Can You Buy Gold In A SIMPLE IRA?

Sunday, June 16th 2024

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) have become a cornerstone of retirement planning in the United States, offering opportunities to grow wealth on a tax-deferred or tax-free basis. One type of these accounts, the Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRA, is particularly popular among small businesses and their employees. However, a question that frequently arises among investors exploring diversification strategies is, “Can you buy gold in a SIMPLE IRA?” This post aims to comprehensively address this question, exploring the legality, feasibility, and practicality of incorporating gold investments within a SIMPLE IRA.

Understanding SIMPLE IRAs

Before diving into the specifics of gold investments, it’s crucial to understand the nature and characteristics of a SIMPLE IRA. A SIMPLE IRA, like other IRA variants, is a tax-advantaged retirement account. It was specifically designed to provide an easy and cost-effective way for small businesses (with 100 or fewer employees) to offer retirement benefits to their employees.

SIMPLE IRAs follow the same investment, distribution, and rollover rules as Traditional IRAs, with a few exceptions. For instance, the contribution limits for SIMPLE IRAs are higher than for Traditional and Roth IRAs, but lower than for 401(k)s. The unique feature of a SIMPLE IRA is the employer’s obligation to make contributions, either through a dollar-for-dollar matching contribution, up to 3% of an employee’s compensation, or a 2% non-elective contribution for all eligible employees.

Can You Buy Gold in a SIMPLE IRA?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has outlined specific regulations that govern the types of investments permissible within an IRA. These guidelines allow a broad range of investment options, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds (1), ETFs, and certain types of precious metals, including gold.

In other words, yes, you can buy gold within a SIMPLE IRA, provided you adhere to the IRS stipulations. However, the process isn’t as straightforward as purchasing common securities like stocks or bonds. The IRS requires that gold and other precious metals in an IRA be held in the form of bullion coins or bars and meet specific fineness requirements. For gold, this means a fineness of 0.995 or higher.

Additionally, not all forms of gold are permitted. The IRS-approved forms of gold include certain gold bullion coins issued by the U.S. Treasury, such as American Gold Eagle, as well as a select few other coins like Canadian Gold Maple Leaf and Australian Gold Kangaroo. Gold that does not meet these criteria, such as jewelry, gold nuggets, or gold coins not approved by the IRS, cannot be included in a SIMPLE IRA.

Your gold investment included in the SIMPLE IRA must be held by a custodian; you cannot physically hold the gold while it’s a part of the IRA. The requirement for custodial custody requires the use of an self-directed IRA, which provides the ability to put money into alternative investments like gold and also a custodian offering the services.

Potential Benefits of Gold in a SIMPLE IRA

Why would one consider buying gold in a SIMPLE IRA? There are several reasons.

Challenges and Risks of Gold in a SIMPLE IRA

Despite these potential benefits, buying gold in a SIMPLE IRA also comes with challenges and risks.


In conclusion, while it is permissible to buy gold within a SIMPLE IRA, investors should carefully consider the potential benefits and risks. Diversification, a hedge against inflation, and tax advantages are appealing aspects. However, potential challenges such as custodial fees, market volatility, and illiquidity need to be weighed in. As with any investment decision, it’s advisable to consult with a financial advisor or tax professional before making a commitment to invest in gold within a SIMPLE IRA. Remember, investment diversification does not guarantee profits or protect against losses, and the aim should always be a well-balanced portfolio that aligns with your risk tolerance and long-term financial objectives.

Ready to invest in a gold IRA?

Everyone wants peace of mind regardless of retirement goals. If you’re interested in adding silver and gold to your retirement savings account it is possible to do so by establishing a self-directed IRA. These types of accounts permit you to create a retirement portfolio that appreciates in value on a tax-advantaged basis. As with any investment instrument ensure that you conduct your due diligence. For more information, take a look at our gold IRA companies and custodians reviews for the “top companies throughout the United States below.

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