Nearly half of Gen Z and Millennials are also already invested in digital assets outside of their retirement funds and cited “inflation” as the biggest obstacle to early retirement.
Nearly half of Gen Z and Millennials want to see crypto become a part of their 401(k) retirement plans, according to an October survey from United States asset manager Charles Schwab.
Asking participants what they would like to see added to their 401(k) retirement products, the firm found that 46% of Gen Z and 45% of Millennials said they “wish” they could invest in cryptocurrencies as part of their retirement planning.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the survey also found that 43% of Gen Z and 47% of Millennials are investing in cryptocurrencies outside their 401(k) already, which could suggest the group’s affinity for the asset class.
The asset manager surveyed 1,100 401(k) retirement plan participants aged between 21 to 70 to complete the 10-minute survey conducted between Apr. 4 and Apr. 19, 2022.
Participants of the survey needed to have worked for a company with 25 or more employees and be current contributors to their company’s 401(k) plans.
Millennials generally refer to those born in the early 1980s to mid-1990s, with Gen Z generally born between the mid to late 1990s to the early 2010s.
The results are in stark contrast to the surveyed Gen X and Boomers — those born anywhere between the mid-1940s to late 1970s — with just 31% and 11% respectively wanting to invest in cryptocurrencies through their 401(k), and even less being current investors in the asset class.
Across the board, inflation was seen as the leading obstacle to retirement.
A similar study by Investopedia in April found only 28% of United States-based Millennials and 17% of Gen Z’s surveyed expected to use cryptocurrency to support themselves in retirement, however.
Related: Roth IRAs: The ideal long-term cryptocurrency investment?
The asset manager currently does not offer any cryptocurrency investments as part of its 401(k) retirement plans, though crypto-based retirement funds have been in the works since Feb. 2019.
In April, Fidelity Investment reportedly put plans together to open up Bitcoin investment for ts 401(k) retirement saving account holders, with savers allowed to allocate as much as 20% of Bitcoin (BTC) to their savings portfolio.
In Australia, Rest Super became the first retirement fund to offer cryptocurrency allocation as part of a diversified portfolio to its 1.9 million members in Nov. 2021.
While most digital asset retirement funds are offered in the form of Bitcoin or Ether (ETH), a North Virginian county speculated putting a proportion of retirees’ pension funds into a decentralized finance (DeFi) yield farming account in May. 2022 — which was later approved in Aug. 2022.
But things can go wrong. A Quebec pension fund lost almost all of its $154.7 million which was heavily invested into the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency lending platform Celsius.
Controversies like this have left U.S. Senators divided on the seriousness of the risks involved with crypto-exposed 401(k) retirement plans.
Among those are Democrat Senators Elizabeth Warren, Dick Durbin, and Tina Smith, who’ve previously argued that it is a “bridge too far” to expose American’s “hard-earned” retirement funds to “cryptocurrency casinos.”