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Employment

Ramsey County Deferred Compensation

Schaber v. Ramsey County, Minnesota State Retirement System, and Erin Leonard
Court File No. 62-CV-21-1228 (Minnesota)

On March 18, 2021, Nichols Kaster, PLLP filed a case against Ramsey County, the Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS), and the executive director of its board of directors in Minnesota state court on behalf of Plaintiff Allison Schaber and other similarly situated Ramsey County employees.

As detailed in the Complaint, Ramsey County allows its employees to participate in the Minnesota Deferred Compensation Plan (the “Plan”), which is administered by MSRS. While the County promises to provide an investment “match” to its employees participating in the Plan, the County has failed and refused to remit any employer-side contributions to employees’ retirement savings. Instead, and over continuous objection of its employees, Ramsey County diverts monies to employees’ paychecks as regular taxable compensation, denying employees of retirement investment revenue.

Participating employees complained to MSRS about the County’s practice, but MSRS did nothing to correct the issue.

Plaintiff alleges Ramsey’s practices violated its employment policies/contracts and breached the fiduciary duty it owed to employees. Plaintiff further alleges MSRS and its executive director also breached their fiduciary duties owed to Ramsey County employees because they did not intervene to effectuate the match.

Type of Case

Employee Benefits

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Am I eligible?

This case seeks to represent all individuals currently or formerly employed by Defendant Ramsey County, who participated in and contributed to the Minnesota Deferred Compensation Plan, at any time during the six years prior until the filing of this Complaint until the date of final judgment in this matter. If you have questions about whether you are included in this class, contact us.

Additional Information

What is a Class Action?

In a class action lawsuit, one or more people, called the “class representatives,” sue on behalf of themselves and other people who have similar claims. Together, this group of people is called a “class” or “class members.” The class representative and the class members together are called the “Plaintiffs.” The companies they sue are called the “Defendants.” The judge or jury resolves the claims for everyone in the class—except those who ask to be excluded from the lawsuit.

How Long with this Take?

Class actions can often take years, but the precise length of time is unknown. Please check this page periodically for updates on the case’s status.

How do I Join This Case?

As part of our investigatory efforts, we are interested in speaking with others who may have been affected by a County employer’s failure to properly remit employer-match compensation to MSRS for investment.

You may contact us toll free at 1-877-448-0492, write to us at Nichols Kaster, PLLP, 4700 IDS Center, 80 South Eighth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402, or email Attorney Melanie Johnson at mjohnson@nka.com.  

Case Updates

  • September 14, 2021

    Ramsey County Deferred Compensation Case Update

    Plaintiff Allison Schaber alleges that Ramsey County failed to deposit employer-match contributions into employees’ deferred-compensations accounts – an act of willful mismanagement that continues to this day. Ramsey County’s motion to dismiss the case was denied in full on September 7, 2021. As a result, the case will now proceed to discovery. You will find the full order here.

    For more information about this case, please contact Haley Thompson at 612-256-3268 or hthompson@nka.com.

  • March 22, 2021

    Nichols Kaster, PLLP Files Lawsuit Against County of Ramsey and Minnesota State Retirement System

    Deputy Sheriff Allison Schaber, represented by Nichols Kaster, PLLP, filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Ramsey County employees on March 18th against Ramsey County, the Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS), and the executive director of its board of directors.  Schaber alleges Ramsey County failed to provide its employer-matching contribution to its employees’ retirement accounts under the Minnesota Deferred Compensation Plan, and that MSRS did not work on behalf of participating employees to correct the problem.  This practice has gone on for years, according to Schaber, and it has resulted in under funding of employees’ retirement accounts.

    As further explained in the Complaint, the Minnesota Deferred Compensation Plan allows participating employees to invest pretax compensation in an investment account for retirement.  The Plan allows participating employers to “match” its employees’ contributions to the retirement accounts as a means of further encouraging savings.  Ramsey County’s specific employment policies make clear that participating employees are entitled to a match, but the County does not send any match dollars to employees’ retirement accounts.  Instead, according to the complaint, the County pays out the monies in employees’ paycheck and subjects it to income taxation and where it is unable to contribute to any growth to employees’ retirement accounts.

    “A refund is not a match,” commented Schaber’s attorney Rebekah Bailey of Nichols Kaster.  “The term ‘match’ has a very specific meaning in the retirement investment space, and this was not it.  The failure to provide the promised match has caused compounding damage to participating employees’ retirement savings, resulting is millions in lost investment gains for current and former employees.”

    Employees of Ramsey County have complained about this practice for years to both the County and to MSRS, but neither has fixed the problem according to the complaint.  Schaber brings her lawsuit as a class action and seeks to recover lost investment gains for all Ramsey County employees, current or former, who have participated in the Plan over the last six years.

    The complaint alleges that Ramsey’s practices violated its employment contracts and breached the fiduciary duty it owed to employees.  MSRS and its executive director also breached their fiduciary duties owed to Ramsey County employees because they did not intervene to effectuate the match.  Schaber is represented by Rebekah L. Bailey, Anna P. Prakash, and Melanie Johnson. The case is Schaber v. Ramsey County, case number 62-CV-21-1228 and is filed in Minnesota’s Second Judicial District Court.  

  • March 19, 2021

    Employee Sues Ramsey County Over Retirement Fund Match

    A Ramsey County employee has filed a lawsuit alleging the county has mishandled distribution of some matching retirement funds. To read the full article you can click here.

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