Last week, U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) spoke to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee about his “Financial Freedom Act,” which would allow 401(k) investors to add cryptocurrency as a part of their retirement plans.
Tuberville’s bill is a response to the Department of Labor’s guidance cautioning plan fiduciaries from including cryptocurrencies in those 401(k) investment plans.
“Millions of Americans choose to personally control how their 401(k) savings are invested by using a brokerage window,” Tuberville explained. “The Department of Labor has historically steered clear of picking winners and losers in its regulation of brokerage windows. Unfortunately, for America’s retirement savers that recently changed.”
The senator emphasized that the Department of Labor was now limiting investors’ ability to invest how they saw fit.
“In March, the department released regulatory guidance restricting the ability of 401(k) investors to select how their savings are deployed,” he said. “The guidance specifically targets cryptocurrency, but its reach goes far beyond this asset class. It would effectively end the ability of our nation’s retirement savers to self direct 401(k) investments by dramatically increasing the regulatory burden placed on retirement plans that are offered at a brokerage window.”
Tuberville reiterated that his bill was not just about allowing cryptocurrency.
“To be clear,” he continued, “this isn’t about packaging every 401(k) plan with cryptocurrency. It simply empowers 401(k) savers who choose to self select their retirement portfolios by preserving the integrity of the brokerage window. This amendment doesn’t just impact cryptocurrency. It allows retirement savers to have full control over how hard earned money is invested, just as it would empower investors who want to include crypto in their retirement portfolio.”
He argued that this issue was one where Democrats and Republicans should be able to come to some kind of agreement.
“Madam Chair, this is a bipartisan issue that empowers main street investors, and I look forward working with you and my Democratic colleagues to ultimately make this amendment law one way or another,” he concluded.