Avon facing investigation over retirement benefits

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Avon facing investigation over retirement benefits

Related tags Law

Avon Products is to be investigated over alleged violations for its employee retirement benefits, law practice Stull, Stull & Brody announced yesterday.

The law firm says that an ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) action has been filed, beginning an investigation into how Avon Products defined contribution plans for 401(k) and how they were run.

Specifically, the law representatives will be investigating whether or not Avon’s 401(k) plans violated the ERISA of 1974 by not disclosing the company’s tru financial and operating condition to participants and beneficiaries of the plans or Avon stock as an investment option.

More legal woes for Avon

Stull, Stull & Brody is offering to represent individuals who have held the company’s 401(k) plans or Avon stock in an individual account during the past several years, and is offering its services should those individuals have questions concerning their legal rights.

New York-based Stull, Stull & Brody specializes in litigation for violations of securities in federal laws, with a particular focus on cases relating to ERISA and the defense of employee retirement plans.

The legal action coincides with a tough period for Avon Products in recent years, involving declining revenues, legal action over bribery charges and a restructuring plan that has seen it pull out of a number of major markets, including France, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Ireland.

China bribery investigation closed

The bribery investigations involved executives in mainland China, but were finally resolved with a settlement at the end of last year with a $15 million fine, bringing one of the company’s concerns to a close.

Likewise, the company’s major global restructuring has coincided with declining revenues, with the US and emerging markets being amongst the hardest hit.

The most recent results for its third quarter revealed that the company pulled back into the black with a $91.4m profit, but conversely revenues were down 8% at $2.1bn.

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