This is a fascinating story of risk management and the commodification of ERISA class action litigation. It’s the story of a $2.45 million settlement of a class action concerning the alleged use of outdated mortality tables in a pension plan. For many years, including by me in this blog, ERISA lawyers and commentators have been warning that class action risks and exposures were going to migrate downstream, from large dollar value cases against large plans, to smaller exposures, smaller plans and smaller recoveries. This is a perfect example – the cases that dominated ERISA exposure a decade ago concerning excessive fees, church plan status and the like involved potential recoveries so large they warranted no holds barred litigation on both sides of the aisle. As this settlement shows, however, those days are long since past and most ERISA class action litigation now involves either smaller stakes or routinized, commoditized litigation, similar to other areas of class action and/or commercial litigation. Employers, plan sponsors and plan fiduciaries should keep that in mind, particularly with regard to risk management. They should, for instance, plan for this change in building out their insurance programs. For example, if most cases, even class actions, arising from their retirement plans can now be expected to be of relatively small value, rather than of bet the company valuations, what should their policy limits, deductibles or retentions, and terms concerning control of defense and settlement decisions look like? And to what extent should they save, or instead spend, premium dollars, to get certain terms in this regard? The answers to this are grist for another day.