Security Benefit Group Lawsuit

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Topeka-based Security Benefit Group is named in a federal class-action lawsuit.

It was filed by two teachers who live in Washington and California.

They say the National Education Association accepted millions of dollars in fees from Security Benefit and Nationwide Insurance in return for recommending and marketing the two companies' investment products to NEA members.

13 News obtained a copy of the suit filed July 11 in the western district of Washington state...

It says the money Nationwide and Security Benefit gave them is the reason NEA recommended the companies.

Even though the teachers allege the companies fees and expenses, far exceeded those of comparable and better-performing products.

Security Benefit sells life insurance, annuity contracts and retirement services.

The NEA has some three-point-two million members nationwide.

The plaintiffs want the companies to make good on all losses plus pay attorneys fees and restitution.

Security Benefit spokesperson Michel Cole says the fees at issue in the lawsuit are routine in the industry and were fully disclosed to NEA members.

She says the lawsuit misrepresents the facts and that all of Security Benefit's close to 800 associates take seriously our commitment to help teachers retire.

We will continue to vigorously defend our position against what we believe to be frivolous litigation.

Attorneys on both sides now have various deadlines through the end of the year to make filings.