10, 2021, excluding members of the Mercy Health Corporation ERISA Benefit Plans Advisory Committee for the Plans at any time during the Class Period.

What does the Settlement provide?

As part of the Settlement, a Gross Settlement Amount of $3,900,000 is being paid to resolve the claims in the Action. Class Members are eligible to receive a pro rata share of the Net Settlement Amount remaining after payment of Administrative Expenses, any Attorneys’ Fees and Costs that the Court awards to Class Counsel, and any compensation that the Court awards to the Class Representatives. Allocations to Current Participants who are entitled to a distribution under the Plan of Allocation will be made into their existing accounts in the Plans. Former Participants who are entitled to a distribution may receive their distribution as a check or, if they choose, as a rollover to a qualified retirement account.

In addition, the Settlement provides that for three (3) years following the Settlement Effective Date, Defendants shall retain one or more independent consultants pursuant to ERISA § 3(21), who is not an existing investment or service provider or affiliated with the Plans, to provide ongoing assistance in reviewing the investment options in the Plans, the fees for those investment options, and any brokerage fees incurred by the Plans.

In exchange for the foregoing monetary and prospective relief, all Settlement Class Members and anyone claiming through them will fully release the Defendants and other Released Parties from the Released Claims, as defined in the Settlement Agreement, which is available here. Generally, the release means that Class Members will not have the right to sue the Plans, Defendants, or related parties for conduct during the Class Period arising out of or related to the allegations in the Action.

How can I receive my distribution?

If you are a Current Participant, you do not need to do anything to receive your share of the Net Settlement Amount. If the Settlement is approved, your share of the Settlement payment will be deposited to your account.

If you are a Former Participant and you wish to receive your share of the Net Settlement Amount via rollover to an individual retirement account or other tax-qualified plan, then you must submit a Former Participant Rollover Form. If you are a Former Participant but do not submit a timely, valid Former Participant Rollover Form, you will receive your distribution via check.

“Current Participant” means a Class Member who has an Active Account in any of the Plans as of September 30, 2021.

“Former Participant” means a Class Member who participated in the Plans during the Class Period but did not have an Active Account in any of the Plans as of September 30, 2021.

When will I receive my distribution?

The timing of the distribution of the Net Settlement Amount is conditioned on several matters, including the Court’s final approval of the Settlement and any approval becoming final and no longer subject to any appeals in any court. An appeal of the final approval order may take several years. If the Settlement is approved by the Court and there are no appeals, the Settlement distribution likely will occur within approximately six months of the Court’s Final Approval Order, unless there are unforeseen circumstances. There will be no payments under the Settlement if the Settlement Agreement is terminated.

Can I get out of the Settlement?

No. The Settlement Class has been certified under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(1) and the Settlement has received final Court approval. Therefore, as a Settlement Class Member, you are bound by the Settlement and any judgments or orders that are entered in the Action.

Who represents the Settlement Class?

For purposes of the Settlement, the Court has appointed Nichols Kaster, PLLP, Walcheske & Luzi, LLC, and the Prinz Law Firm, P.C., as Class Counsel in the Class Action. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense. In addition, the Court appointed Jamie Hill, Kathryn Neild, and Tricia Marvin (the named Plaintiffs) to serve as the Class Representatives. They are also Class Members.

How will the lawyers be paid?

Class Counsel will file a motion for an award of Attorneys’ Fees and Costs, Administrative Expenses, and Class Representative Compensation on or before March 4, 2022. This motion will be considered at the Fairness Hearing. Class Counsel will limit their application for attorneys’ fees to not more than one-third of the Gross Settlement Amount. Class Counsel also will seek to recover all actual and anticipated litigation costs and recoverable administrative expenses associated with the Settlement. In addition, Class Counsel will seek compensation for the Class Representatives of no more than $5,000 each. The Court will determine the amount of Attorneys’ Fees and Costs, Administrative Expenses, and Class Representative Compensation that will be awarded, if any. Class Counsel’s motion for Attorneys’ Fees and Costs, Administrative Expenses, and Class Representative Compensation will be posted here after it is filed.

How do I object to the Settlement?

The deadline for objecting to the Settlement has passed.

When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

The Court held a Fairness Hearing on May 6, 2022 after notice of the Fairness Hearing was given to the Settlement Class. At the Fairness hearing, the Court considered whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. On May 6, 2022, the Court issued an order that granted final approval of the Settlement.

A copy of the final approval order is available here.