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Oct 13 • 3 mins

US Legislators Announce Act Permitting Crypto Investments in 401(k) Retirement Plans

Retirement Savings Modernization Act Announced

The United States Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs declared that a group of senators, including Pat Toomey and Tim Scott, together with Representative Peter Meijer have announced the Retirement Savings Modernization Act.

According to the announcement details, the bill’s goal is to strengthen retirement incomes as it provides employees with asset diversification abilities. Now, American workers may diversify assets that are involved in the determined contribution plans like the 401(k) one. The bill is expected to adjust the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to clear up that pension plan sponsors from the private sector may provide plans, including both 401(k)s and pensions, that are reasonably rotated across the whole variety of assets.

As Senator Toomey states, people feel uncertain about their economic fortune because of an equity market fall, unprecedented inflation levels, and the risk of recession. He hopes that allowing 401(k) savers to invest in a wide variety of assets will secure the retirement of millions of Americans.

Even though retirement and 401(k) plans are covered by the same law, the first ones have incorporated sorts of assets outside of the public markets since 1982. By the way, the statement clarifies that 401(k) plans “almost never incorporate exposure to alternative assets due to fiduciaries’ anticipated litigation risk.” The law classifies “digital assets” as a “covered investment.”

Senator Scott says that inflation devalues the savings of Americans but the legislation will tackle the issue. It is predicted that the law will streamline pension plans to make sure they may provide different investments with higher economic efficiency and protect American workers’ money.

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Earlier, most American workers from the private sector used to count on pension plans for their retirement. Nowadays, they depend on 401(k) plans. As the lawmakers note, “pension plans have consistently outperformed 401(k) plans because they diversify across the full range of asset classes, putting one of every five dollars in alternative asset classes like private equity.”

Representative Meijer emphasizes that people in the United States should have flexible pension options, particularly when it comes to economic insecurity.

Earlier this year, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued a notice warning about crypto investments in 401(k) plans. The DOL considered them hazardous, presenting a substantial risk of theft, fraud, and loss.

However, a month later, Fidelity, a major 401(k) plan administrator, declared the start of using Bitcoin as an investment option in its new 401(k) products. The Labor Department and several senators are worried about the company’s decision and request answers regarding this decision.

After that, in May, a US senator introduced a law forbidding the DOL to interfere with investments in retirement accounts. A month later, United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen considered cryptocurrencies to be “very risky”, stressing that they are inappropriate for most retirement savers.

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    About the author

    Dmitry K.

    CEO and Cofounder of ND Labs
    I’m a top professional with many-year experience in software development and IT. Founder and CEO of ND Labs specializing in FinTech industry, blockchain and smart contracts development for Defi and NFT.

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