Americans Have Financial Freedom with 401ks? | Congress to Vote on Dictating Assets 2022

2 min read

Should Americans be limited in their investment options in self-directed retirement accounts? This article covers how it seems the Dept of Labour and so do most Democrats in Congress believe they should be. Rep. Byron Donalds has put forward a bill to stop what he calls an ‘endeavor to centralise power in Washington’.

Main Points:

  • Rep. Byron Donalds has introduced legislation that would allow Americans to include Bitcoin in their 401(k) plans.
  • Whether the bill passes or fails could have an impact on Fidelity, which allows users to include Bitcoin in their 401(k)s.
  • A member of the United States House of Representatives has introduced legislation to allow Bitcoin in 401(k) retirement plans.
  • However, the bills introduced this month aim to prevent the Department of Labour from broadly dictating assets allowed in 401(k) plans, meaning they will remain relevant beyond crypto

House Republicans introduced a new bill on Friday that would inhibit the Labour Department from limiting investment options available to employees in self-directed retirement accounts and would permit Americans to add cryptocurrency to their 401(k) plans if they so desired.

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., launched the Financial Freedom Act in response to the latest political flashpoint: cryptocurrency – and whether Fidelity Investments should be allowed to offer a retirement plan with bitcoin later this year.

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Both bills were introduced in response to regulatory guidance issued by the United States Department of Labour in March. This guidance cautions investment firms against including cryptocurrency in 401(k) plans.

The Employee Benefits Security Administration, according to the report, plans to conduct an investigation into schemes that offer participant investments in cryptocurrencies and associated products, and to take appropriate measures to protect the interests of plan participants and beneficiaries in these investments.

Many Democratic Senators, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, voiced worry that Fidelity was exposing investors to a “risky and speculative gamble” when it revealed last month that bitcoin would be available as an investment choice in its 401(k) plans by the middle of the year.

Republicans, on the other hand, have hastened to defend Fidelity, charging Democrats of overreach and trampling on Americans’ free-market rights. The bill, according to GOP members, is about financial and investor independence, not only cryptocurrency.

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Fidelity Investments, a financial services major, responded to the DOL report by objecting to what it perceived as ambiguous language and attitudes that went against the objective of the law that created the 401(k) program. It asked the Department of Labour to either clarify or withdraw the report. Fidelity joined a handful of smaller financial services organisations in giving Bitcoin to 401(k) plan participants two weeks later.

Donalds called the Labour Department’s statements a “far-reaching and comprehensive endeavor to centralise power in Washington” and said the guideline “infringes on the foundational principles of economic liberty and free markets,” according to a statement.

Representatives Warren Davidson (R-OH), Young Kim (R-CA), David Schweikert (R-AZ), and Tom Emmer (R-MI) have all expressed support for Donalds’ bill, according to Donalds (R-MN).

The Fidelity Retirement Plan may be significantly affected:

The Financial Freedom Act’s final outcome has implications for Fidelity Investments, which announced plans to include bitcoin in its 401(k) retirement plans earlier this year despite challenges.

Fidelity filed a protest with the Labour Department on April 15. Fidelity voiced concerns about the department’s decision – making in its letter, writing that the rule “effectively considers the selection of cryptocurrencies to be… unreasonable” in 401(k) plans.

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Despite these concerns, Fidelity announced its Workplace Digital Assets Account on April 26.

It’s uncertain how many other massive investment companies are actually trying to offer Bitcoin retirement options. The bills introduced this month, on the other hand, aim to prevent the Department of Labor from broadly dictating assets allowed in 401(k) plans, implying that they will be pertinent beyond crypto.

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