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E20-575 exam plan - RecoverPoint Specialist exam for Storage Administrators Updated: 2024

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Exam Code: E20-575 RecoverPoint Specialist exam for Storage Administrators exam plan January 2024 by Killexams.com team

E20-575 RecoverPoint Specialist exam for Storage Administrators





Exam Title :
Dell EMC Certified Specialist - Systems Administrator - RecoverPoint (DECS-SA)

Exam ID :
E20-575

Exam Duration :
90 mins

Questions in exam :
60

Passing Score :
63%

Official Training :
RecoverPoint Management (MR-9CN-NSRPOM)

Exam Center :
Pearson VUE

Real Questions :
Dell EMC RecoverPoint Specialist Real Questions

VCE practice exam :
Dell EMC E20-575 Certification VCE Practice Test






RecoverPoint Architecture and RecoverPoint Solutions 23%


- Describe the key features, functions, and capabilities of RecoverPoint

- Identify and describe RecoverPoint system architecture and components

- Explain the RecoverPoint data flow



RecoverPoint Management 39%


- Identify and describe how RecoverPoint administration tasks are performed

- Explain the factors when planning Consistency Group deployment

- Create and manage Consistency Groups

- Explain the advanced features of Consistency Groups. For example, Snap-based Replication with XtremIO, MetroPoint Consistency Groups, and integration features



RecoverPoint Operation 22%


- Identify and describe RecoverPoint Snapshots and Bookmarks

- Identify and describe how recovery tasks are performed with Unisphere for RecoverPoint

- Modify existing RecoverPoint protection



RecoverPoint System Analysis 16%


- Identify and describe how to use Unisphere for RecoverPoint to collect system information

- Identify and describe the steps required to use the RecoverPoint system analysis tools

- Describe how to use RecoverPoint CLI commands to perform simple environment troubleshooting
RecoverPoint Specialist exam for Storage Administrators
DELL-EMC Administrators exam plan

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EMC
E20-575
RecoverPoint Specialist exam for Storage Administrators
https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/E20-575
Question: 60
Which type of I/O modules can be inserted into Slot1 of a Gen-6 RPA?
A. 1 GbE optical or 1 GbE copper
B. 10 GbE optical or 1 Gb RJ45 copper
C. 10 GbE optical or 10 GbE copper
D. 10 GbE copper or dual-stacked DB-9 ports
Answer: C
Question: 61
In Unisphere for RecoverPoint, which wizard will allow an administrator to manage and
monitor all correctly accessed copies undergoing testing, failover, and production
recovery?
A. Protect Volumes
B. Test a Copy
C. Manage Protection
D. Manage Recovery
Answer: B
Question: 62
Which RPA type(s) connect to protected storage using iSCSI?
A. vRPA only
B. Gen-5 and Gen-6
C. Gen-6 only
D. Gen-6 and vRPA
Answer: A
Question: 63
Which EMC product integrates with RecoverPoint to provide application-driven point-
in-time copies?
A. ProtectPoint
B. ViPR SRM
C. Data Domain
D. AppSync
Answer: C
Question: 64
What occurs when Journal volumes are masked to hosts in a RecoverPoint environment?
A. Hosts are able to write to the Journal volumes but will lead to Journal corruption
B. Splitter is attached to the newly exposed Journal volumes
C. RecoverPoint GUI and CLI logs an event confirming the masking has occurred
D. Journals become available for use in the “Consistency Group” wizard
Answer: A
Question: 65
What is the recommended wait period before running the Balance Load tool?
A. 4 Days
B. 5 Days
C. 6 Days
D. 7 Days
Answer: D
Question: 66
Where are incoming writes sent to during the Write phase of the RecoverPoint
workflow?
A. Production Journal
B. Consistency Groups’ assigned RPA
C. Remote clusters’ primary RPA
D. Copy Journal
Answer: A
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DELL-EMC Administrators exam plan - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/E20-575 Search results DELL-EMC Administrators exam plan - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/E20-575 https://killexams.com/exam_list/DELL-EMC The Dell-EMC Squeeze

"We purchased the array through Dell for their support of EMC products," said Mark Craft, systems administrator at Dewberry and Davis. "So far, we haven't had any complaints."

>> Reseller and licensing pact for Clariion arrays has solution providers hard-pressed to hold off direct computer giant's aggressive storage push

But such a deal represents a big source of complaints among EMC solution providers. Many say the Hopkinton, Mass., storage vendor's Clariion reseller pact with Dell,now a year old,is squeezing their business because the direct computer seller wields a pricing advantage. Some EMC channel partners, in fact, say that Dell hardware in the data center almost ensures a lost sales opportunity for them, and others are concerned that Dell, Round Rock, Texas, could gobble up other segments of the EMC channel.

Their dismay comes with good reason, since Dell has become EMC's biggest storage reseller. EMC CEO Joe Tucci said at a accurate conference that one-third of the vendor's Clariion revenue comes via Dell, with solution provider and direct sales also each accounting for one-third of the product line's revenue. The Dell business, however, is the fastest growing segment of the three, Tucci said.

The Dell-EMC alliance particularly has become a thorn in the side of storage solution providers in the enterprise Windows space. For example, Pat Edwards, vice president of sales at Alliance Technology Group, a Hanover, Md.-based solution provider, bristles when people call Dell a reseller of EMC products.

"We're not in the same category with Dell," Edwards said. "EMC gets away with [selling around solution providers by saying that they don't sell direct. They sell to a direct manufacturer like Dell and wash their hands of it."

\

Pat Edwards, vice president of sales at Alliance Technology Group, says it's tough to sell EMC storage to clients with Dell servers.

For storage-only solution providers, selling to a customer that has Dell servers in place is tough, Edwards noted. "If I want to compete there, I have to sell Hewlett-Packard, IBM or Sun servers. But I don't lead with servers," he said. "I will provide servers as a bundle with storage if customers need it. But it's not our business."

If a solution provider enters a customer site and sees Dell products on the floor, it's assumed that the customer shops only for the best price, Edwards added. "Our salesperson will ask if the customer is talking to other vendors. If they say no, we know they're lying," he said.

The Dell relationship is one of the few black marks on EMC's otherwise channel-friendly record, the storage vendor's partners say. Yet Gregg Ambulos, vice president of global channels at EMC, said there's no reason for solution providers to compete with Dell head-to-head on Clariion arrays.

Most of EMC's Dell business should come from the low-cost Windows NT market with EMC's new CX200 entry-level array, while solution providers can serve customers with the midrange CX400 and enterprise-class CX600 arrays, Ambulos said. What's more, solution providers' ability to offer customers complete solutions separates them from low-cost providers like Dell, he said.

"If a solution provider wants to compete head-on with Dell on hardware price, nine times out of 10 Dell will win," Ambulos said. "But if they target solutions, nine of 10 times the VAR will win."

While Dell receives better pricing from EMC than solution providers do, the arrangement is no different than the volume pricing EMC offers its largest partners, Ambulos said, adding that he can't recall a single solution provider that has left EMC because of its Dell relationship.

"If this was having a dramatic impact on the market, we would have a lot of partners question the relationship," he said. "Dell is a key partner of ours, but so are other channel partners."

\

'If a solution provider wants to compete head-on with Dell on hardware price, nine times out of 10 Dell will win. But if they target solutions, nine of 10 times the VAR will win.' -- Gregg Ambulos, EMC

J. Edward McCann, regional manager at Continental Resources, a Bedford, Mass.-based solution provider, said his company isn't very panic about competition from Dell right now. "Dell has done a real good job with its pricing. Once a customer has Dell servers, storage sales are tough. But if we are talking about a large solution, we can beat Dell," he said.

However, as Dell grows the market share for its EMC arrays in the Windows space, there's nothing to prevent it from entering the Unix space, said McCann, whose company is a Sun Microsystems partner.

"If Dell comes in from the NT side to my Unix side and offers service contracts that cost a third of mine, it will hurt the channel. If there is a large enough price delta, common sense says it will hurt us," he said.

And that scenario stands as a real possibility, if things go according to Dell's plans. When EMC introduced its CX600 array in August, Dell said it would use the array to enter the heterogeneous Unix/NT enterprise space and target Unix-only shops for the first time with its commodity-based pricing model.

But since then, Dell has relied on services and its ability to target key markets to ensure that it doesn't compete on price alone, said Terry Klein, vice president of the Advanced Systems Group for Dell Americas. Dell, which sells the Clariion arrays under the Dell-EMC name, is rarely the low-cost leader, Klein said. About 80 percent of the installation and product-readiness services related to Dell servers and Dell-EMC arrays are done by Dell staff, with help from EMC personnel when needed, he said.

\

EMC expects most of its Dell business to come from its new Clariion CX200 entry-level array (l.), with solution providers serving customers using the midrange CX400 (center) and enterprise-class CX600 (r.) arrays.

"Because we mandate these services, we find that [with the actual end-user sales price for the entire bundled configuration, we are rarely the low-cost Clariion provider to an end user," Klein said.

"We may have really aggressive hardware rates, but we find that very few other [EMC channel partners are mandating three years [of warranty or their own installation and/or minimal set of product readiness," he said. "Most of them have one year of service-type of warranty agreements. It's something that we battle with our sales organization about because that's not a typical Dell proposition. We're used to being low-cost, and we end up having to sell more on the value of understanding how this space works."

Because of such services, Dell ends up with a higher price than its competitors,including solution providers,in about eight out of 10 cases, according to Klein. However, about 95 percent of storage sales have gone into Dell server environments, he added.

"There are very few cases where we're going to sell the EMC product where we don't already have the servers," Klein said. "[These customers value our knowledge of Windows. They value our knowledge of the Linux environment. And they value us doing complete sets of server-storage consolidation. If we don't have that element with the customer, it doesn't matter if we're the low-cost provider or the high-cost provider. They won't buy it from us."

The frequency with which Dell competes against solution providers depends on the customer type, according to Klein. For instance, in the Fortune 2000 space, it's rare for Dell to go up against EMC channel partners, but in the government space,where Dell's server market share tops 50 percent,competition depends on which integrator owns a particular government contract, he said.

Similarly, while Dell pretty much owns the state and local government market and the education space either directly or via its relationship with EDS, it has trouble against EMC partners in the health-care arena, Klein said.

Indeed, if EMC solution providers leverage the Dell-EMC relationship, it can mean more business for them, said Bill Taylor, director of EMC's global channel development group.

"I can certain you that a lot of our partners are doing well with the Clariion business because of all the Dell hype," Taylor said. "It's a brand-name recognition game."

Some solution providers say they're finding that Dell's sales of Clariion arrays can even benefit their business. "We can get some services from Dell because of customer needs," said Chris Swahn, national president of sales at Amherst Corporate Computer Sales and Solutions, Merrimack, N.H. "Our technology, integration and delivery capabilities offer value to our customers. We do a lot of imaging, ghosting and loads on Dell servers."

For Amherst, the Dell-EMC alliance is a minimal factor in the midrange and enterprise spaces, but that could change, said Swahn. "Even in the midrange shops that have Dell relationships, we're not seeing a lot of action with Dell storage. Of course, maybe the other shoe will fall, and [Dell will come in later," he said.

A former EMC partner, Amherst is mulling the possibility of reuniting with the vendor now that its channel-unfriendly past is fading away, according to Swahn.

"EMC wants to get into the SMB market. [Now they're looking at how to do it," he said. "They already have the best technology. So we're evaluating them again, based not on technology but on their channel capabilities."

Alliance Technology Group also had previously dropped EMC's Clariion line, but the solution provider recently decided to restart its Clariion relationship with the vendor, Edwards said.

And those solution providers likely will see more competition. Looking ahead, Dell and EMC executives expect their relationship to expand.

In late October, the vendors announced that EMC had licensed Dell to manufacture the entry-level CX200, slated to ship early this month. EMC's Tucci also said he isn't ruling out the possibility that Dell could eventually make Clariion storage arrays for the rest of EMC's channel,a move that some industry observers say would put EMC partners in the difficult position of purchasing EMC products from its strongest competitor.

"We are not closing any doors," Tucci said. "We continually [review it, like any relationship. In any relationship, you plant the seeds, grow and learn from each other. Right now, far and away, the volume seller by Dell will be the CX200. And they are manufacturing it to control their own destiny."

The fact that future EMC arrays could be manufactured in conjunction with Dell doesn't concern Kevin Reith, manager of strategic technology at Info Systems, a Wilmington, Del.-based solution provider.

"Who makes it is not important," Reith said. "I believe in the virtual organization: Do what you do best, and let others do the rest. So it doesn't bother me. What's more important is how they support and market the products."

STEVEN BURKE contributed to this story.

Mon, 18 Dec 2023 04:18:00 -0600 text/html https://www.crn.com/features/storage/18820703/the-dell-emc-squeeze
Dell EMC Ups Its Storage Game

Dell EMC is waging an all-out assault on the storage market with significant investments, storage sales specialist hiring spree and for the first time launching new channel storage sales quotas.

Dell EMC

Dell EMC is waging an all-out assault on the storage market, investing $2 billion in the effort, hiring 1,200 new storage sales specialists and offering new, robust, storage compensation incentives for its partners. A trio of executives leading the charge - Scott Millard, Joyce Mullen and Marius Haas - talked to CRN about how Dell EMC is putting the pieces in place to help its partners win big in storage.

'Refuse To Lose': Dell EMC Primes Its Partners For A Storage Revolution
Driving the company's storage sales offensive are new robust storage compensation incentives for solution providers and an influx of Dell EMC sales reps working side by side with those partners.

Dell EMC President Marius Haas On The Company's 'Refuse To Lose Approach' To The Storage Market
Dell EMC's Marius Haas on the Dell EMC's storage push and how channel partners are vital to Dell EMC's success.

Storage Boost: Dell Hires 1,200 Sales specialists To Drive Partner-Led Selling
By hiring 1,200 new storage sales specialists, Dell boosts its storage team by upward of 25 percent with an eye on skyrocketing storage revenue through its partners in 2018.

10 Hot Dell EMC Storage Products
CRN looks at 10 key products in the Dell EMC storage lineup, one that offers the broad capabilities to match the company's position as the world’s largest storage vendor.

Tech Tour: Behind The Scenes At Dell EMC's Storage Manufacturing Facility
CRN recently toured Dell EMC's storage manufacturing facility in Massachusetts which assembles, tests and ships converged and hyper-converged products throughout North America.

CRN Interview: Dell EMC Channel Chief Joyce Mullen On Driving More Storage Sales Through Partners And Her Channel Vision For 2018
Joyce Mullen, an 18-year Dell veteran who is now president of global channels, OEM and IoT Solutions, spoke with CRN about enabling partners to drive more storage sales, the potential integration of VMware into the Dell EMC Partner Program, and her channel vision for 2018.

Dell EMC Doubles Down On Storage Services, Unifying Portfolio
Dell EMC executives are making sure partners have the competencies they need to sell the Dell EMC portfolio as well as their own services.

Fistfuls Of Growth: Dell EMC's Expanded Product Portfolio Paves New Paths For Partners
Michael Dell has emphasized that customers want cutting-edge hybrid cloud tech and they want to buy it from fewer vendors. Here's how three solution providers backed up Dell's assertion with skyrocketing sales across Dell EMC's broad portfolio in 2017.

Mon, 18 Mar 2019 04:59:00 -0500 text/html https://www.crn.com/dell-emc
Best IT Certifications for 2024

Earning specialized certifications is a surefire way to advance your career in the IT field, regardless of industry or current career level. The right certification validates your skills and knowledge, which makes you more desirable to future employers who want to attract and retain the best employees. Below, we’ll explore the top IT certifications and share how to examine your goals to choose the right path forward. 

We’ve narrowed IT certifications into specific categories to help IT professionals assess what’s available and pursue the best certifications to show their willingness to learn and develop the in-demand career skills employers want.

Best database certifications 

Database platforms have changed greatly over the years, but database technology remains important for various applications and computing tasks. Available certifications for IT professionals include those for database administrators (DBAs), database developers, data analysts and architects, business intelligence, and data warehousing specialists, and other data professionals.

Obtaining database certifications demonstrates an understanding of database concepts, design, implementation, administration and security. This can boost your credibility in the job market and show potential employers that you have the skills needed to work with databases. The best database certifications include the following:

Best SAS certifications 

SAS is one of the world’s leading firms for business analytics, data warehousing and data mining. Today, the SAS Global Certification Program offers 23 credentials across categories including foundation tools, advanced analytics, business intelligence, data management and administration.

SAS programmers remain in high demand, with a quick search of job boards showing thousands of open positions. Obtaining SAS certification shows employers that you are proficient in the company’s popular suite of tools. Some of SAS’s certification programs include the following: 

Many professionals earn certifications to help navigate their career paths. According to the IT Salary Report, 92 percent of information technology professionals have at least one certification.

Best Cisco certifications 

Cisco Systems is a market leader not only in networking and communications products, but also storage networking and solutions for data centers. Cisco offers a variety of certifications for IT professionals, ranging from entry level credentials to expert-level exams. 

These certifications prepare professionals for Cisco-related careers. A search of job boards reveals thousands of open positions for Cisco experts, underscoring the continued relevance of these skills. Some of Cisco’s certifications include the following:

Best Dell certifications 

Dell Technologies remains one of the world’s leading computing companies. In addition to its well-known hardware lineup, Dell also offers solutions for networks, storage, servers, gateways and embedded computing, as well as a broad range of IT and business services.

Becoming certified in Dell products can help make IT professionals competitive in engineering roles for server, virtualization, networking, systems, integration and data security. Additional roles include consultants, account executives, system administrators, IT managers and deployment managers.

Best mobility certifications 

In the mobile era, it has become increasingly important for network engineers to support local, remote and mobile users, as well as provide proper infrastructure. The focus on application and app development now leans more toward mobile environments, requiring security professionals to thoroughly address mobility from all perspectives.

Due to the fast-changing nature of mobile technology, not many mobility certifications have become widely adopted. However, a few of the top mobility certifications can help IT professionals stand out in this rapidly evolving field. 

If part of your job includes selling and implementing an IT solution, you may want to pursue the best sales certifications. You’ll show your organization that you’re willing to go above and beyond to reach sales targets.

Best computer hardware certifications 

As remote and computer-based work has become more common, it’s more important than ever that businesses and individuals be able to maintain their hardware. While discussions about potential computer-related jobs often revolve around software work and coding, jumping into the IT field by becoming a computer technician is an excellent starting point.

Today, thousands of hardware technician jobs are available across the country. Entering this industry becomes more accessible for those who acquire computer hardware certifications. These certifications can showcase your expertise and proficiency in the upkeep of computers, mobile devices, printers and other hardware components.

Best Google Cloud certifications 

IT pros with solid cloud computing skills continue to be in high demand as more companies adopt cloud technologies. Today, Google Cloud is one of the market leaders in the cloud computing space. 

Regardless of where you are in your IT career, engaging with certification programs can demonstrate your willingness to keep on top of rapidly evolving cloud technologies. To that end, Google has introduced a host of certifications for its cloud platform, including the following: 

Best evergreen IT certifications

In the fast-changing world of technology, it can help to focus on certifications that have stood the test of time. “Evergreen” refers to certifications that remain popular year after year. 

The top evergreen certifications are based on accurate pay surveys in IT, reports from IT professionals about certifications they want or pursue the most, and those that appear most frequently in online job postings. Obtaining these credentials is one step toward ensuring that your skills remain relevant for a long time: 

Best IT governance certifications 

IT governance provides structure for aligning a company’s IT with its business strategies. Organizations faced with compliance rigors always need experienced IT pros who can see the big picture and understand technology risks. This means certified IT governance professionals are likely to remain in high demand.

Earning one of the following certifications proves a commitment to understanding the role of IT governance and its position in a company’s current and future success. Getting certified can validate your expert knowledge and lead to advanced career opportunities.

Best system administrator certifications 

An IT system administrator is responsible for managing and maintaining the information technology infrastructure within an organization. The position demands sought-after career skills, ranging from configuring and maintaining servers and clients to managing access controls, network services, and addressing application resource requirements.

If you’re in charge of managing modern servers, there’s a long list of tools and technologies that system administrators must master. Obtaining some of the most prominent system administrator certifications can demonstrate your mastery to potential employers. 

Best ITIL certifications 

ITIL, or Information Technology Infrastructure Library, was developed to establish standardized best practices for IT services within government agencies. Over the ensuing four decades, businesses of all types embraced, modified, and extended ITIL, shaping it into a comprehensive framework for managing IT service delivery. 

The ITIL framework remains the benchmark for best practices in IT service and delivery management, offering certification programs that cater to IT professionals at all levels. These training and certification courses ensure that IT professionals stay well-prepared for the ongoing evolution in IT service delivery management. There are four certifications in the ITIL certification program:

Best enterprise architect certifications 

An IT enterprise architect is responsible for designing and managing the overall structure and framework of an organization’s information technology system. Enterprise architect certifications are among the highest that an IT professional can achieve; fewer than 1 percent ultimately reach this level. 

Enterprise architects are among the highest-paid employees and consultants in the tech industry. These certifications can put IT professionals on a path to many lucrative positions. The average worker earns over six figures annually. Some top enterprise architect certifications are listed below:

To become an enterprise IT architect, you’ll need knowledge of systems deployment, design and architecture, as well as a strong business foundation.

Best CompTIA certifications

CompTIA is a nonprofit trade association made up of more than 2,000 member organizations and 3,000 business partners. The organization’s vendor-neutral certification program is one of the best recognized in the IT industry. Since CompTIA developed its A+ credential in 1993, it has issued more than two million certifications.

CompTIA certifications are grouped by skill set and focus on the real-world skills IT professionals need. Armed with these credentials, you can demonstrate that you know how to manage and support IT infrastructure. 

Best Oracle certifications 

A longtime leader in database software, Oracle also offers cloud solutions, servers, engineered systems, storage, and more. The company has more than 430,000 customers in 175 countries. 

Today, Oracle’s training program offers six certification levels that span 16 product categories with more than 200 individual credentials. Considering the depth and breadth of this program — and the number of Oracle customers — it’s no surprise that Oracle certifications are highly sought after. 

Vendor-specific certifications address a particular vendor’s hardware and software. For example, you can pursue Oracle certifications and Dell certifications to become an expert in those companies’ environments.

Best business continuity and disaster recovery certifications

Business continuity and disaster recovery keep systems running and data available in the event of interruptions or faults. These programs bring systems back to normal operation after a disaster has occurred.

Business continuity and disaster recovery certifications are seeing a healthy uptrend as new cloud-based tools grow in popularity. While business continuity planning and disaster recovery planning have always been essential, they’re becoming more critical than ever — and IT certifications are following suit.

Tue, 02 Jan 2024 09:59:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10953-best-it-certifications.html
Cryptocurrencies in 401(k) Plans: A Guide for Plan Administrators No result found, try new keyword!The growing interest in crypto among retirement savers presents a challenge to 401(k) plan administrators, whose responsibilities include protecting plan participants from ill-advised investment ... Fri, 15 Dec 2023 04:32:00 -0600 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/ Nearly 25% of Law Schools Plan to Use JD-Next Admission Test

Nearly 25% of American Bar Association-accredited law schools have been granted a variance from Standard 503 to use JD-Next as an admission test, which can be used in lieu of the Law School Admissions Test and the Graduate Record Exam.

In June, the Council of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions opened the door to allow schools to use the JD-Next exam, and in September granted variances to 32 law schools, plus the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.

Fri, 08 Dec 2023 04:20:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.law.com/2023/12/08/nearly-25-of-law-schools-plan-to-use-jd-next-admission-test/?slreturn=20240005104304
Dell-EMC

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Cryptocurrencies in 401(k) Plans: A Guide for Plan Administrators

Since the launch of Bitcoin in January 2009, cryptocurrencies have experienced intense growth—in terms of both market capitalization and public awareness. With the evolution of these digital assets dominating the financial headlines for more than a decade, it stands to reason that many retirement investors are wondering if crypto has a place in their 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan.

The growing interest in crypto among retirement savers presents a challenge to 401(k) plan administrators, whose responsibilities include protecting plan participants from ill-advised investment choices. With certain 401(k) providers now making it possible to include crypto on a plan’s menu of investments, plan fiduciaries have the responsibility to decide whether the asset class is a prudent choice for people looking to accumulate and grow their retirement nest egg.

Here’s a look at some of the key considerations for 401(k) plan administrators seeking to navigate the shifting landscape surrounding cryptocurrencies and the lingering questions about their suitability for inclusion in a retirement portfolio.

Key Takeaways

  • Retirement savers are increasingly interested in cryptocurrencies as an investment option for their 401(k)s, but plan administrators should carefully weigh the pros and cons of including cryptocurrencies in 401(k) plans.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor has provided guidance on 401(k) plan investments in cryptocurrencies, indicating that plan fiduciaries should exercise caution.
  • Plan administrators can add cryptocurrency as an investment option to their 401(k) plans, and there are providers that offer or plan to offer crypto access.
  • Employers should implement strategies to mitigate risks associated with crypto investments and ensure compliance with regulations and fiduciary responsibilities.

Legal and Regulatory Considerations for Crypto

Qualified retirement plans like 401(k)s and their cousins must meet the minimum standards implemented by the federal government in 1974 under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Perhaps unsurprisingly, ERISA regulations don’t say anything about whether cryptocurrencies are acceptable assets to include in retirement portfolios.

In fact, ERISA does not specify which assets retirement investors can or cannot include in their 401(k). Instead, the federal law imposes fiduciary responsibilities on the people involved in retirement plan decision making. This means that plan administrators, trustees, and members of a plan’s investment committee must perform their due diligence and act in the best interest of the plan participants.

When it comes to crypto and other digital assets, then, it’s up to the people who hold these fiduciary roles to determine whether it’s prudent to make these investments available to plan participants. The regulatory uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations could make it difficult for 401(k) plan administrators to grapple with this question. As various agencies explore the limits of their authority to regulate the crypto space, there has been little progress on meaningful legislation to clarify the rules related to digital assets.

In March 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance for retirement plan decision makers who might be considering the suitability of crypto. In a strongly worded Compliance Assistance Release, the DOL advises “plan fiduciaries to exercise extreme care before they consider adding a cryptocurrency option to a 401(k) plan’s investment menu for plan participants.”

A 2022 survey by Charles Schwab showed that 32% of 401(k) participants wish they could invest in cryptocurrencies through their plan. The interest was more pronounced among younger generations, with nearly half of millennial and Gen Z respondents expressing the desire to spice up their retirement portfolio with crypto.

Pros and Cons of Crypto in 401(k) Plans

Plan administrators and other fiduciaries have the obligation to weigh the pros and cons of offering participants cryptocurrency as an investment option in their retirement accounts. Let’s consider the potential benefits and risks of providing retirement investors access to cryptocurrency assets in their 401(k)s.

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts argue that the asset class has the potential to provide retirement savers with returns that they would not be able to achieve through the investments typically included in 401(k) plans. Although the novelty of crypto makes it impossible to prove the sustainability of these returns over longer time frames, 401(k) participants who manage to capitalize on an upswing in the crypto market could receive a nice boost toward their retirement goals.

However, the statement by the Department of Labor highlights numerous concerns about the suitability of crypto as a retirement investment. In addition to risks relating to fraud, theft, and loss, the DOL points to the speculative and volatile nature of the asset class. The department also notes that plan participants could lack the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about crypto. Finally, cryptocurrency investments also present custodial, valuation, and regulatory concerns for those responsible for protecting the interests of plan participants.

Pros
  • Potential for high returns

  • Outperformance of Bitcoin vs. typical plan assets over past decade

  • Growth opportunity through potential increase in crypto acceptance and adoption

  • Flexibility for participants to select from broader range of investment choices

  • Increasing availability from 401(k) plan providers

Cons
  • High volatility and speculative nature of cryptocurrency investments

  • Potential for fraud, theft, and loss

  • Insufficient knowledge among plan participants to determine valuations and make informed decisions related to crypto

  • Custodial issues and risks related to storing crypto assets

  • Uncertain and evolving regulatory environment

Adding Crypto to a 401(k) Plan

After carefully weighing the risks of offering cryptocurrency assets to retirement investors against the potential rewards, 401(k) plan administrators who decide to move forward have a couple of choices for making digital assets available to participants. In general, administrators can opt to include cryptocurrency within the plan’s core investment options or through a setup similar to a self-directed brokerage window.

Including cryptocurrency on the core investment menu makes these assets available to all participants in the plan. The potential drawback to this approach is that ERISA requires plan advisors to verify the suitability of any investments included on the core menu. In other words, if a crypto asset included on a plan’s core menu is determined to be imprudent, then plan fiduciaries are at risk of liability.

The other possibility is to offer crypto through a self-directed window—a separate account that participants can open within their retirement plan to gain access to a broader array of assets. Making available a self-directed option allows participants greater freedom to allocate their retirement portfolios, providing access to funds not on the core menu, individual stocks and bonds, and cryptocurrency assets (if they’re available through the 401(k) provider).

Mitigating Crypto Risks and Ensuring Compliance

The Department of Labor’s advice to 401(k) fiduciaries about approaching crypto with “extreme care” is something that plan administrators should take to heart. Fortunately, there are a few things that administrators can do to limit risk and ensure that their plan remains compliant with all relevant rules and regulations.

One important measure is to leave the choice of whether to allocate retirement funds to crypto assets entirely up to the plan participants. In other words, cryptocurrency investments should always be an optional feature of the plan, and administrators should steer clear of making riskier assets a required or automatic investment choice. Offering crypto through a self-directed window rather than within the core menu may be one way of clarifying that investing in these assets is not obligatory.

Another way to mitigate risk is to institute limits on the percentage of a participant’s portfolio that can be allocated to cryptocurrency assets. This lets retirement investors benefit from the diversification provided by crypto without exposing an unadvisable portion of their investments to heightened levels of risk.

The choice of plan provider can also be a key factor in ensuring compliance. Plan fiduciaries who wish to offer crypto investments could benefit from working with a provider that has experience in making digital assets available to retirement investors. Knowledgeable providers can offer educational materials to help participants make more informed decisions about crypto, and they can work with plan fiduciaries to install the proper guardrails to protect retirement investors against ill-advised or excessively risky allocations.

What Are the Potential Benefits and Risks of Including Cryptocurrencies in 401(k) Plans?

Cryptocurrency investments could benefit retirement investors by diversifying their portfolios and exposing them to the possibility of high returns. However, holding cryptocurrencies in a retirement account also exposes the investor to the volatility and instability of these digital assets.

The regulatory ambiguity surrounding cryptocurrencies and the possibility of more restrictive rules in the future also raise questions about the suitability of these assets for long-term wealth accumulation, which is central to the goals of retirement investors.

What Guidance Has the U.S. Department of Labor Provided Regarding 401(k) Plan Investments in Cryptocurrencies?

The U.S. Department of Labor issued a Compliance Assistance Release in March 2022 advising 401(k) plan administrators and other plan fiduciaries to adopt an extremely cautious approach when considering whether cryptocurrency assets constitute appropriate retirement investments. In addition to the volatility and speculative nature of crypto as an asset class, the department highlights risks related to fraud, theft, and loss as reasons for plan administrators to tread carefully. Additional concerns include a potential lack of knowledge among plan participants, custodial issues related to storing cryptocurrency assets, and the uncertainties surrounding cryptocurrency regulations.

How Can Plan Administrators Add Cryptocurrency as an Investment Option to Their 401(k) Plans?

Retirement plan administrators can either add cryptocurrency assets to the menu of core investment options, or they can initiate or expand a self-directed window that allows participants the freedom to choose cryptocurrency investments. Both of these options depend on the services and offerings of the plan provider.

What Strategies Can Employers Implement to Mitigate Risks Associated with Crypto Investments in 401(k) Plans?

Employers and retirement plan administrators who decide to offer cryptocurrency investments can take a number of steps to limit the associated risks. Plan fiduciaries should stress that cryptocurrency allocations remain entirely optional, and there may be a benefit to providing participants with educational resources about any assets that are available. Setting a limit on the percentage of a retirement portfolio that can be allocated to cryptocurrency can also be an effective guardrail, and working with plan providers that are experienced in offering crypto assets to retirement investors can help ensure a smoother process.

The Bottom Line

Many investors may be interested in including cryptocurrency assets within their retirement portfolio. Still, retirement plan administrators have the responsibility to tread carefully regarding the investment choices that they make available. The U.S. Department of Labor urges caution regarding including cryptocurrency in retirement plans, highlighting the volatility and other risks associated with the asset class.

Plan administrators should carefully weigh these risks before allowing participants to invest in cryptocurrency. Administrators who decide to offer crypto investments can put some safeguards in place, like allocation limits and enhanced educational resources, to reduce risks and remain compliant with regulations.

Thu, 14 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.investopedia.com/cryptocurrencies-in-401-k-plans-8414146
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