Wells Fargo 401(k) Plan Class Action Settlement Website
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Frequently Asked Questions


WHAT IS THIS CASE ABOUT?

The lawsuit is brought on behalf of participants and beneficiaries of the Wells Fargo & Co. 401(k) Plan, who were part of the Plan between November 2, 2001 through and including October 8, 2009.  The lawsuit alleges violations of ERISA. Plaintiffs bringing the lawsuit allege that Defendants violated federal pension law, known as ERISA, by, among other things, selecting the Wells Funds as investment options for the Plan.  The lawsuit claims that under ERISA, Defendants owed fiduciary duties to the Plan, and that they allegedly violated those duties in connection with the Plan’s investments in the Wells Funds.

The Plaintiffs and the Defendants agreed to the Settlement to ensure a resolution and avoid the cost and risk of further litigation.

WHO IS INCLUDED IN THE SETTLEMENT?

Members of the Settlement Class are individuals who: (a) were a participant in the Plan anytime in the period of November 2, 2001 through and including October 8, 2009, (b) had in their account in the Plan a balance in one or more of the  Wells Funds during this period, and (c) are not a Defendant in the lawsuit.

 

WHAT WELLS FUNDS ARE ELIGIBLE?

The Settlement Class includes participants in the Plan whose Plan accounts had a balance in one or more of the following nine investment funds offered by the Plan during the Class Period:

1.       The Wells Fargo Diversified Small Cap Fund;

2.       The Wells Fargo Diversified Equity Fund;

3.       The Wells Fargo Large Company Growth Fund;

4.       The Wells Fargo Growth Balanced Fund;

5.       The Wells Fargo Moderate Balanced Fund;

6.       The Wells Fargo Aggressive Allocation Fund (formerly known as The Wells Fargo Strategic Growth
                Allocation Fund);

7.       The Wells Fargo Conservative Allocation Fund (formerly known as The Wells Fargo Strategic Income
                 Fund);

8.       The Wells Fargo Asset Allocation Collective Trust (also known as the Wells Fargo Asset Allocation Fund);  

9.       The Wells Fargo Capital Growth Fund

 

DO I NEED TO DO ANYTHING TO BE PART OF THE SETTLEMENT?

If you are a current or former participant in the Wells Fargo 401(K) Plan and the Plan has investment records indicating that you invested in any of the Wells Funds in the Class Period, you do not need to take any action to join the case.  You are entitled to a portion of the Settlement Funds per the Court-approved allocation plan.  This will occur only if the Court ultimately approves the settlement and any appeals are resolved in favor of the settlement.

If you received a Claim Documentation Form with the Notice of Class Action Settlement you must complete, sign and return that form with accompanying documentation showing you invested in any of the Wells Funds in order to receive any of the Settlement Funds.

Former Plan participants who file a Claim Documentation form with account statements showing they invested in the  Wells Funds during any time in the Class period will receive payment by check, if the Settlement  is approved by the Court and becomes Final.

HOW WILL THE SETTLEMENT MONEY BE ALLOCATED?

If the Settlement is approved by the Court and becomes Final, Class Members will receive an allocation of Settlement Funds.  The proposed Plan of Allocation will be considered by the Court at the Fairness Hearing.  The Proposed Plan of Allocation is available, along with other settlement documents on the Case Documents tab of this website.

The calculations necessary to determine allocations to Class Members will be made in connection with the administration of the Settlement and will determine each class member’s share of the settlement funds  

HOW ARE SETTLEMENT FUNDS DISTRIBUTED?

If you are a current participant in the Wells Fargo 401(K) Plan and the Plan has investment records indicating that you invested in any of the Wells Funds in the Class Period, your share will be deposited to your Plan account and will be reflected on your account statement.  This will occur only if the Court ultimately approves the settlement and any appeals are resolved in favor of the settlement. 

If you are a former Plan participant and the Plan has investment records indicating that you invested in any of the Wells Funds in the Class Period, you will receive your share of the settlement by check.

If you are a former Plan participant who received and returned a signed Claim Documentation Form with an account statement showing investment in any Wells Fund during any time in the Class period you will receive your share of the settlement by check.

This will occur only if the Court ultimately approves the settlement and any appeals are resolved in favor of the settlement.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing on July 21, 2011 at 10:00 AM.   The hearing will be at 316 N. Robert Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota, in the Courtroom of United States District Court Judge Paul A. Magnuson.  

At that hearing, the Court will consider whether the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are objections to the Settlement, any attorneys’ request for fees and expenses, the proposed Plan of Allocation, or any request for a case contribution award to the Class Representative, the Court will consider them.  Class members are not required to appear at the Fairness Hearing, but may appear at their own expense. 

To appear at the Fairness Hearing and speak in person a Class Member must file with the Clerk of the Court a Notice of Intent to Appear at Fairness Hearing and serve it on the parties as set forth fully in the Notice of Class Action Settlement.  After the Fairness Hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement and any requests for attorneys’ fees and expenses and any case contribution award to the Class Representative.

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS WITH REGARD TO THE HEARING ON WHETHER TO APPROVE THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT?

Settlement Class Members do not need to appear at the hearing or take any other action to indicate their approval.  Lawyers for the Class will answer questions the Court may have.  Class Members are welcome to attend the Fairness Hearing at their own expense. 

If you are a Settlement Class member as defined by the Court, you may object to the Settlement or any of its terms, the proposed Plan of Allocation, any request for attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of expenses, and/or any request for case contribution award for the Named Plaintiffs.  To object, you must submit a written objection, which must be filed with the Court, and mailed to the Lawyers listed in the Notice of Class Action Settlement.  Your written objection must be filed with the Clerk of the Court and served by mail on both Plaintiffs’ and Defendants’ lawyers on or before July 12, 2011, in accordance with the instructions described in the Notice of Class Action Settlement.  For more information see the Notice of Class Action Settlement, especially the answer to Question #15.

If you file and serve by mail a written objection by July 12, 2011, you do not also have to come to Court to talk about it.  As long as you served and filed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it.  You may also have your own lawyer attend, but it is not necessary.  Settlement Class Members do not need to appear at the hearing or take any other action to indicate their approval.

If you file and serve a written objection by July 12th, you can appear at the hearing and speak in person if you want to.  However, to speak at the hearing on July 21, 2011, you must also file a Notice of Appearance with the Court and mail a copy to Defendants and Plaintiffs law firms by July 14, 2011.  For more information see the Notice of Class Action Settlement, especially the answer to Question #18.

You may review and print a copy of the Notice of Class Action Settlement by visiting from the Case Documents tab of this website.

 

WHO SHOULD I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS?
 

You may submit inquiries via email to classact@gilardi.com. Please be sure to include the name of the case, your name, the last four digits of your Social Security number for verification purposes and the nature of your inquiry.  

Please do not contact the Court with questions.  The court personnel will not be able to answer your questions.

You may also review and print a copy of the Notice of Class Action Settlement, the Settlement Agreement, and other materials relating to the Settlement from the Case Documents tab of this website.