Employers have been showing a strong interest in Bitcoin 401(k) offerings, says Fidelity Investments. It noted that client interest has been strong and spans a wide range of industries and company sizes.
The first employers offering Bitcoin as an option, according to Fidelity, in their 401(k) will have it made available in the fall. It said employers considering Bitcoin in their 401(k) plans must perform due diligence and obtain the necessary approvals beforehand. The process could take up to several months and would need about 90 days to implement.
What is Bitcoin 401(k)
This is an option for employers to help employees invest up to 20% of their 401(k) in Bitcoin, meaning that people who want to add the cryptocurrency to their 401(k) would have to see whether their employer offers it. Dave Gray, the head of workplace retirement offerings and platforms at Fidelity Investments, said there is growing interest from retirement plan sponsors for vehicles that enable them to provide their employees access to digital assets. He recommended the Bitcoin 401(k) as a short-term bet on crypto returns. Gray shared that it’s an opportunity to buy in over time as they may believe this is the right long-term investment strategy to supplement a traditional portfolio.
Ali Khawar, the acting assistant secretary of the Employee Benefits Security Administration, raised grave concerns about Fidelity’s Bitcoin 401(k). Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic Senator, had also written a letter to the company inquiring about its actions to address the significant risks of fraud, theft, and loss posed by the digital asset. Fidelity said it’s in talks with the respective regulators and policymakers.
But enthusiasm for the Bitcoin 401(k) has grown significantly. A number of fintech startups are keen to capitalize on the demand for this plan.