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.