The following are answers to frequently asked questions about the BNYM ADR FX ERISA settlement.

If you do not find an answer to your question here:

  • Documents such as the Settlement Agreement can be found by clicking here
  • You can contact the Claims Administrator at the contact information found here.

About The Settlement

What is this lawsuit about?

Plaintiffs have alleged in the lawsuit that the Bank of New York Mellon breached its fiduciary duties and engaged in prohibited transactions under ERISA when the Bank, as the depositary to ADRs held by ERISA Entities, deducted improper fees when converting foreign currency in the form of dividends and/or cash distributions issued by foreign companies. Defendants have denied any wrongdoing or liability whatsoever.

When will I get paid?

The Court will hold a fairness hearing on May 23, 2019 at 3:00 pm to decide whether to approve the settlement. Payment to Authorized Recipients is conditioned on several matters, including the preliminary settlement approval becoming final and no longer subject to appeal.  If the Court approves the Settlement and a plan of allocation, then payments to Authorized Recipients will be made after any appeals are resolved and the completion of claims processing.  The website and the audio recording will be updated regarding the case status.

How much will we be paid?

Under the Settlement, Defendants have agreed to pay $12,500,000 to resolve this Action. If the Settlement is approved, Lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel (McTigue Law LLP and Ciresi Conlin LLP) will ask the Court to award attorneys’ fees not to exceed 33 1/3% and reimbursement of Litigation Expenses, and to award up to $10,000 to each Named Plaintiff to compensate them for their efforts in the Action. If the Court approves the Settlement, the settlement proceeds, after deduction of approved notice and administration costs, attorneys’ fees and expenses, and service awards to the Named Plaintiffs, will be distributed to eligible Settlement Entities pursuant to the Plan of Allocation, or other plan of allocation approved by the Court. At this time, it is not possible to make a  determination as to the amount of any payment that any individual ERISA Entity that is deemed to be an Authorized Recipient will receive from the Settlement. The amount paid to each Authorized Recipient will depend on the amount of gross dividends each Authorized Recipient received with respect to any and all BNYM ADRs it owned relative to the Claims of other Authorized Recipients. Please review the Notice and plan of allocation posted here for more information.

What can I do if I believe my ERISA Entity should be included but we did not receive a Validation Letter or a Postcard?

If your ERISA Entity did not receive a Postcard Notice or a Validation Letter but you believe Your Entity may be a Settlement Entity, please click here for more information. There, you will find the Notice and Plan of Allocation, a Stipulation of Settlement, and other documents explaining the rights of Settlement Class Members in connection with the Settlement and the process to submit a Claim Form in order for Your Entity to be eligible to receive a payment from the Settlement. Also available here is a list of BNYM ADRs at issue in the case. You may also contact us directly for additional support.

Do I have a lawyer? And if so, how will they be paid?

Ciresi Conlin LLP and McTigue Law LLP are Lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel for Named Plaintiffs and the Settlement Class. Your Entity will not be charged directly by Lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel or any other law firms representing Named Plaintiffs in this case. If you or your ERISA Entity wants to be represented by its own lawyer, you or your ERISA Entity may hire one at your own expense. More information about Lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel is available here.  Lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel will ask the Court to approve payment to them of attorneys’ fees from the settlement fund in an amount not to exceed 33 and 1/3% of the total settlement amount and for reasonable litigation costs incurred in connection with the prosecution  and settlement of the Lawsuit.

Can I submit a claim with respect to BNYM ADRs that were held by a mutual fund in which my plan invested?

No. Plan investments in a mutual fund (or any entity registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940), where the mutual fund held BNYM ADRs, are not covered in this lawsuit. The underlying investments of a mutual fund are not considered “plan assets” subject to ERISA.


What is an ERISA Entity?

An “ERISA Entity” means an ERISA plan and any trust, pooled account, collective investment vehicle, or group insurance arrangement that files a Form 5500 annual return/report as a Direct Filing Entity (“DFE”) in accordance with the DFE Filing Requirements, such as a group trust, master trust investment account (MTIA), common/collective trust (CCT), pooled separate account (PSA), 103-12 investment entity (102-12 IE), group insurance arrangement (GSA), or collective investment vehicle that held plan assets as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor “Instructions for Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan.”

What is the difference between an Identified Class Entity and a Potential Class Entity?

The Claims Administrator has identified from structured data produced in this Action or from documents produced concerning the Named Plaintiffs’ plans (“Available Data”) that certain ERISA Entities held at least one BNYM ADR that issued a dividend during the Settlement Class Period (“Identified Class Entities”).  Identified Class Entities do not need to take any action to be eligible to receive a payment from the Settlement.  Any such Identified Class Entity will receive a Validation Letter as described in the Notice.  ERISA Entities that were not identified as holders of at least one BNYM ADR that issued a dividend during the Settlement Class Period through the Available Data (“Potential Class Entities”) must complete and submit a Claim Form via the Settlement Website,in order to be eligible to receive a payment from the Settlement.  Potential Class Entities will not receive a Validation Letter, but will receive a Postcard Notice, as described in the Notice.