New DOL Guidance for 401(k) Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries: Cryptocurrency and Other Digital Asset Investments

Understanding the DOL's warning for plan fiduciaries and what it means

A live 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with interactive Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 (in 5 days)

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide ERISA counsel with an analysis of new Department of Labor (DOL) guidance on decisions to invest retirement plan assets in cryptocurrency. The panel will discuss ERISA compliance and general rules for plan investments and exposure for fiduciaries as well as the practical challenges posed by limitations on investment decisions. The panel will also put the topic into the broader context of investment decision-making for ERISA plan fiduciaries of all plans, not just 401(k) plans.

Description

Cryptocurrency continues to be a widely used form of currency worldwide, attracting investors to various companies holding virtual assets. On March 10, 2022, the DOL published Compliance Assistance Release No. 2022-01, issuing a stern warning to plan fiduciaries to exercise extreme care before considering adding cryptocurrencies to a 401(k) plan investment lineup.

The guidance raises many issues for fiduciaries to consider, including (1) fiduciary duty of prudence and personal liability; (2) security risks; (3) recordkeeping and custody questions; (4) valuation challenges; and (5) liquidity and diversification concerns.

Program attendees will gain an in-depth understanding of the new DOL guidance on cryptocurrency, appreciation of the “on the ground” obstacles to offering cryptocurrency plan investments, and the ability to issue spot potential applications of the DOL’s cryptocurrency guidance to other types of retirement plan investments.

Listen as our panel discusses critical ERISA compliance issues for plan investments in cryptocurrency and other digital assets, exposure to fiduciaries, transaction and security risks, and best practices for ERISA counsel, plan sponsors, and fiduciaries.

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Outline

  1. Recent DOL guidance on cryptocurrency investments and comparison to prior guidance on non-traditional investments
  2. Practical challenges for cryptocurrency plan investments
    1. Fiduciary risk
    2. Recordkeeping and custody issues
    3. Liquidity, diversification and valuation issues
    4. Impact of evolving government regulation
  3. Implications of DOL cryptocurrency guidance for retirement plan investments
    1. 401(k) plans vs. other retirement plans
    2. ESG, private equity, derivative investments, and other unique investments
    3. Implications for brokerage windows

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the critical considerations for plan fiduciaries considering offering plan investments in cryptocurrency?
  • What are the practical challenges that apply to cryptocurrency plan investments?
  • What are the implications of the DOL’s new guidance on cryptocurrency for other types of retirement plan investments?
  • What can we learn about managing fiduciary responsibilities from the new DOL guidance?

Faculty

Hamburger, Paul
Paul M. Hamburger

Partner
Proskauer Rose

Mr. Hamburger is co-chair of the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group and head of the Washington, DC...  |  Read More

Rigterink, Jennifer
Jennifer Rigterink

Special Employee Benefits Counsel
Proskauer Rose

Ms. Rigterink is a special employee benefits counsel in the Labor Department and a member of the Employee Benefits...  |  Read More

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