This page provides the answers to class members’ most frequently asked questions.

The information provided is in summary form and is not intended as a complete explanation of your rights. For full and complete information, you are directed to review carefully the Notices.

About The Case

What is this lawsuit about?

In the Class Action, the Class Representative claims that the Defendants improperly selected and retained the Aon Hewitt Growth Fund for the Plan, and that it was not prudent or in the best interest of participants for them to do so. The Class Representative also claims that Aon Hewitt had a conflict of interest in selecting and retaining this fund. The Defendants deny all claims and assert that they have always acted prudently and in the best interests of participants and beneficiaries

Why is there a Settlement?

The Court has not reached a final decision as to the Class Representative’s claims. Instead, the Class Representative and the Settling Defendants have agreed to the Settlement. The Settlement is the product of extensive negotiations between the Class Representative, the Settling Defendants, and their counsel, who were assisted in their negotiations by a neutral mediator. The parties to the Settlement have taken into account the uncertainty, risks, and costs of litigation and have concluded that it is desirable to settle on the terms and conditions set forth in the Settlement Agreement. The Class Representative and Class Counsel believe that the Settlement is best for the Settlement Class. Nothing in the Settlement Agreement is an admission or concession on the Settling Defendants’ part of any fault or liability whatsoever. They have entered into the Settlement Agreement to avoid the uncertainty, expense, and burden of additional litigation.

What Does the Settlement Provide?

Under the Settlement, Lowe’s or its insurers will pay $12,500,000 into a Qualified Settlement Fund to resolve the claims of the Settlement Class against the Lowe’s Defendants. The Net Settlement Amount (after deduction of any Court-approved Attorneys’ Fees and Costs, Administrative Expenses, and Class Representative Service Award) will be allocated to Settlement Class Members according to a Plan of Allocation to be approved by the Court. Allocations to Participant Class Members who are entitled to a distribution under the Plan of Allocation will be made into their existing accounts in the Plan. Former Participant Settlement Class Members who are entitled to a distribution may receive their distribution as a check or, if they choose, as a rollover to a qualified retirement account.

In addition, the Settlement provides that: (1) within twelve (12) months after the Settlement Effective Date, the Administrative Committee will issue a request for proposal (“RFP”) for a delegated fiduciary investment manager for the Plan; (2) the Administrative Committee will engage an independent consulting firm (unrelated to Aon Hewitt) with experience conducting similar RFPs to assist with the RFP process; (3) the candidates in the RFP process will be free to propose alternative investment options, investment strategies, and/or investment lineup structures to the Administrative Committee; and (4) as part of the process, the Administrative Committee will consider all options presented, including maintaining the current investment manager, investment lineup structure, investment options, and/or investment strategies. All Settlement Class Members and anyone claiming through them will fully release the Plan as well as the Settling Defendants and the Released Parties from certain Plaintiff’s Released Claims, as defined in the Settlement Agreement. The Released Parties include each Settling Defendant, each Individual Administrative Committee Member, and certain related parties as outlined in the Settlement Agreement. The Plaintiff’s Released Claims include any claims against any of the Released Parties with respect to the Plan that were asserted in the Action against the Settling Defendants or could have been asserted against the Settling Defendants, including but not limited to those based on: (1) the selection, retention, or monitoring of the Aon Growth Fund, (2) the mapping of Plan assets to the Aon Growth Fund; (3) the selection, retention, or monitoring of Aon Hewitt; (4) the performance, fees, and other characteristics of the Aon Growth Fund, (5) Aon Hewitt’s performance or fees, or the services provided by Aon Hewitt to the Plan; or (6) the restructuring or modification of the Plan’s investment lineup. In addition, Plaintiff’s Released Claims also include certain other claims as set forth in the Settlement Agreement.

Aon Hewitt is not a Released Party under the Settlement. However, it is a condition of the Settlement that the Court enter an order barring Aon Hewitt from asserting certain claims against the Lowe’s Defendants and that any judgment that is later entered against Aon Hewitt in the Action will be subject to a judgment reduction equal to the amount that represents the proportionate share of fault that the Court attributes to the Lowe’s Defendants at trial, if any, with respect to the judgment. This is only a summary of the Released Parties and Settling Defendants’ Released Claims, and is not a binding description of either. The governing releases are found within the Settlement Agreement.

How much will my distribution be?

The amount, if any, that will be allocated to you will be based upon records maintained by the Plan’s recordkeeper. Calculations regarding individual distributions will be performed by the Settlement Administrator, whose determinations will be final and binding, pursuant to the Court-approved Plan of Allocation.

To receive a distribution from the Net Settlement Amount, you must either be a (1) “Participant Class Member”; or (2) a “Former Participant Class Member”; or (3) a Beneficiary or Alternate Payee of a person identified in (1) or (2).

There are approximately 73,000 Settlement Class Members. The Net Settlement Amount will be divided pro rata among Settlement Class Members (and their Beneficiaries and Alternate Payees) based on Settlement Class Members’ average quarterly balances in the Aon Hewitt Growth Fund during the Class Period. A more complete description regarding the details of the Plan of Allocation can be found in Article V of the Settlement Agreement.

How can I receive my distribution?

You do not need to do anything to receive your share of the Net Settlement Amount. If, however, you are a Former Participant Class Member who no longer has a Plan account with a positive balance, or are the beneficiary or alternate payee of a Former Participant Class Member, then you may submit a Former Participant Rollover Form postmarked on or before August 12, 2021 to receive a share of the Net Settlement Amount via rollover. If you are a Former Participant Class Member and you do not mail the Former Participant Rollover Form by the above deadline, you will receive your share of the Net Settlement Amount via check.

When will I receive my distribution?

The timing of the distribution of the Net Settlement Amount is conditioned on several matters, including the Court’s final approval of the Settlement and any approval becoming final and no longer subject to any appeals in any court. An appeal of the final approval order may take several years. If the Settlement is approved by the Court and there are no appeals, the Settlement distribution likely will occur within approximately four months of the Court’s Final Approval Order, unless there are unforeseen circumstances. There will be no payments under the Settlement if the Settlement Agreement is terminated.

Can I get out of the Settlement?

No. The Settlement Class has been certified under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(1) and the Settlement has received final Court approval. Therefore, as a Settlement Class Member, you are bound by the Settlement and any judgments or orders that are entered in the Action.

Do I have a lawyer in this case? Should I get my own lawyer?

The Court has appointed the law firms of Nichols Kaster, PLLP in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Tharrington Smith, LLP in Raleigh, North Carolina as Class Counsel in the Class Action. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

How do I tell the Court if I don’t like the Settlement?

The deadline for objecting to the Settlement has passed.

When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

The Court held a Fairness Hearing on August 26, 2021 after notice of the Fairness Hearing was given to the Settlement Class. At the Fairness hearing, the Court considered whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. On September 9, 2021, the Court issued an order that granted final approval of the Settlement. A copy of the final approval order is available here.

Are more details available?

If you have questions regarding the Settlement, you can review the Court documents here. You may also call 1-877-319- 3102, or write to the Settlement Administrator at Lowe’s 401(k) Plan Litigation, P.O. Box 2004, Chanhassen, MN 55317-2004. All papers filed in this lawsuit are also available for review via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records System (PACER), at http://www.pacer.gov, and can be reviewed in person during regular business hours at the Office of the Clerk of the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, 401 West Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202. Please note that neither Lowe’s nor any employees, attorneys, or representatives of Lowe’s may advise you regarding the Settlement or how you should proceed.