Robo 401(k) providers are still open to crypto options

Among 401(k) fintech providers, ForUsAll has been the strongest proponent of cryptocurrencies, establishing itself as the first to offer investments within the self-directed brokerage windows of retirement plans. But other 401(k) digital providers are open to offering the investments despite warnings from regulators about the emerging and highly speculative asset class.

Ubiquity Retirement + Savings, for example, does not offer cryptocurrency in its 401(k) plans because none of the 3(38) investment managers it works with are pushing for this asset class. However, if its 3 (38) investment managers were to ask for cryptocurrency, Ubiquity would fulfill their request.

If they had a “strong belief” in wanting the asset class and educated participants about cryptocurrency, “Ubiquity would back it from a trading and record-keeping perspective,” said Chad Parks, founder and CEO of the company based in San Francisco.

“As the record holder, we are neutral on whether or not you should have cryptocurrencies as an asset class in a retirement account,” he said.

Vestwell Holdings Inc., meanwhile, is weighing its options. “We are monitoring the evolution of cryptocurrency legislation and will continue to evaluate the options available to savers on our platform,” Vestwell CEO Aaron Schumm said in a statement. Mr. Schumm noted that in a survey of 500 retirement plan advisers in the summer of 2021, more than 2 in 5 advisers (41%) said they believed participants were interested in incorporating a cryptocurrency strategy into their plans. retirement savings.

Betterment at Work, the retirement plan services business of digital investment advisory provider Betterment LLC, is also monitoring the situation. While it does not currently offer crypto options in its 401(k) plans, it reviews investments on an ongoing basis to ensure it has selected options that suit participants’ desired investment goals, Betterment said in a statement.

“As cryptocurrency markets and the regulatory environment surrounding retirement plans evolve, Betterment will reassess the suitability of cryptocurrency investments within retirement accounts,” he said.

Betterment, however, has a new cryptocurrency offering for retail investors, which 401(k) participants can access outside their retirement plan by opening a separate retail investment account. The new offering, called Crypto Investing by Betterment, launched in October and consists of four cryptocurrency portfolios.

“Improvement believes in investor choice,” the company said in the statement.

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