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Carrying out a 401k rollover is a standard process, especially when you are opening another traditional or Roth IRA (Individual Retirement Account) or changing leaving one employee to another. However, there are better ways to diversify your retirement savings, like a gold IRA investing.

A 401k is a good retirement savings plan, but it will not save you from an economic crisis like a gold IRA investment will. Gold IRAs have saved investors from harsh economic situations and helped them reach their investment goals.

However, to invest in a precious metals IRA using your 401k retirement savings, you must perform a gold IRA rollover.

In this article, we want to show you how you can effectively perform a rollover through the best gold IRA rollover companies without incurring tax penalties.

What is a Gold IRA Rollover?

This process simply means changing your retirement plan from a traditional 401k to a gold-backed IRA. Rolling over 401k to a gold IRA means investing your money in physical gold bars and coins instead of the usual stocks (like gold stocks), bonds, and mutual funds.

Primarily, investing in these physical gold and silver assets will enable you to hedge your investment by leveraging the gains from the increasing price of gold and other precious metals. If you roll over a part of your 401k savings instead of the entire funds, you would benefit from enjoying the growth potentials in traditional stocks and hedging some parts of your investments using gold and silver assets.

It is called a 'Rollover' because you move money from your employer-directed 401k account to your new self-directed gold-backed IRA. The generally accepted time to perform a rollover is when you retire or move from one employer to another. If you are at least 59.5 years old and still work for the employer that opened your 401k, you can talk to your plan administrator to know if you are eligible for an in-service distribution. You can perform a partial 401k gold IRA rollover if you are eligible.

Primarily, there are two ways of performing a precious metals IRA rollover.

  • Indirect rollover
  • Direct Rollover

Indirect Rollover

An indirect rollover is quite complicated. Here is how the indirect rollover works; your 401k plan administrator will send you a check containing the amount of money in your traditional IRA. Then you must redeposit the money into your self-directed gold IRA account within 60 days. If you are below 59.5 years, you may incur a 10% tax penalty. This type of rollover is less desirable because of its complexities.

Direct Rollover

The direct rollover is not as complicated as the indirect. Here is how it works; your 401k provider sends the check or electronically transfers the money to your new gold IRA custodian.

Some 401k plan providers can begin the gold IRA rollover process via a phone conversation. Employees with retirement plans sponsored by the government will need to fill out other internal documents separate from the non-government-sponsored IRA documents. A complete direct rollover process can take between 2 to 6 weeks.

Bidens attack on gold IRa TAx rules

What is the Most Important Truth about Gold IRA Rollovers?

Contrary to what people think, you can use funds from your 401k retirement savings plan to invest in gold and other precious metals. However, you must open a precious metals IRA and perform a 401k to gold IRA rollover. A precious metals IRA allows you to purchase precious metals as investments for retirement purposes. You can hold physical precious metals, including gold and silver coins, bars, and bullion.

Although these metals are yours, you cannot keep or store them in your home. The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) responsible for setting IRA rules only permit storing these physical precious metal investments in an approver third-party storage depository for safekeeping.

Is it Possible to Roll Over Your 401k into a Gold IRA?

Yes! You can convert your existing 401k savings plans to a gold or other precious metals IRA. Nevertheless, this action is not free from taxes. You will still pay your taxes without extra deduction.

Gold IRA rollovers are only possible in these circumstances.

  • When there is a change in your employer's 401k retirement plan administrator.
  • You quit your job in the company in charge of managing your finances.
  • When there is a major change in your company's pension plan.

Predominantly, to begin your gold IRA rollover, you must first leave your employer or retire from work. When you convert your funds or roll them to a new gold IRA, you can invest them in gold and silver coins and bars.

How to Rollover 401k to Gold IRA in Practical Steps

Investors rate gold as a valuable precious metal due to its economic significance. The precious metal has become a popular investment vehicle to hedge funds from inflation and economic crisis effects. With the current state of things in the financial world, you should consider converting some or all of your retirement plans to gold. You may add other precious metal assets to your portfolio, like silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bars.

Below are the steps you will need to take to roll over 401k to a gold IRA.

Find a Gold IRA Company 

You can set up any type of precious metal IRA (traditional, SEP, or Roth gold IRA) depending on your choice of investment and your financial budget. When you choose to open a traditional gold IRA, you will pay pre-tax income; for a Roth gold IRA, you will pay post-tax income. While many companies offer gold IRA services and rollovers in the United States, there are just a few you can trust. In the later section of this article, we will give you details of the most credible gold IRA companies that can help you perform a successful gold rollover.

Identify Your Self-Directed IRA Custodian 

Usually, gold IRA companies work with self-directed IRA custodians. These custodians are special, and they oversee the opening and managing of your physical precious metals accounts. When it comes to fees, these custodians operate differently. Hence, when selecting a custodian, please consider their fees and weigh them with your investment lot and your income cost. In addition, please critically consider the quality of services they offer customers.

Gold IRA custodians have a license from the IRS to offer self-directed IRA services because it is a special type of IRA. Thus, when selecting one, ensure you work with a company that has been properly licensed by the IRS and complies with the IRS rules and regulations regarding opening, setting up, and managing gold and silver IRAs.

Our recommended top gold IRA providers work with the best gold-backed IRA custodians in the industry. Working with any of our recommended gold and silver IRA providers will save you the time you might have spent looking for reputable custodians for your gold IRA management.

Custodians that offer self-directed precious metal IRAs for tangible precious metal investments like gold and silver have full rights to a secure third-party depository where you can store your precious metals. As mentioned, the IRS will not permit you to store physical precious metal investments bought within an IRA in your home.

Open Your Account 

This step is the first to rollover your 401k to a gold IRA. You must open a new gold IRA account with your preferred precious metal IRA custodian. You may need to submit your personal details and any extra detail necessary for setting up your account.

Execute the Rollover 

Then you should submit the required paperwork to your preferred gold IRA provider and 401k plan manager to facilitate the rollover. After submitting all the necessary documents, your 401k plan administrator will move the money in your 401k retirement savings to your gold IRA via check or electronic transfer. When the money is reflected in your account, you can invest in gold and other precious metal investments.

Purchase Gold 

Immediately after your custodian receives the rolled-over money from your 401k provider, you can start buying various precious metal investment assets. You can buy gold bullion, gold coins, and gold bars. You can also get other investments like silver, platinum, palladium coins, rounds, and bars.

The process of buying gold and other precious metals in a precious metal IRA is indirect. You will buy the gold through your gold IRA custodian from your gold IRA provider or dealer. When you buy or order your preferred precious metals from your preferred gold IRA provider, the company will forward an invoice containing the investments you want to buy to your gold IRA custodian for payment. Your custodian will also ensure that the gold broker ships your investments to a third-party gold depository for storage.

Please confirm with your custodian to know if it has received your gold investments and whether your depository has received them. In addition, ensure you get the proper receipts and documentation showing ownership proof.

Lastly, ensure you buy only precious metals approved for inclusion in a precious metals IRA. These metals meet a certain purity and fineness standard set by the IRS:

  • Gold coins and bars with 99.5% purity.
  • Silver coins and bars with 99.9% purity.
  • Platinum and palladium coins and bars with 99.95% purity.

These metals are called IRA-eligible precious metals and are available for sale in our recommended precious metals IRA companies in the United States. The IRS does not allow purchasing collectibles for inclusion in a precious metal IRA. Hence, any company advising you to buy them may be a scam company or are non-compliant with IRS rules and regulations.

The Advantages of Rolling Over 401k to Gold IRA

When moving from one employment to another or retiring, you can do the following to your 401k retirement savings funds.

  • Rollover your funds to a precious metals IRA for more and better investment possibilities.
  • Transfer the money from your former 401k savings plan to your new 401k plan if you have one.
  • Withdraw the money and pay tax and withdrawal penalties.
  • Leave the money in the 401k account set up by your former employer if the company allows it.

Of all these possible actions, the best one to take when retiring or changing jobs is the first, "Rollover your funds to a precious metals IRA for more and better investment possibilities."

Here are other benefits that come with rolling over your 401k to a gold IRA.

Lower Fees 

When you roll over your 401k into your precious metals IRA, you will reduce the amount of money you pay as administrative and management fees. These fees, especially when they are high, can eat into the investors' ROI in the long run. The fees for a 401k plan management are more expensive than the usual for other investment vehicle types.

A precious metal IRA requires lower fees. Usually, when you trade stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, you will pay trading fees. You will not pay these fees for buying and selling precious metals.

More Incentives 

When moving your 401k money to a gold IRA, financial institutions would want to do business with you. Some may even offer cash incentives to lure investors into depositing their retirement savings.

Consistent Rules  

Sometimes, you may find it hard to completely understand the requirements for 401k retirement plans because they may vary among various employers. Most of these companies apply a lot of discretion about setting up their 401k retirement plans.

These discrepancies in rules do not apply to precious metals IRAs because the IRS sets the rules for precious metals IRA plans. The rules governing gold IRAs in one custodian firm are the same for another custodian.

More Investment Options  

401k retirement plans have restricted investment options. Most 401k plan administrators allow investors to invest in mutual funds from one supplier. However, you can invest in various precious metal products for gold and silver IRAs.

More Distribution Methods

At death, your employer will likely pay out your 401k at once to the beneficiary. When it pays the money in a lump sum like that, the beneficiary will not get any tax benefits on the payout. The rules are different depending on your 401k plan and your employer. Some employers do not like retaining the account of employees who no longer work for the company. Paying out gold IRAs to your beneficiary also comes with tax penalties, but your beneficiary will enjoy more distribution methods.

IRS Tax Rules Associated with 401k to Gold Rollovers

Gold IRAs will only bring the benefits we have mentioned to you in this article when you know the rules and keep to them. The IRS allows eligible people to roll over all or part of their 401k retirement savings into a gold IRA. However, there are some criteria you must meet before the IRS considers your transfer as a valid one.

First, you must ensure that your existing 401k plan allows a rollover to a gold IRA. Some companies may not allow that rollover. If you are in such a company, you must make alternative arrangements.

In addition, you must be sure that you can roll over your funds from your 401k to your gold IRA. You can roll over pre-tax funds. On the other hand, you may not be able to perform a 401k to gold IRA rollover if your 401k contains post-tax funds. Always check your eligibility with your plan administrator to ensure you can roll over the funds in your 401k.

The IRS requires that every rollover action is completed within 60 days of getting the distribution from your 401k plan administrator. The IRS will consider any transaction that exceeds this 60-day completion window invalid. Hence, the distribution will be subject to withdrawal penalties and taxes.

You must also know that you can only perform one rollover within 12 months. If you try performing multiple rollovers within one year, the IRS will consider the rollovers invalid, and you will incur tax penalties. Hence, you must consider the investments you wish to roll over before transferring the funds from your 401k to a gold IRA.

You should also consult a financial advisor whose specialty is retirement planning. You will get the best advice and guidance about the best move to make based on your investment circumstances. When you seek the services of a financial advisor, you will know more benefits and the risks that come with rolling over your 401k to a gold IRA. Knowing the risks and rewards will aid you in making the best financial decisions in preparation for your retirement years.

Furthermore, a financial advisor will carefully explain the tax implications of a 401k retirement fund to a gold IRA rollover. You will know the best investment decisions based on your financial and investment situation. You will also get insights about the most profitable gold investments to buy and the opportunities available in the gold and silver markets. Consulting with a financial advisor about your 401k to gold IRA will expose your mind to the best and most profitable gold investments for your retirement portfolio.

You must take advantage of gold assets if you want to make the most from your 401k retirement savings. Rolling over your 401k to gold will ensure that you establish a strong basis for financial security in the long term. However, to get the best out of your gold investments, you must obey the IRS tax rules to the letter.

tax compliant Gold IRA

How to Roll Over Your 401k to a Gold IRA Without Incurring Tax Penalties

The first and most important thing to know about rolling over your 401k funds to gold without a tax penalty is this; YOU MUST SET UP YOUR GOLD IRA WITH A CUSTODIAN AND PROVIDER THAT COMPLIES WITH THE IRS RULES FOR GOLD IRAs.

Investors who do not set up their gold IRA account with a custodian not known to be IRS regulation compliant will suffer tax penalties during rollovers. As mentioned, the gold custodian will take charge of your account administration and management.

The best type of gold IRA to help you avoid tax penalties is the trustee-to-trustee or direct rollover. In this rollover, your 401k plan administrator directly sends the money you want to roll over to your new gold IRA. All you need to do is to inform your plan administrator about your intentions and be sure you are eligible for a rollover. This process usually takes between 2 to 6 weeks to complete.

If you work with a non-IRS-compliant IRA custodian and the company takes more than 60 days to deposit the money, the IRS will see your rollover as a distribution event, and you will be subjected to pay a 20% tax penalty.

The same rule applies when you are working with an indirect rollover. We do not recommend this rollover because of its complexity. This rollover entails your 401k plan administrator disbursing the funds to you to deposit in your gold IRA account via a check. Then you must deposit the money your 401k plan administrator disbursed into your gold IRA account within 60 days. If you skip the 60-day timeframe, you will pay a tax penalty of 20%.

The check your 401k plan administrator will disburse will contain 80% of the funds you want to roll over. The remaining 20% will go to the IRS for events that may incur tax penalties. However, when depositing the money, you must add the remaining 20% from your pocket to make the 80% a hundred for a complete deposition. Failure to do that will incur a 20% tax penalty. The IRS will return the 20% to you if you do not break any rollover rule after filing your year's tax.

We recommend that you ensure your 401k account is eligible for a 401k to a gold IRA rollover. If you try to perform a rollover from an account that is not eligible, you will incur tax penalties. Hence, find out your rollover eligibility status from your plan administrator before trying to initiate a rollover.

We have emphatically mentioned that the best way to effectively roll over funds from your 401k to a gold IRA is to work with a reputable gold IRA provider and custodian in the United States. Usually, reputable gold providers work with the best custodians in the United States.

As a professional company that reviews gold IRA rollover products, we have identified the top five gold IRA rollover companies in the U.S. precious metals market. The next section will discuss these companies, what they do, and why they stand out in the precious metals industry.

Our Top Five Recommended Gold IRA Rollover Companies

The most important element you need to consider when choosing a gold IRA company for your rollover is its reputation in the industry. The company must have a very high positive rating from reputable consumer rating websites like BBB (Better Business Bureau), BCA (Business Consumer Alliance), TrustLink, Consumer Affairs, and so on.

Augusta Precious Metals

This company is the absolute best gold IRA firm in the U.S. today due to Augusta's transparency, pricing, dedication to education, and extraordinary attention given to customers. We highly recommend that everyone take advantage of their free web conference that helps you understand the economy, threats to your retirement, and the precious metals buying process (designed by their in-house Harvard-certified economic analyst). They even share tips for avoiding gimmicks and high-pressure tactics in this unregulated industry.

This gold precious metals specialist company was chosen by Money magazine as "The Best Overall" in its Best Gold IRA Companies list for 2023. It is the only gold IRA firm with ZERO complaints on the BBB website since 2012. It has an outstanding track record proven by consumer watchdog ratings and tons of the best customer reviews, including endorsement by hall-of-fame quarterback Joe Montana, whose advisors found Augusta for him. We are thrilled to recommend Augusta as our #1 gold IRA company!


  • Award-winning recognition for account lifetime customer service Money magazine's "Best Overall" & Investopedia's "Most Transparent" in 2022.
  • Experienced professionals to help you make the ideal choice of investments.
  • Only gold IRA firm with ZERO complaints at BBB, BCA since launching in 2012.
  • Thousands of 5-star ratings from customers.
  • Must-watch: Free web conference with an excellent focus on consumer education.
  • Endorsement by high-income customers, including corporate ambassador Joe Montana whose team found this company for him.
  • Transparent, streamlined process and competitive rates.
  • No hidden management fees & ZERO custodian/storage fees for up to 10 years – every customer qualifies.


  • A minimum balance of $50,000 in savings makes this best for the "red carpet."
  • Limited selection of gold and silver investments.
  • Virtual account opening is not possible.

To start investing with Augusta Precious Metals, please click this link to download its 2023 gold investment kit for free.



Our #1 IRS 401k to Gold Company Recommendation

augusta Precious Metals

Augusta Precious Metals is our best rated overall precious metals company

  • Customer care is exceptional
  • Pricing is highly competitive
  • Educational program second to none
  • The best FREE investment guide in the industry
  • Zero complaints on BBB & BCA
  • Free shipping on all orders
  • They have a team of experts to guide you through your transfer from your 401k in to a Gold IRA
401k gold free gold


Established in 2006, this company has an excellent solid record and is our top recommendation for people looking to invest over $25,000 in a gold IRA. We consider this gold trading online platform the 2nd best Gold IRA Company in The USA Today.


  • 2nd Ranked Gold IRA dealer.
  • Top ratings from BCA, TrustPilot, and other third-party review sites and excellent customer reviews.
  • Biggest promotions in the industry.
  • Best buyback program.
  • No high-pressure sales tactics.
  • Competitive pricing.
  • Works with the most secure storage companies.
  • Dedicated expertise in precious metals.
  • Excellent customer service.


  • The minimum IRA deposit requirement is $25,000.
  • You cannot virtually set up an account.
  • Information about the management is not available on the Goldco
  • The fee may appear to be slightly higher than some budget-friendly rivals.

To start investing with Goldco, please click this link to download its 2023 gold investment kit for free.

Our #2 IRS 401k to Gold Company Recommendation

Goldco complaint

Goldco is our second top-rated gold and precious metal company. Having been top-rated all of last year, they were very close to Augusta Precious metals

  • Great promotional offers
  • Pricing is highly competitive
  • Educational program second to none
  • FREE investment guide in the industry
  • High buyback prices
  • Expert guidance provided by the team
  • First years fees waivered for new customers

American Hartford Gold Group

One of the most trusted Gold and Precious Metal brokers in the United States is American Hartford Gold. This family-owned company is endorsed by Bill O'Reilly and America's Mayor, Rudy Giuliani.

American Hartford Gold is great for gold and palladium IRA and purchasing physical Gold, Silver, and Platinum.


  • Easy-to-open silver & palladium IRA account with very competitive rates.
  • Free storage, maintenance & insurance for up to 3 years.
  • Physical gold and silver delivered to your front door at no additional cost.
  • Hassle-free process to buy back your precious metals with no fees.
  • Does not share your information with any private or public entity.


  • No prices on the online catalog.
  • Doesn't ship out of the U.S.
  • Minimum investment requirement of $10,000 for Gold IRA rollovers.

To start investing with American Hartford Gold, please click this link to download its 2023 gold investment kit for free.

Our #3 IRS 401k to Gold Company Recommendation

Hartford American

American Hartford Gold is our third top-rated company.

  • A leading, recognized, and trusted brand in the industry
  • A family owned and run business
  • Excellent customer service
  • Buy back guarantee
  • Free shipping
  • Promotional offers for new  customers
  • Transparent about the cost
  • Diligent when it comes to compliance


Birch Gold

Since it was established in 2003, the company has delighted customers and provided excellent customer education. Birch Gold Group's one-on-one interactions with customers are a fundamental advantage for those who want to make vital decisions impacting their financial future.


  • Top ratings from national consumer agencies.
  • Opportunity to invest in palladium and platinum.
  • For investments above $50,000, no fee in the first year.
  • Exceptional customer service, support, and advice.
  • A strong market presence and a history of nearly 20 years.


  • Online account opening is not permitted.
  • There is no onsite live customer chat.
  • Annual fees and setup costs are not accessible online.
  • You need to get their information kit to find complete details about the management team.

To start investing with Birch Gold Group, please click this link to download its 2023 gold investment kit for free.

Noble Gold

The truth is that Noble Gold has not been around the scene for a long time, but it has, in the shortest time possible, made huge impacts on the gold IRA market. Since its inception, the company has captured customers' hearts via its vast educational resources gallery, a wide range of investment options, and low investment requirements. The company's commitment to customer service also has high ratings on third-party rating sites like BCA and Consumer Affairs.

According to the agent we spoke to, Noble Gold gives customers a committed account manager from the first day they decide to open a gold IRA account with it. The knowledgeable professionals will also give the customers all they need to know about how a gold IRA works and the setup process. In addition, they offer a smooth buyback process to their customers.

Noble Gold works with Delaware Depository and Brink's Global Services to provide storage services for its customers. In addition to these storage companies, Noble Gold owns its depository in Texas. Hence, customers can choose to store their metals in any of these three depositories.


  • They have high ratings on more than one trusted customer rating site.
  • Their team of investment experts will give you detailed guidance to make the perfect choice for your gold investments.
  • They offer competitive prices.
  • They have a wide selection of gold IRA investments.
  • Their minimum initial investment is $2000.
  • They give their customers a free gold IRA rollover guide.
  • They have their IRS-approved storage facility in Texas.


  • Their range of gold products comes with a high premium.

To start investing with Noble Gold Investment, please click this link to download its 2023 gold investment kit for free.


Rolling over from a 401k retirement plan to a gold IRA is a significant decision. It is the best way to maximize the considerable amount of ROI that comes with investing in gold while enjoying the tax benefits of self-directed IRAs.

However, the first thing to do if you will maximize the benefit of gold investing is to rollover perform your rollover through a very reputable gold IRA company. Our recommended IRA companies are the best for carrying out such a significant move without incurring tax penalties from the IRS. In addition, they will offer you the best gold IRA products and services for profitable gold investments.

To begin your rollover process and make your first profitable gold investment through any of our recommended companies below, please click the relevant links in the previous section to download their full review guides.

Frequently Asked Questions About Protecting your 401k

Can I Invest in Gold within My 401k Retirement Plan

You cannot directly invest in Gold within the majority of 401k plans to turn part or all of your 401k to Gold see this page

Can I rollover my 401k to a gold IRA?

Yes you can perform a 401k to gold IRA rollover see this page for more details

What Portion of My 401k Should I Roll Over into Gold or Other Precious Metals
We are often asked what portion of my 401k, 403b or 457b plan should I rollover into gold or precious metals. click this link to read our full article
How to Protect Your 401k From a Stock Market Crash

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