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TSP to Gold IRA Rollover

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If you're a federal employee, chances are you've heard of the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). It's a solid retirement savings option, but it doesn't offer much in terms of investment flexibility.

For this reason, many investors are rolling over their TSP into a self-directed Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or, more specifically, a gold IRA. This move offers more control over your retirement savings and can be achieved through an IRA rollover or trustee-to-trustee transfer.

Our #1 gold IRA rollover company recommendation is Goldco. To get their free gold investing kit, click the button below:

Keep reading to learn more about the investment options available for Gold IRAs and how to transfer your TSP funds into one.

Benefits of Converting Your TSP to a Gold IRA

Converting your TSP (Thrift Savings Plan) to a gold IRA (Individual Retirement Account) offers several benefits that can help protect and grow your wealth:

1. Diversification

Diversifying your retirement portfolio is crucial for long-term financial stability. A gold IRA allows you to strategically balance your portfolio by adding alternative assets like precious metals.

2. Insurance against economic uncertainties 

Gold has historically held significant value and has never gone to zero, unlike traditional paper assets. Traditional IRAs that include stocks or mutual funds can be vulnerable to inflation. As gold prices tend to move in the opposite direction of paper assets, a gold IRA acts as a hedge against inflation and helps protect your wealth.

3. Greater control over investments 

With a self-directed gold IRA, you have more control over your asset mix. Unlike traditional retirement accounts, you are not limited to publicly traded stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. This flexibility allows for better diversification and enables you to make investment choices that align with your goals.

4. Protection against inflation 

Inflation is a concern for any investor. While we cannot control inflation, a gold IRA can help safeguard your investments. Gold and silver have historically performed well during inflationary periods, making a gold IRA an important tool for wealth security.

5. Growth opportunities

Conventional IRA accounts are heavily dependent on a few assets tied to the economy, making them susceptible to economic downturns. However, the demand for gold and silver remains strong even during difficult economic times. This means that investors in a gold IRA have increased potential for growth, providing a level of stability during economic uncertainties.

6. Tax advantages

A gold IRA offers tax advantages similar to a conventional IRA. Contributions to a precious metals IRA may be tax-deductible, depending on your tax bracket. These tax benefits make a gold IRA an attractive option for investors looking to maximize their savings.

 TSP to Gold IRA Basics

As mentioned earlier, TSPs do not permit investment in physical precious metals like gold or silver. However, converting your TSP to a Gold IRA allows you to own physical bullion in a tax-deferred account. The IRS permits gold bullion and coins minted by the US Mint or Canadian Mint for investment purposes. 

To get a free gold investing kit from our #1 recommended gold IRA provider, click HERE.

There are two ways to transfer funds from your TSP to a Gold IRA: rollover or direct transfer.

To allocate your retirement funds between conventional and Gold IRAs, experts recommend at least 10% invested in precious metals for protection against economic collapse and monetary devaluations. Gold IRAs offer a hedge against economic uncertainties, making TSP to Gold IRA conversions attractive to some investors.

To get a free gold investing kit from our #1 recommended gold IRA provider, click HERE.

How to Convert a TSP to Gold IRA

Converting a TSP to gold IRA requires following specific methods approved by the IRA. Here are the steps to convert a TSP to a gold IRA using the rollover method, and the trustee-to-trustee transfer method.

1. Rollover Method:

The TSP to gold IRA rollover method allows investors to transfer TSP funds by withdrawing a lump sum and then depositing it into a new IRA account within 60 days.

If you choose to go the rollover route, make sure to designate the deposit as a rollover from another plan and not as a new contribution to avoid confusion for the IRA custodian or administrator:

  1. Find an IRA company specializing in gold IRAs to open an account with.
  2. The self-directed IRA administrator or custodian will recommend a third-party vaulting and storage provider for your chosen metals.
  3. Request a lump-sum withdrawal from your TSP and deposit the requested amount into your new IRA account within 60 days.
  4. Designate the deposit as a rollover from another plan to avoid confusion with new contributions.
  5. Keep in mind the annual contribution limits for IRA accounts ($7,000 for those 50 or older, $6,000 for those under 50).
  6. Ensure you complete the rollover within 60 days to avoid penalties and taxes.

2. Trustee-to-Trustee Transfer Method:

  1. Open a gold IRA account with an IRA provider.
  2. Obtain your account number from the IRA provider.
  3. Contact the TSP and fill out a transfer request specifying where you want to send your money.
  4. The TSP will wire the funds directly to your newly opened gold IRA account.
  5. Once the funds are received, provide written instructions on how you want to invest the money, including the products, prices, and sources.

Both the rollover and trustee-to-trustee transfers are solid options, it just depends on your current retirement standing. To work with a reputable custodian who follows IRS guidelines and has great customer feedback, Contact Goldco Here.

Ensure you choose a reputable custodian to facilitate your TSP to Gold IRA transfer. To get a free gold investing kit from our #1 recommended gold IRA provider, click HERE.

Owning Multiple Retirement Accounts

You can diversify your retirement portfolio and maximize your investment potential by owning multiple IRAs. This means that in addition to a traditional or Roth IRA, you can also open a Gold IRA. Converting your TSP to a Gold IRA can protect your savings from inflation.

Having multiple IRAs allows you to allocate your retirement funds between conventional assets and precious metals, such as gold and silver. Owning multiple IRAs also gives you more flexibility in managing your investments. 

However, keep in mind that there are contribution limits for each type of IRA. Overall, owning multiple IRAs can help protect against economic volatility and ensure a well-diversified retirement portfolio.

Physical Metal Requirements for a Gold IRA

A TSP to gold IRA conversion involves moving funds from your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) backed by physical gold, which has certain requirements per the IRS.


  • Gold bars must have a fineness of at least 99.5%  
  • silver bars must have a fineness of at least 99.9%


The bars must be produced by an approved refiner or assayer and bear markings indicating their weight and purity.

The most popular coins for Gold IRAs are from the U.S. Mint and Canadian Mint because they are guaranteed by their respective governments for weight, content, and purity.

When converting TSP to Gold IRA, it's important to work with a reputable gold dealer who can help ensure that you meet all the IRS requirements for precious metals ownership in an IRA account. 

Benefits of Gold Investing

Investing in gold can provide a hedge against economic uncertainty and inflation, helping to diversify your retirement portfolio. Here are some benefits of investing in gold for your retirement:

  1. Protection against market volatility: Gold is often seen as a safe-haven asset that can hold its value even during times of economic turmoil. By adding gold to your retirement portfolio, you can help protect yourself from the ups and downs of the stock market. Some investors opt for TSP to Gold IRA rollovers as a way to protect their retirement savings from the potential devaluation of fiat currencies.
  2. Inflation protection: Gold has historically served as a hedge against inflation, which erodes the purchasing power of paper currency over time. By owning gold in your retirement portfolio, you may be able to maintain your standard of living during periods of high inflation. Converting your Thrift Savings Plan to a gold IRA can serve as a hedge against inflation and economic uncertainties.
  3. Portfolio diversification: Investing in gold can help diversify your retirement portfolio beyond traditional stocks and bonds. This can potentially reduce overall risk while increasing potential returns.
  4. Tangible asset ownership: Unlike paper assets such as stocks or bonds, physical gold is a tangible asset that you can touch and hold. Owning physical gold coins or bars in a Gold IRA allows for direct ownership and control over this valuable asset.

Consider these benefits when deciding whether to include gold investments in your retirement planning strategy. With proper research and guidance from a reputable dealer, investing in precious metals could offer significant advantages towards securing financial stability during uncertain times. When converting TSP to a Gold IRA, you'll need to select suitable precious metals for your investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I convert my TSP to gold without penalty?

 TSP to gold IRA rollovers provide an opportunity to diversify your retirement savings beyond traditional assets like stocks and bonds. To convert your TSP (Thrift Savings Plan) to gold without incurring penalties, you can follow these steps:

  1. Research and choose a reputable gold dealer like Goldco. Look for a trusted gold dealer or a precious metals broker who specializes in facilitating the conversion of retirement funds into physical gold or gold-related investments.
  2. Set up a Self-Directed IRA: You'll need to establish a Self-Directed Individual Retirement Account (IRA) with a custodian who allows investments in precious metals. Ensure that the custodian is well-versed in handling TSP rollovers
  3. Initiate a direct rollover from TSP to the Self-Directed IRA: Contact the TSP administrator to request a direct rollover of your funds to the Self-Directed IRA. This ensures the transfer is made directly from your TSP account to the IRA custodian, without you ever personally receiving the funds.
  4. Select the gold investment: Once the funds are transferred to your Self-Directed IRA, work with your IRA custodian to select the type of gold investment you want. This can include physical gold coins or bars, gold ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds), or gold mining stocks. Ensure that your chosen investment complies with IRS regulations regarding precious metals in IRAs.
  5. Purchase the gold investment: Use the funds in your Self-Directed IRA to purchase the desired gold investment through your chosen gold dealer or broker. The gold will be held within your IRA account, ensuring it remains tax-advantaged.

What are some potential risks associated with converting TSP to a Gold IRA?

TSP to Gold IRA conversions are often considered a safe, long-term investment strategy due to the stability of precious metals over time. 

However, there are a couple potential risks associated with converting your TSP to a Gold IRA. One major risk is the possibility of choosing an unreliable gold dealer who may charge high fees or provide low-quality precious metal products.

Also, if you opt for a rollover instead of a direct transfer, you could be subject to tax penalties and miss the 60-day deadline for completing the transaction.

It's also important to note that while gold can protect against economic instability, it's not a guaranteed investment and its value can fluctuate. Before making any decisions about converting your TSP to a Gold IRA, it's essential to do thorough research and to weigh the potential benefits and risks.

However, diversifying your retirement savings by moving TSP to a Gold IRA can enhance your financial security.

Can you transfer money from a TSP to a gold IRA?

Yes, it is possible to transfer money from a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) to a gold Individual Retirement Account (IRA). However, there are certain rules and procedures that need to be followed.

  1. Eligibility: You must be eligible to make a TSP withdrawal. This generally requires you to be at least 59½ years old or separated from federal service.
  2. Set up a Gold IRA: You need to establish a self-directed gold IRA account with a qualified custodian. Ensure you select a reputable custodian to facilitate your Thrift Savings Plan to gold IRA transition.
  3. Request a TSP Transfer: Contact the TSP and request a transfer of funds to your gold IRA custodian. They will provide you with the necessary forms and instructions.
  4. Complete TSP Transfer Forms: Fill out the TSP forms accurately, specifying the amount you wish to transfer to the gold IRA custodian. The TSP will then initiate the transfer process.
  5. Provide Gold IRA Custodian Details: You need to provide the TSP with the information about your gold IRA custodian, including their name, address, and account details. This allows the TSP to send the funds directly to the custodian.
  6. Fund Transfer: Once the TSP processes your transfer request, they will send the funds to your gold IRA custodian. The custodian will then purchase the desired gold or other precious metals on your behalf and hold them in your IRA account.

Can you roll an inherited TSP into a Gold IRA?

It is possible to rollover an inherited Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) into a Gold IRA. The TSP can only be rolled into an eligible retirement account, such as an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Once the inherited TSP is rolled into an IRA, you can then choose to invest in gold or other precious metals within the IRA. 

what is the penalty for withdrawing from a TSP?

The penalty for withdrawing from the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) depends on the type of withdrawal and the age of the account holder.

  1. Early Withdrawal Penalty (Before age 59½):
    1. If you withdraw funds before reaching age 59½, there is generally a 10% early withdrawal penalty imposed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in addition to the regular income taxes.
    2. Some exceptions may apply, such as for qualified reservist distributions, permanent disability, or death.
  1. Age-based In-Service Withdrawals:
    1. If you are aged 59½ or older and still working, you can make age-based in-service withdrawals without incurring the 10% early withdrawal penalty.
    2. However, income taxes may still apply depending on the type of withdrawal.

Are there any tax implications to consider when transferring funds from a TSP to a Gold IRA?

When transferring funds from your TSP to a Gold IRA, the transfer itself isn't subject to taxes or penalties as long as it's done correctly through either a rollover or direct transfer.

However, once the funds are in the Gold IRA, any withdrawals made before age 59 ½ may result in penalties and taxes. When you eventually withdraw funds from your Gold IRA during retirement, those withdrawals will be subject to income taxes at your ordinary income tax rate. 

It's essential to understand the tax implications when moving your TSP to a Gold IRA and make informed decisions about your retirement savings strategy. 

Can precious metal coins and bars be stored at home or must they be kept in a secure facility?

The IRS requires that IRA-owned precious metals be held by a qualified trustee or custodian. This is to ensure compliance with tax laws and prevent any prohibited transactions.

The trustee or custodian will typically offer secure storage options for the coins and bars at an approved depository. However, if you choose to store the metals at home, they must be kept in a safe or other secure location that meets IRS requirements.

It's crucial to familiarize yourself with the IRS regulations governing TSP to gold IRA conversions to ensure compliance with tax rules.

Is it possible to withdraw funds from a Gold IRA before retirement age without penalty?

You can't withdraw funds from a Gold IRA before retirement age without penalty. If you're under 59 and a half years old, any withdrawal from your Gold IRA will be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty. 

How does the process of selling physical precious metals from a Gold IRA differ from selling stocks or mutual funds?

When it comes to selling physical precious metals from a Gold IRA, the process is slightly different than selling stocks or mutual funds.

While you can sell your precious metal coins or bars at any time, you will need to work with a reputable dealer who specializes in buying and selling precious metals. There may also be fees associated with selling your precious metals, such as shipping and handling costs.

Assess the potential tax implications associated with a TSP account to gold IRA conversion based on your specific financial situation before proceeding.

It's important to do your research and choose a dealer that offers fair prices and has a good reputation in the industry. Overall, the process of selling physical precious metals from a Gold IRA requires some additional steps compared to traditional investments, but it can still be done relatively easily with the help of a trusted dealer.

Can I transfer my TSP to a Gold IRA if I am still actively employed and contributing to my TSP?

Yes, you can transfer your TSP to a Gold IRA even if you're still actively employed and contributing to your TSP. This is known as an 'in-service' rollover.

However, keep in mind that TSP to Gold IRA transfers are governed by specific rules and regulations set by the IRS.. It's wise to consult with your plan administrator before making any decisions. 

What is a Thrift Savings Plan?

A Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement and investment plan available to federal government employees and members of the uniformed services.

It was created by Congress through the Federal Employees Retirement System Act in 1986. Similar to a 401(k), a TSP provides individuals with savings and tax benefits.

A TSP is categorized as a defined contribution plan, meaning the retirement income received from the TSP account is determined by the amount of money contributed during one's working years and the earnings generated over that time.


Converting your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) into a gold IRA is a great strategy to enhance portfolio diversification, wealth management, and potential earnings growth.

Conduct research to find a reputable self-directed IRA provider who can guide you through the conversion process effectively. We have done countless hours of researching the best gold IRA providers on the market, and think Goldco is the best option for TSP to gold IRA rollovers.

To get a free gold investing kit from Goldco, click HERE.