NU Online News Service, June 3, 2004, 12:59 p.m. EDT – Actuarial firms that sell employee benefits consulting services confirm that they have been contacted by the U.S. Department of Justice regarding anticompetitive activity.[@@]
The firms are responding to press reports about the contacts, including an initial report in Pensions & Investments.
The firms are Hewitt Associates Inc., Lincolnshire, Ill.; Milliman USA, Seattle; Towers Perrin Inc., Valhalla, N.Y.; and Watson Wyatt, Washington. Each firm says it has received a civil investigative demand for information.
The inquiry concerns legal liability clauses in contracts that limit the liability of consulting firms for poorly performing pension funds.
The Justice Department’s antitrust division sent Towers Perrin a letter concerning limitation of liability clauses March 30. The letter seeks information about the company’s decision to “adopt and implement limitation of liability in consulting contracts that relate to consulting services provided to employee benefit plans,” according to Joe Conway, a Towers Perrin spokesperson.