The Only Gold SEP-IRA and Precious Metals Guide You’ll Ever Need

It requires conscientious planning if you want to retire financially worry-free. One thing is for sure: it is never too early to start, especially if a person is self-employed. Luckily, a SEP IRA or precious metals IRA can assist with that.

Primarily utilized by small business owners, contractors, and freelancers, this unique type of retirement account is more robust than traditional IRAs. The account can even be used to invest in silver, gold, Canadian Maple leaf coins, physical precious metals, and other precious metals.

If adding silver and gold to a retirement plan is something that an individual may consider, it will be good to give this precious metals IRA guide a read. We will cover a range of topics surrounding SEP gold IRA and highlight the steps to start your own.

How Does a SEP IRA Retirement Account Work?

We mentioned a SEP gold IRA (Simplified Employee Pension) for self-employed professionals and small business owners and those employed by them who work for prolonged periods.

You can use SEP gold IRAs to purchase gold, silver, platinum, palladium bars, and other tangible assets like real estate and artwork in some scenarios.

When someone has a SEP IRA, their contributions are pre-taxed, meaning they will pay taxes on the cash in retirement. This can quickly reduce the amount of income tax a person owes annually because the benefit of this is that their contributions are tax-deductible.

In most cases, it is business owners and self-employed individuals who use SEP IRAs and reduce their tax bracket to lower in retirement. These people also want to increase their contributions, as SEP IRAs have much more significant contribution limits than other retirement accounts like traditional IRAs.

Finding a gold IRA custodian is the first step to opening an account. The custodian will help handle any IRS required paperwork, secure IRS approved coins, ship the product to the depository, purchase your preferred metals, and assist with the setup of the retirement account.

An IRS-approved custodian can also help you fund your account, which is generally done via a rollover or a transfer from another retirement account in your name.

a guide to SEP IRA

Some Guidelines to a SEP Gold IRA

In order to operate a SEP gold IRA, it is crucial to adhere to a few IRS guidelines regarding these types of accounts. The first thing to remember is that there are contribution limits.

Both traditional and Roth IRAs have lower contribution limits than SEP IRAs, but these accounts are not unlimited. Someone can contribute $58,000 or 25% of their total annual compensation, whichever is lower (compensation refers to your net yearly earnings, minus your contributions to your personal SEP IRA contributions and your self-employment tax.)

Up to 25% of contributions on SEP IRAs are tax-deductible from your compensation. Also see our guide on having multiple IRA accounts.

What Are the Best SEP Gold IRA Companies?

It is vital to remember that there are many SEP gold IRA services, and each one has its own fee structure and offerings. If you wish to ensure you are getting the most suitable account (and pricing) for your requirements, it is crucial to compare and shop around to find the best deal.

Unsure of where to begin? Check out our favorites below:

Oxford Gold Group

This is a favorite amongst our readers because Oxford Gold Group has many positive reviews and high ratings. It is one of the best overall SEP-IRA providers, with 4.9 out of 5 stars from Trustpilot and Google, plus it has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

The company offers rollover/transfer assistance, SEP gold IRA, metal sales, account set up, and more. Users can monitor the performance of their accounts over time because they get access to an online dashboard that makes it easy for them.


If you are looking for a good SEP gold IRA, this company is another excellent option. Goldco has fantastic reviews, including a 4.7 on Google and a 4.8 on Trustpilot.

The above is no surprise to us either, as Goldco’s client support goes the extra mile and has many options, including email, phone, or online chat. Goldco also offers a vast amount of educational resources to inform people more about their investment options.

Patriot Gold Group

Look no further than Patriot Gold Group if you plan to put more than $100,00 in your SEP gold IRA. Patriot Gold Group charges $180 per year for accounts valued at $100k and no fees on invoices over $100,000.

Like the others on this list, the company also has strong customer reviews, boasting 4.6 stars on Trustpilot and a five-star rating on Google.

Orion Metal Exchange

There is a reason why Orion is one of the leading names in the business. The company is a one-stop-shop for all things precious metals. Orion has minimal fees and can assist you with buying gold and silver, funding your account, or setting up a new one.

What’s great about this company is that with one account under $200,00, you will have only to pay $150 yearly. If you are wondering if the company has good reviews, you will be pleased to know that Orion has 4.9 stars on Trustpilot and an A+ on the BBB.

Type of Gold IRA and Precious Metals Accounts

There are a few types of accounts that each provides distinct tax benefits as with conventional retirement accounts. Here are three Gold IRA accounts you can sign up for with your preferred provider.

Traditional Gold IRA

When it comes to taxes, a traditional gold IRA works just like conventional pre-tax IRAs and is a tax-deferred retirement savings account. Any gains and contributions will not be taxed, and in most scenarios, donations are tax-deductible.

If you are above 5o, you have annual contribution limits of $6,500, and if you are under 50, the amount is $5,500; the IRS sets these limits.

Roth Gold IRA

The Roth Gold IRA works like any Roth IRA and is a retirement savings account that works after tax. While there is no immediate tax deduction with Roth IRA payments, the primary benefit of a Roth IRA is that when you take distributions during retirement, you will not have to pay any taxes.


Self-employed individuals and business owners are the ones for which SEP Gold IRAs are available. These accounts offer higher contribution limits, your deposits aren’t taxed, and the SEP Gold IRA works the same as a traditional pre-tax IRA.

Rather than a $5,500 limit, a person can contribute $53,000 or up to 25% of their income, whichever one is less.

How to Fund a Gold SEP IRA

Funding a Gold SEP-IRA can not get easier after you have completed your application and your self-direct IRA has been opened. The account funding process is simple and can be done in three straightforward ways.

IRA Transfer

You can complete a Transfer Request Form and get your new IRA funded through an IRA to IRA transfer. This will ensure that you don’t incur any penalties and remain entirely tax-deferred.


Another way to find your self-directed IRA on a tax-deferred basis is to directly rollover from a 401 k or another qualified retirement plan.

Cash Contributions

The self-directed custodian will accept a wire transfer or a check in order to fund the account with cash. Depending on the type of IRA account it is (either after-tax (Roth) basis or pre-tax (traditional IRA), taxable treatment will vary.

You can’t legally fund it with bullion or gold coin you already own, which is one of the few limitations on funding your account. One of the reasons for this is that the United States government only allows particular bullion and coins to be held in IRA accounts.

Types of Gold People Can Invest in Through a SEP IRA

The assets that a person’s custodian typically approves and makes available are the investment or precious metals you can add to your account. Technically, SEP IRAs can offer various assets in self-directed retirement accounts.

Below are the following assets that can be added to a self-directed gold or silver IRA; these differ from custodian to custodian:

  • Gold, silver, platinum bullion, and other precious metals
  • Commercial property & real estate (plus other tangible assets)
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs)
  • Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF) shares
  • Mutual fund shares
  • Options
  • Individual bonds (government and corporate)
  • Equities and stocks

If you compare a SEP IRA to a 401 k, you will quickly notice a wide variety of assets available to investors. You can invest in all the same assets as a Traditional IRA or standard Roth if you have a SEP IRA. However, there are the additional benefits of being able to invest in different assets like commodities and precious metals. Therefore, SEPs allow you to invest intangible assets and other alternatives and are one of the only types of retirements savings accounts that permit this.

Moreover, SEP account holders can indirectly use precious metals ETFs to invest in gold and silver, purchase mining stocks, and buy index funds. Any tax-advantaged retirements account can use one of these options, meaning a SEP IRA and a 401 k is no different.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Paper Gold and Physical Gold Investments: What Is the Difference?

When people speak of paper gold, they refer to companies involved in the precious metals market with publicly trading securities, exchange-traded funds, and individual stocks.

These can take the form of a basket of precious metal involved companies like BUGS Index (HUI), Gold Miners Index (GDX), SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF ($XME), or a single mining company like Barrick Gold.

Depending on the asset price, the companies that refine, mine, produce, or export silver and gold ore vary. By investing in companies that are active in their refinements, productions, and discovery, you can indirectly track the price of your favorite precious metals.

It is essential to be aware that they carry more risk than physical gold ownership before you delve into the world of the gold and silver stock market. Historically, gold stocks fall or appreciate exceptionally quickly since they can be sold and bought on exchanges faster than tangible assets and are generally more liquid.

This is one of the primary reasons these assets are more unstable than precious physical metals.

Other forms of risk that also need to be considered when dealing with paper gold include but are not limited to:

Fiat currency risk – Selling and buying stock on an exchange requires you to pay for the security with fiat money that can lose value in the event of a period of hyperinflation or currency collapse.

Management risk: The stock can tank if a mining stock suffers from a management crisis or poor leader. What this tells investors is that companies aren’t always managed correctly.

Production risk – The necessary input and equipment in the mining process are known to depreciate and degrade quickly. Other costs like labor costs and rising land value increases can negatively impact a company’s stock price and valuation.

Regulation risk – Exploration and mining companies are subject to the regulatory oversight that can quickly change.

It would be best if you considered that precious metals have never hit zero, and we don’t think they ever will. These assets have held their value reliably for thousands of years. There is genuinely no contest between gold stocks and physical gold if you want exposure to this kind of investment.

What Are the Benefits of Putting 5 to 20% of a Retirement Portfolio into Gold?

Silver and gold are effective, safe, and simple to diversify for retirement investors. When the Dow Jones fell by 6,400 points over four trading days as it did in the stock market collapse in March 2022, you can go a long way in protecting your life savings by holding some of your wealth in precious metals.

With the above in mind, it can clarify why gold and silver are excellent hedges against overall market risk. One of the most extraordinary things to remember is that gold is also a superb growth asset, as we witnessed in August 2020 when the precious yellow metal reached an all-time high of over $2,000 per ounce.

What makes gold an attractive asset for investing it supplies long-term wealth growth while managing risk simultaneously.

How much of your savings have you dedicated to precious metals? Have you determined your appetite for risk, goals, and ages? If you are a younger investor with a greater tolerance for risk, you may be able to segment more of your wealth for bonds and equities while leaving 5 to 15% for precious metals.

However, if you are closer to retirement, then a larger share of your portfolio may be a better suggestion (20 to 30%), but only if possible.

Why Select a SEP IRA Over Alternatives?

In most cases, many salaried employees have a solid idea of what they will earn yearly. These people might get a small boost in pay here or there, but the annual math is typically simple.

On the other hand, small business owners and freelancers often need to deal with an enormous price movement in their annual income. This point is crucial regarding the IRS rules on retirement savings account contributions.

With more freedom to choose when and how to contribute to your SEP IRA, you can get things done more straightforwardly. If you pick this plan over a traditional IRA, you should look at the benefits below to learn more.

Significantly higher contribution limits: You can contribute more of your income to your retirement savings account due to the considerably higher contributions limits in the years you earn more.

You have control – Business owners and freelancers love this account because they have control of their funds and have no employees under their command. Whatever you decide to put into your SEP IRA each year is entirely up to you.

Works well with other plans: The other IRAs you may have are not affected by what you put into your SEP IRA. This isn’t always the case with other accounts like the 401 k, where an amount can reduce your contribution limitations.

Easy to set up – Finally, one of the best things about a SEP IRA is that this account is super simple to set up. The process is not more difficult, even though you need to take a few extra steps if you want to sign up your employees.


Stockpiling some precious metals in your retirement accounts is a great way to hedge against inflation. There are multiple precious metals IRA account options, so pick the correct self-directed IRA for your requirements.

A Simplified Employee Pension (SEP-IRA) is a self-directed IRA for freelancers and business owners. You will be able to store gold coins and other precious metals in this precious metal IRA.

It would be best to invest in precious physical metals, gold bullion, American eagle coins, and silver coins to increase your exposure to these assets. Start financial planning now, and you won’t be sorry with the retirement funds you will be left with in the future.

Also see our article on the option of a Conduit IRA.

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Peter Grantham

Peter has been an avid investor in for all his life. Over that time he has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience including stocks, bonds, real estate, retirement, precious metals, cryptocurrencies and business investments. You can get in touch at my email: As the owner of this site "My Gold Silver Bitcoin", he aims to bring his knowledge and experience to new investors and seasoned veterans. My mailing address is: 41847 Moen Grove, Greenton, Arkansas, 80976

The owners of this website may be paid to recommend Goldco. The content on this website, including any positive reviews of Goldco and other reviews, may not be neutral or independent.

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