No Quick Appeal of T. Rowe Price 401(k) ‘Hardwiring’ Provision

July 6, 2021

Participants in T. Rowe Price Group’s $1.7 billion 401(k) plan lost their bid for an immediate appeal of the novel legal question of whether ERISA plans can “hardwire” a preference for affiliated investments, a Maryland federal court order shows.

The class of 8,200 plan participants wanted to go directly to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for a ruling on whether T. Rowe Price can avoid liability for offering its own funds in their 401(k) plan by adopting a “hardwiring provision,” which memorializes the company’s commitment to offering T. Rowe Price funds into the plan document itself. ...