WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) introduced the Financial Freedom Act to prohibit the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from issuing a regulation or guidance that limits the type of investments that self-directed 401(k) account investors can choose through a brokerage window.
When delivering a speech on the floor of the United States Senate about the Financial Freedom Act, Senator Tuberville said: “The Financial Freedom Act empowers the American retirement saver and preserves the precedent of investment freedom…. The choice of what you invest your retirement savings in should be yours – not the government’s. The government-knows-best approach being pushed by the current administration runs counter to the values that made our country the most prosperous nation in history.”
Here’s What They Are Saying:
The Financial Freedom Act has received praise from Americans for Tax Reform, Heritage Foundation, Chamber of Digital Commerce, Blockchain Association, and Association for Digital Asset Markets.
“The federal government should never be in the business of telling Americans how they should invest their retirement savings. In addition to pursuing exorbitant tax hikes on all Americans as prices are surging, the Biden administration also wants to prevent retirees from investing their 401(k)s into cryptocurrency. I am proud to support Sen. Tuberville’s Financial Freedom Act, which would prevent the Department of Labor from mandating how Americans can maximize their nest eggs,” said Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform.
“I applaud Senator Tuberville’s efforts to safeguard Americans’ freedom to invest their 401(k)’s without asking bureaucrats for permission. This is especially important in Bitcoin and other alternatives to government money, where special interests have spent years trying to stop American investors from protecting themselves from Washington’s soaring inflation,” said Peter St. Onge, Economic Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation.
“Individual investors are empowered to build their financial futures by selecting the investment vehicles that meet their needs. The ‘Financial Freedom Act of 2022’ is an acknowledgement that consumers and future retirees are increasingly savvy regarding their financial planning, and that providing access to more choices to diversify their investment portfolio is crucial for those investors looking to more actively participate in investment planning. Senator Tuberville’s legislation would ensure that all investors with access to individual, self-directed investment accounts can choose alternative investment vehicles, including appropriate digital assets. We thank Senator Tuberville for his leadership and look forward to working with him and cosponsors in the legislative process,” said Teana Baker-Taylor, Chief Policy Officer, Chamber of Digital Commerce.
“We’re proud to support the Financial Freedom Act of 2022, providing consumers greater choice in their retirement savings, including cryptocurrency and digital assets. Crypto allows individuals to take control of their financial future, and we will continue working with policymakers to support legislation that empowers this innovative technology and allows all Americans to benefit from it,” Kristin Smith, Executive Director, Blockchain Association.
“It has never been a better time in history than the present to be an investor. The advent of the internet has brought fundamental shifts to the functioning of financial markets. Investors have more information than ever and are able to access products in faster and more transparent manners. At the same time, the world’s brightest minds are creating new products in the digital asset space with utility and financial upside. Placing regulatory hurdles targeted at specific products, such as digital assets, does not benefit consumers and affects Americans’ ability to exercise consumer choice and maintain a diversified portfolio. Senator Tuberville gets this right with his Financial Freedom Act, which fosters 401(k) investments in digital assets. The Senator’s bill has the Association for Digital Asset Markets’ (ADAM) full support,” said Michelle Bond, CEO, Association for Digital Asset Markets.
The Financial Freedom Act is in response to March 10th regulatory guidance released by the Employee Benefits Security Administration, an agency inside of U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The guidance attempts to bar 401(k) investors from investing in cryptocurrency and undermines the ability of 401(k) plans to offer brokerage windows, which give retirement plan participants the ability to personally control how their assets are invested. The guidance threatened that employers and investment firms could be subject to a DOL investigation and enforcement actions should they allow individuals using brokerage windows to invest in cryptocurrency. Senator Tuberville’s legislation would empower retirement savers to invest as they see fit and ensure that plan sponsors and financial firms are not punished for allowing investors to exercise financial freedom.
Senator Tuberville discussed the issue and announced his legislation in an op-ed to CNBC. Click here to read more.
On May 20, 2022, Representative Byron Donalds (R-FL) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.