Coinbase strikes deal to let you add crypto to your 401(k)

June 10, 2021, 5:24 PM UTC

Coinbase and 401(k) provider ForUsAll have teamed up to give certain companies the opportunity to include cryptocurrency investing as part of their retirement plan.

The platform, called Alt 401(k), will allow workers in participating companies to transfer up to 5% of their account balances into a Coinbase-traded cryptocurrency window. They will have over 50 cryptocurrencies to choose from as investment vehicles. ForUsAll says it also plans to monitor allocations, alerting employees when their overall cryptocurrency allocation exceeds 5% of their portfolio.

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Beyond crypto, Alt 401(k)s will also invest in mutual funds, environmental, social, and governance funds, real estate, and other financial vehicles to come.

ForUsAll says this is the first 401(k) plan to include cryptocurrencies. The firm did not disclose how many of its clients have signed up for the offering.

Like any asset purchased in a 401(k), any cryptocurrency purchases and gains are tax-deferred until you withdraw money from the account. The company also offers a Roth option that could be tax-free when you take a withdrawal.

“The reality is that alternative asset classes, which increasingly include small allocations to cryptocurrency, have become an important part of many institutional portfolios,” said David Ramirez, ForUsAll’s cofounder and chief investment officer in a statement. “Without access to these portfolio building blocks and expert help to prudently use these asset classes, the average American may be at a structural disadvantage.”

ForUsAll is a fairly small player in the 401(k) field, with $1.7 billion in retirement assets. Founded in 2021, it currently manages the accounts of 70,000 employees.

“Technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrency have the potential to transform our economy,” said Ramirez. “Combining access to these assets with education and portfolio monitoring may allow more Americans to benefit from these emerging technologies.”

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