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Gold IRA Rollover Guide

October 11, 2021

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are from sponsors. The list below is an honest review gathered from thorough research, experience, and consumer-based feedback. 

The Best Gold IRA Rollover Companies Compared Below


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#1: Augusta


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What Is a Gold IRA Rollover?

A Gold IRA Rollover is the process where money that is held in an eligible IRA account is converted into physical precious metals.

These metals typically come in the form of either coins or bullions. 

A bullion is sometimes referred to as a ”bar” and is officially recognized by the financial government organizations as being at least 99.5% to 99.9% pure form of the precious metal it claims to be. You can find bullions of gold, silver, and platinum.
Each bullion comes from the metal that is found while mining in the ground. The metal is then treated to remove most, if not all, impurities by using either chemicals or extreme heat.

Then, the metal is formed into its bar-like form and is registered and valued based upon its density and its purity.

Gold IRA Rollover vs. Gold Transfer

 When choosing to invest in precious metals, there are two options they can choose from:  a rollover or a transfer.

The major difference between these two is that a transfer is a more secure means for moving assets between the retirement accounts and comes with less risk.

A rollover has more rules on how the process must go and conditions that investors must be aware of before taking this leap.

If these rules are not followed and the stipulations for maintaining the new account are not met, then the investor is liable for some costly IRS penalties. A transfer on the other hand has less to worry about and fewer rules to adhere to. 

 With every stipulation that is put on performing a Gold IRA Rollover, there is the exact opposite on performing a Gold IRA Transfer.

This process does not have a time limit, and there is no penalty for early withdrawals from the original account.

Also, the money being transferred is non-taxable and cannot withhold taxes on it.

Finally, there is no limit to how many times you perform this type of transfer.

The reason that things are more open is because this particular kind of transference happens between custodian and custodian instead of the account holder and custodian like in a rollover. 

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Picking Your Gold IRA Rollover Strategy 

Also, the percentage amount of funds that an investor dedicates to transferring into precious metals depends upon two big factors: how much the investor is willing to risk and what their proximity is to retirement. 

Those who do not wish to take many risks and who may be within ten years of their desired retirement age might be better off dedicating more of their investment portfolio to precious metals.

A safe range is typically 15-20% of your combined financial assets. Many of the best gold investment companies don't accept any investment less than $5k, so it's vital you have a solid starting fund. 

When uncertain, make sure to consult any financial experts that may be available to you through the investment company you are working within to ensure that you are able to choose an amount that will be best for your financial goals. 

Gold IRA Rollover Process Breakdown

 When you are ready to perform a Gold IRA Rollover, the first thing you must do is find a custodian

It is illegal for the account holder to keep the metal themselves, and so a custodian is needed to oversee the process of the transference of the mutual fund or ETF and its maintenance. 

They will be the ones to reach out to a broker, or metal dealer, to find the metal that you are wishing to purchase.

It is their job to know contacts who can help them acquire the precious metal and transfer the money between purchaser and seller.

Then, the broker will give the precious metal to the custodian, who must then find a place for the bullions or coins to be kept.

They must choose a place that is approved by the Internal Revenue Service, typically a bank vault or safety lockbox. 

Choosing Your IRA-Approved Bullion Bars

 The Internal Revenue Service has strict standards on the types of gold assets that can be obtained within a tax-advantaged retirement account.

They include but are not limited to, American Eagle Gold CoinsCredit Suisse Gold BarsJohnson Matthey Gold BarsValcambi Gold CombiBars, and Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coins.

 The only exception to the rule on “collectible” precious metal is if the coins are minted and issued under the laws of any sovereign state, the coins or bullions are in possession of a bank or non-bank trustee, or if the coins are described under 31 USC Section 5112 standard.

Investing in assets that do not meet the approving standard will result in penalties and fines from the IRS. To avoid this, it is best to stick with bullions instead of coins. 

Rollover Limitations

If you choose to complete a rollover on December 31st, you cannot perform another one on January 1st the following year. 

There has to be a 365-day span between the rollovers per the IRS regulations.

This restriction means that it is crucial to choose the custodian who will be handling the rollover very carefully. 

Should you choose to change custodians before the time period has elapsed, you will be held liable for any early distribution penalties if the funds are rolled over again.

Make sure to keep a note of when you will be able to do it again without any possible penalties.

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Accounts Types Eligible for Gold IRA Rollover

There are several types of accounts that are eligible for a Gold IRA Rollover. The most popular accounts to perform this from including the Traditional or ROTH IRASelf-Directed or Employer-Sponsored 401(k)SEP IRA403(b)457(b), and TSP.

 With an employer-sponsored account, you will most likely have to wait until after your employment has been terminated before you can facilitate a rollover.

You may be able to do a partial rollover while you are still employed but must still meet the age requirement of being 59.5 years old.

The stipulations are based upon the agreement that the company and the investment organization. You can find out by speaking with your human resources representative to see if they are aware of this and know what the standards are based on the agreement.

For better consultation, speak directly with the investment company to go over what kind of options are available.

They will know the ins and outs of the agreement and may be able to steer you into a better investment plan than what you initially had in mind. 

Gold IRA Rollover FAQs

-How Does a Gold IRA Rollover Work?

 A rollover is the movement of funds from one retirement account to another. However, the Internal Revenue Service has a clear distinction between what is a rollover and a transfer.

A rollover is when money is paid to the account holder and then deposited into another account. 

A transfer is when the funds are exchanged between the original custodian of the investment retirement account and the IRS-approved custodian of the new account that the funds will be held within.

 The exchange of funds between custodians is the most common method of creating a self-directed IRA, like a Gold IRA.

The new account is established by the custodian who will request the transfer and then invest the released assets according to your instructions- this can include both physical metals as well as ETFs

Remember that, should you choose to go with a rollover, it is recommended by financial experts that you perform a “direct rollover” instead of an “indirect rollover”.

Indirect rollovers have withholding requirements and are at risk of incurring early distribution penalties. 

-What are the IRS Rules for a Gold IRA?

 The Internal Revenue Service has very strict rules and regulations on Gold IRAs. T

he most important is pertaining to self-directed IRAs, which states that an approved IRA custodian must open this kind of account on your behalf under federal law.

You, the account owner, must not purchase the precious metals with the IRA account funds. The account custodian must do it on your behalf.

Then, once obtained, they must make sure the metals are stored in an IRS sanctioned third-party, off-site depository

They will inventory and safeguard the gold to keep it fit for distribution or liquidation at your order. 

-What are the IRS Rules for a Gold IRA Rollover?

Per the IRS Regulations, you have 60 days from the date you receive the funds to deposit them into the Gold IRA company or give them to the custodian you’ve chosen.

If not completed within this time frame, the money will be deemed taxable and will face a 10% early withdrawal penalty if you are under 59.5 years old.

If you are withdrawing from a personal IRA for a rollover to another IRA, there is no tax withholding. This type of transaction can only be performed once per 365-day calendar year. 

-What are the IRS Rules for a Gold IRA Transfer?

Using a direct custodian-to-custodian IRA transfer is considered the easiest form of investment.

 There is no need to be concerned with the 60-day time frame imposed on Gold IRA Rollovers and do not run the risk of penalties from the IRS. 

The transfer is typically done by wire transfer and can be accomplished within the same business day. The original IRA custodian can also issue a check and mail it out to the new custodian as well.

 A transfer is considered the easier form of investing in gold through your IRA as it is handled by financial experts and does not require the account holder’s involvement, except for their approval for the issuance to be performed. 

-What are the Fees Involved in a Gold IRA Rollover?

As far as the government goes, there are no rollover or transfer fees to move over any existing IRA funds to a Gold IRA account or any other kind of precious metal IRA account.

However, there are application fees when establishing your new IRA account, and there are other custodians or administration fees that may go along with the processing of an order.

Different administrators will charge different amounts, but the average a person can expect to pay is around $50.00. 

-How does a 401(k) to Gold IRA Rollover Work?

This is an easy process without incurring any tax penalties. 

First, the funds will be released to you for transference to the new custodian of the Gold or precious metal IRA account. This will start a 60-day countdown before the funds will be considered taxable and suffer a 10% penalty on the withdrawal if you are under 59.5 years old.

There is also a limit on how many times you may perform this kind of rollover.

There is a yearly limit on doing it.

-What Physical Gold is Allowed in a Gold IRA Rollover?

The Internal Revenue Service has strict rules pertaining to the types of gold and other precious metals allowed in an IRA.

You can invest in bullions (sometimes called “bars” or “bricks”) or coins that meet two basic standards.

The metal must be an official currency of a recognized public entity and must meet a purity standard. In the United States, the purity must be 0.995 or greater to be considered a valid form of precious metal for an IRA.

Different countries have different standards. Please make sure to do the research on what the purity level is. 

 The types of physical gold that can be held in a self-directed IRA include The American Gold Eagle CoinThe Canadian Gold Maple Leaf CoinThe Austrian Philharmonic Gold CoinThe American Gold Buffalo CoinGold Kilo BarsCertain Gold Bullion BarsCredit Suisse Gold Bars, and Swiss PAMP Gold Bars.