Investing in Gold Through a SARSEP
Gold is an investment that has been popular for centuries. Investing in gold through a SARSEP can be a great way to invest in this precious metal, and it may even offer certain tax advantages when compared to other investments. This article will discuss how you can learn more about investing with a SARSEP account and if it’s the right route for you!
Table of Contents
- What is a SARSEP?
- Origins of Simplified Employee Pensions
- Operate and Maintain a SARSEP Plan
- SARSEP Rollover Rules & Limitations
- SARSEP vs. SEP vs. IRA vs. Other Retirement Accounts
- Investing in Physical Gold vs. ‘Paper Gold’
What is a SARSEP?
Salary Reduction Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SARSEP) was a kind of retirement plan that permits employees to produce pretax contributions to Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) between salary reductions. No longer issued plans are plans that are old. They are not very common anymore.
A SARSEP is a kind of pension plan. It was made before 1997. Employees can choose to have their employer give them money from their pay and put it in an IRA or other account for retirement. The SARSEP cannot be created after 1996. If you have a SARSEP that was created before 1997, then there is a different rule. People hired after 1996 can’t be participants in your plan.
The Internal Revenue Service has a structure of correction programs to fix problems with retirement plans. This includes SEPs and SARSEPs. The IRS can help you if you have had some trouble with these plans for a while. This structure, the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), is for employees who want to fix their retirement plans. They can use it to fix mistakes and keep their plan tax-favored. For more information, see Correcting Plan Errors.
A Salary Reduction Simplified Employee Pension Plan (or SARSEP) is a retirement plan for small businesses. It was obtainable to small businesses with only 25 employees or less. After January 1, 1997, SARSEPs were replaced by SIMPLE IRAs as part of the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996. A SARSEP can be used before 1997. You can still use it in the tax code. It is a good way to save for retirement and is better than saving up in your house. If you have employees after December 31, 1996, then they can still participate in the SARSEPs that were already in place. If you hire new employees, they can participate as long as they have been working for three of the last five years.
With a SARSEP, you have to keep the money that employees put into their individual retirement account. It can be either an employee’s salary reduction contribution or a nonelective employer contribution.
In 2020, SARSEP participants can contribute a maximum of $19,500 to their accounts. The percentage cannot be more than 25% of your total annual income. If you have a job and want to save money for your retirement, then a SEP IRA is what you need. The entire contributions from both the employee and the employer are $57,000 for 2020. The IRS allows catch-up contributions with this type of retirement vehicle.
A SARSEP has the same distribution limitations as other types of retirement accounts. You can make distributions before you are 59 ½ years old, but there is a 10% penalty for early withdrawals. The IRS sometimes makes exceptions in extenuating circumstances such as illness or disability.
Understanding the Salary Reduction Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SARSEP)
A SARSEP is a retirement plan for small companies with 25 or fewer employees. With this plan, you can make pretax contributions to your retirement account through your paycheck. SARSEP plans were a benefit for employees in small businesses. SARSEP stands for Savings and Retirement Plans to Secure Employee Benefits. This is different from 401(k) plans which are used in bigger companies. After the passing of the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996, SARSEPs were replaced by a different type of plan. This new plan is called a Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees, or SIMPLE.
SIMPLE plans are good for both employees and employers. Employees can use the plan to save money for their retirement, and employers may be able to create a SIMPLE plan. Employers have to put in money for these plans. Employees get more money every year because the cost of living goes up.
Before 1997, many companies had SARSEPs. These plans were allowed to stay in place after 1997. Some new employees can also join existing plans that are still being used. This is good because the company will not have to find a new plan for them.
Some employers who have SARSEPs may have problems with the accounts. They might need to move them from one financial service provider to another. In this case, some employees will need to figure out how to put their money in an IRA account.
Origins of Simplified Employee Pensions
For a long time, people have been using a type of retirement plan called a simplified employee pension (SEP). This is a tax-deductible plan that helps employees save money. In many cases, employers would supply an additional contribution to an employee’s SEP. They do this as an incentive.
In earlier times, SEPs would pay into the individual retirement account of the person from whom you wanted to benefit. 401(k) plans became more popular when they came out during the 1970s.
A 401(k) is named after the tax code regulation. It is a type of retirement plan. It functions as tax-deferred income, which means that taxes are due on the money once it is withdrawn from this type of retirement plan. This retirement plan is a way to save money for when you are old. When you have saved enough, it will be paid out to you.
You will probably have less tax at that time, so it might be a good idea for now. A person with a 401(k) will not be able to take money out of their account until they are 65. This is because it is more expensive if the person has to pay taxes now on money that they earned when they were younger (before 65).
Operate and Maintain a SARSEP Plan
Who is eligible for participation?
Generally, any employee who has worked in your business for three years in five years needs to be in the SARSEP. There are exceptions. The SARSEP Fix-It Guide will tell you when they do not need to be in the plan. This guide has a lot of information on how to avoid problems when you have a SARSEP. The contribution rules are important. Make sure you don’t contribute too much money or not enough money.
What are the contribution rules?
A SARSEP is a retirement plan where IRA contributions are used to fund the plan. The contributions made for each employee need to be set up in an IRA.
Elective Deferrals are when you put some of your money into something like a 401k. You can also do this with part of your salary.
Nonelective employer contributions are employer contributions you make to the SEP-IRA for employees who have deferred. The employee’s contribution limits are subject to yearly cost-of-living adjustments.
This guide can show you how to fix things. You can find out about SARSEP in the guide.
What are the basic distribution/withdrawal rules?
Traditional IRAs have limitations. SARSEP contributions and earnings can be introverted at any time, but they are subject to the same rules. If you take money out of a 401k before you are 59½, the government will charge a 10% tax. But if you put your money in a SARSEP, then it is free to go into another IRA or retirement plan.
SARSEP Rollover Rules & Limitations
The IRS has strict rules about rollovers for SARSEPs or any other type of retirement account. This means that if you have an individual employee SEP-IRA, you can transfer the money into another type of retirement account within 60 days. Additionally, funds can only be rotated over once in a 365-day period from a particular IRA into another IRA. If you already possess a SEP IRA, you can put that money into a self-directed IRA.
There are two ways to transfer money from your SEP-IRA account into another retirement account. You can either transfer it as a rollover or as a custodian-to-custodian transfer. If you take money from your retirement account before you turn 59 ½ years old, it will be a lot of money. If people do this, then they will have to pay the penalty.
If you want to move money from a SEP-IRA, you can do it by transferring it to another account. To make the transfer, go to a bank and talk with a person there. You can open a self-directed IRA with an IRS-approved custodian. This company holds the money from your old IRA. Then it gives you the same amount in your new IRA. The person who is in charge of the funds will use them. The person you are giving them money to will tell you how they are being used. This is called a custodian-to-custodian transfer, and it does not have any taxes on it.
SARSEP vs. SEP vs. IRA vs. Other Retirement Accounts
You can invest in your SARSEP account in a number of ways. Your choices are limited to what the agreement says and the investments that the SEP IRA custodian has. But you always have these investments:
- Individual stocks
- Individual bonds (corporate and government)
- Mutual fund shares
- Exchange-traded fund (ETF) shares
- Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
- Real estate
- Precious metals bullion
SEP IRAs have less strict rules than other types of retirement accounts. There are a lot of method to invest with a SEP-IRA account. Some can have gold and silver bullion, but it is up to the person who has your account.
SEP IRAs are special accounts that let people put money into something like gold, silver, or platinum. You don’t have to pay taxes on this money when you put it in. And you can also buy paper gold assets. This is about stocks and ETFs that represent shares in mining companies. They are bound to the price of gold, silver, or whatever metal they are mining.
Investing in Physical Gold vs. ‘Paper Gold’
When you invest in paper gold, that means that you can invest in gold or silver. Although it is not real gold and does not offer the same benefits of investing in precious metals, it does provide some exposure to the market for people who don’t have time to invest in physical assets.
Paper gold assets are many different things. Mining stocks are one example. Other examples include companies who explore for mines or refine metal. Some paper gold-stock companies include the following:
- Gold Miners Index (GDX)
- BUGS Index (HUI)
- Barrick Gold ($GOLD)
- Franco-Nevada ($FNV)
- Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. ($KL)
Gold stocks are convenient. But they also come with a cost. Although gold stocks are easy to buy and sell on exchanges, they are riskier than bullion. Gold stocks have a lot of volatility, which means that people can sell them quickly.
Liquidity and volatility are not the only risks associated with paper gold. Below, we have listed some other risks in paper gold that investors need to take into consideration before investing in it:
- Regulatory Risk –Mining is a closely watched and regulated market. There could be new laws that make it hard for miners to make money.
- Cost of Production Risk – Mining, exploring, and refining are expensive. This can be hard for companies to do if they don’t have the funds. Upgrading equipment can help this problem.
- Management Risk – New management teams can cause problems for a mining company. They can make decisions that are bad for the company. This is not the case with precious metals bullion because they are managed by their owners, not anyone else.
- Fiat Currency Risk – Gold stocks are used to buy things with money. The money can be spent on something that is worth the same amount of dollars.
Now, compare these risks to the risks of owning precious metals. Clearly, physical metal ownership is better than not owning any at all. Some people decide to buy gold stocks. If someone buys stocks of a company, they are trusting that the company will make money. But it is possible the company might lose money. Gold is not like this because you can always use it as money even if companies lose their money or go bankrupt.
Investing in gold may seem like a strange decision for some people, but it is actually an excellent choice. Gold has been seen as a stable investment over the years, and many companies offer IRAs that allow you to invest in this precious metal through either stocks or ETFs. If you want to diversify your assets and get into something with growth potential, investing in gold through SARSEPs IRA could be just what your portfolio needs.