IRA & 401K Plans

We cannot ignore the fact that our economy is currently in a crisis, and that the Dow and many other asset classes are continuing to lose a lot of their value. Many people may find that at least 35% of their retirement portfolio isn’t moving in a direction that is profitable. What you do now all depends on what you own, how you own it, and when you think you need the money. Over the long-term, any value you lost may eventually come back some day – but it could take many, many years…unless of course you own shares in companies and funds that do not survive.

Here at Northbridge Precious Metals we’re investors just like you, so we understand one of the hardest things to do is rebalance a retirement plan. The only question becomes whether you keep outdated and low producing investments or finally do something about it.  Take action. Did you know you can trade out of your worst performing investment in your IRA, stop a loss, and trade it for the conservative safety  of physical gold, silver or platinum? There are no tax consequences for moving money between various mutual fund options in your IRA or 401k retirement accounts, and we believe you’re taking a fraction of the risk you’re taking with those stocks, bonds mutual funds.

When you are ready to take distributions from your IRA, NPMG can assist you in converting your precious metals to cash or arranging for delivery of your coins.

To Establish Your Precious Metals IRA Account Today, We Recommend:

Sterling Trust Company
PO Box 2526
Waco, TX 76702-2526
(800) 955-3434 Toll Free
(254) 751-0872 Fax
www.sterlingtrustcompany.com

OR

Gold Star Trust
P.O. Box 719
Canyon, Texas 79015-0719
800-486-6888 Toll-free
806-220-2166 Fax
www.goldstartrust.com

GoldStar Trust as a trust branch of a Texas Bank, their financial condition is closely monitored by the Texas Department of Banking and the FDIC. GoldStar Trust Company is one of the nation's most complete retirement services providers. Whether considering a Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP or a SIMPLE IRA, GoldStar Trust Company specialists are trained and equipped to assist you in mapping the right retirement plan for your future.

Sterling Trust Company is a non-bank trust company chartered under the laws of the state of Texas and regulated by the Texas Department of Banking. Sterling Trust is a national leader in providing self-directed retirement administration and custodial services designed to maximize your ability to control and manage your account assets. From their corporate offices in Waco, Texas, Sterling Trust services individual and business retirement accounts in all 50 states.

*All IRA purchases must be placed over the phone. Call 386-446-3011.

NPMG provides you with the following items that are permitted in Precious Metals IRAs:

  • American Gold, Silver and Platinum Eagles (Uncirculated & Proof), and American Gold Buffalos
  • Austrian Gold and Silver Philharmonics
  • Canadian Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium Maple Leafs
  • Gold (.995+ fine) bars and rounds manufactured by a NYMEX or COMEX-approved refiner/assayer
  • Silver (.999+ fine) bars and rounds manufactured by a COMEX-approved refiner/assayer
  • Platinum (.9995+ fine) and Palladium (.9995+ fine) bars and rounds manufactured by a NYMEX-approved refiner/assayer

Putting your money into a precious metals IRA doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds. Depending upon your specific circumstances, you may:

Transfer An Existing IRA
This is something you can do at any time with your existing IRA, as long as the assets go from “custodian to custodian.” That is, in a direct transfer, the asset is transferred directly from one IRA custodian to another.

After completing the direct transfer; you simply begin receiving statements from your new IRA custodian. The distribution check from the old IRA must be made out in the name of the trustee or custodian of the IRA account that receives the rolled-over funds. Transfers may be made as often as you want. You can be assured that NPMG can explain the entire transfer process simply and easily.

Rollover An Existing IRA
A rollover occurs when you get the money from an existing IRA and then deposit it into another IRA. In this case, you would need to deposit the funds into a new IRA within 60 days. If the 60-day time period is exceeded, you would be liable for taxes and penalties.

You may roll over the same money once every 12 months, and it will preserve the tax-deferred status of your retirement savings.

Establish A New IRA
At NPMG, we have made it easier than ever to open a precious metals IRA account through our established working relations with www.sterlingtrustcompany.com or www.goldstartrust.com. Each of these companies offers the high-quality, reliable service we value for our customers.

 Establish, Transfer, or Rollover your precious metals IRA account today with either Sterling Trust Company or Gold Star Trust. Once you have done this, place an order with us—be sure to let us know your purchase is for an IRA account. We will send the invoice to your IRA company for payment and ship the precious metals to the IRA company's approved depository for safe keeping.

It is an easy 3 Step Process to open your precious metals IRA with Goldstar.
1. Establish your IRA - Account Opening Forms (Download and Review)
  The first step is to open the IRA using the application below. The Traditional IRA and Roth IRA Investment Kits contain the application, disclosures, and fee schedule.
2. Fund your IRA - Account Funding Forms
  Before you can direct your investments in the IRA, you need to fund the IRA. You might make a contribution, order a transfer from another IRA, send a direct rollover from a retirement plan, or roll over funds you received from another IRA or retirement plan. Such as an old 401K, 403B, etc. Call your NPMG Account Executive for assistance.
3. Manage Investments in your IRA
  Once you have money in your precious metals IRA, It is time for you and your account executive, or one of our Retirement Planning Specialist to fund your new IRA with the appropriate metals to fit your retirement needs. Goldstar will then be your custodian and have your metals in safekeeping until you decide to liquidate or to take personal possession after age 59 ½.
If you have any questions, call your NPMG account executive at 386-446-3011.
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IRA FAQ
   
Q. What is a Self-directed IRA?
A. A Self-directed IRA is exactly like any other IRA, with one major difference. You get to choose where your IRA funds will be invested, rather than just accepting whatever the IRA Trustee or Custodian offers. This gives you greater flexibility, because you can choose precious metals, stocks, bonds, CDs, mutual funds, government obligations and other investments.
Q. What are the Benefits of a Self-Directed IRA?
A.
  • Provides Increased Investment Flexibility for the Investor
  • Allows Consolidation of Diverse IRA Investments in a Single Account
  • Incorporates Safekeeping Storage of Precious Metals
Q. Can I combine other types of investments in the same IRA?
A. You may combine precious metals investments in the same IRA with other types of investments.
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Q. Am I limited to only precious metals in my IRA?
A. Absolutely not! Your IRA may contain precious metals, stocks, bonds, treasury securities, annuities and other investments.
Q. Can I buy gold and other metals in my Retirement Plan?
A. Yes! Contrary to what you may have heard or been told, the IRS places very few limits on what you may buy with your IRA retirement funds. It is your IRA custodian who has put those limits on your retirement account. A true self-directed custodian is the key. Truly self-directed IRAs allow you, the investor, to choose your investments. IRA investments are not limited by the IRS; they are limited by securities-based custodians.
Q. How can an investment in precious metals be made through an Individual Retirement Account?
A. An investor with a self-directed IRA may direct that some of the funds in the IRA be invested in precious metals. IRA investments may include any gold, silver and platinum coins and gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion which meet the refinement requirements of bullion traded through commodities contracts. An effective way to invest IRA funds in precious metals is to use a self-directed IRA custodian which is very familiar with the requirements of trading precious metals, storing them in custody, assigning values for IRS reporting purposes, and administering the paperwork and regulations. GoldStar Trust Company and Sterling Trust are two of the nationís leading trust organizations equipped to handle these unique requirements.
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Q. Can precious metals investment be made through the client’s current IRA?
A. Yes, provided the current trustee or custodian is willing to administer an investment in precious metals. However, many self-directed IRA custodians or trustees are affiliated with an investment provider such as an insurance company selling annuities or a mutual fund company, and are not equipped or willing to handle other types of investments. Others may have difficulty meeting the storage requirements for holding precious metals in an IRA. GoldStar Trust Company and Sterling Trust are willing and able to serve as custodian for self-directed IRA accounts for clients who wish to direct investment in precious metals.
 
Q. How much does a typical IRA investor invest in precious metals?
A. The current limit on annual contributions to an IRA is $5,000 ($6,000 for those age 50 or older) but IRA holders often have much more accumulated in their IRAs. Contributions over many years will be combined with earnings on investments, and many people have moved substantial sums from retirement plans into an IRA when leaving previous jobs. Investments of $10,000 to $20,000 are fairly common, with the amount invested in precious metals sometimes reaching $100,000 or more.
 
Q. What is the minimum investment for precious metals?
A. The investor should carefully consider the annual carrying costs of the IRA account when deciding whether to invest smaller amounts through an IRA or directly from after-tax dollars. Currently, the annual costs of a self-directed IRA at GoldStar Trust Company are typically $180 the first year and $140 per year through the life of the investment. The annual costs may be higher if the investor chooses to have his/her metals segregated at the depository or if the value of the investor’s metals exceeds $90,000. For a small investment, this represents excessive carrying costs. Therefore, we require that IRA investments in precious metals be a minimum of $5,000 so that relative carrying costs are reduced to approximately 3% per annum or less.
 
Q. What portion of an IRA is appropriate for investment in precious metals?
A. NPMG cannot provide tax or investment advice, but this is an important question which the client should consider and discuss with and tax and investment advisors. Factors to consider are the investor’s age and total assets, expected needs for liquidity in upcoming years, and investment philosophy. Precious metal investments can represent a stable foundation for safety and security. Also bear in mind that once an investor reaches age 70-1/2, a required minimum annual distribution will apply. Provision should be made to leave some liquidity in the account, or the mix of investments should be planned so that the necessary value can be segregated and withdrawn in kind.
   
Q. Are there any guidelines regarding allowable precious metals investments for an IRA?
A. An IRA may hold investments in certain specifically-permitted precious metals. Otherwise, coins and bullion are considered to be collectibles under the meaning of the Internal Revenue Code, and are disallowed for IRAs. The allowable exceptions were broadened by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, effective January 1, 1998. The specific precious metals permitted are: silver, gold and platinum American Eagle coins, a coin issued under the laws of any State, and gold, silver, platinum or palladium bullion that meets certain requirements. The requirements for bullion are that it be of a fineness equal to or exceeding the minimum fineness related to certain regulated futures contracts and that the bullion be in the physical possession of a trustee qualified to serve as an IRA trustee.
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Q.

What are the fineness requirements for bullion?

A. The minimum fineness for bullion is specified in the Code by reference to regulated futures markets and contracts. Generally, it appears that gold must be .9950 pure, silver must be .9990 pure, platinum must be .9995 pure and palladium must be .9995 pure. To be acceptable to IRA Trust Company, bullion bars must be fabricated by COMEX or NYMEX approved refiners. This is necessary for the bullion to be stored and recorded at the custodial facilities of our depository bank.
 
Q. Can bullion coins be held in the IRA?
A. Some coins may be considered bullion under the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. Several governments around the world issue coins of silver, gold, platinum, or palladium, with fineness generally ranging from .9000 to .9999. Although the industry generally presumes that at least those coins with the fineness required for bullion will qualify, their qualification as an IRA investment is uncertain, since the IRS has not yet issued guidelines. Contact your NPMG representative to determine whether a particular coin will be accepted for safekeeping.
 
Q. What types of precious metals are permitted within IRA?  
A.
  • American Gold, Silver and Platinum Eagles (Uncirculated & Proof), and American Gold Buffalos
  • Austrian Gold and Silver Philharmonics
  • Canadian Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium Maple Leafs
  • Gold (.995+ fine) bars and rounds manufactured by a NYMEX or COMEX-approved refiner/assayer
  • Silver (.999+ fine) bars and rounds manufactured by a COMEX-approved refiner/assayer
  • Platinum (.9995+ fine) and Palladium (.9995+ fine) bars and rounds manufactured by a NYMEX-approved refiner/assayer
 
Q. How does the client direct the investment in precious metals?
A. Each specific investment by a self-directed IRA requires written instructions of the account holder to your IRA Trust Company. The instructions will detail the investment to be made and NPMG to provide the precious metals. The form “Investment Direction by IRA Account Holder for Precious Metals” is available for this purpose. The account holder should provide investment directions directly to your IRA Trust Company as the IRA custodian. Your IRA Trust Company will then issue a purchase order to NPMG and complete the investment. Negotiation of the quantity, form, grade and price of the precious metals should be handled directly with your NPMG representative before preparing detailed investment directions.  
 
Q. Will the IRA Trust Company accept facsimile transmissions instead of original documents?
A. Generally, your IRA Trust Company will accept a facsimile transmission to commence a transaction. The IRA Trust Company always reserves the right to require fully executed, original, written instructions prior to any action. You may also send a partially completed Investment Direction to NPMG and provide final details later by fax.
 
Q. Can the dealer handle the Investment Directions for me?
A. Investment Directions must be in writing with approval signified by the account holder’s signature. If the investor desires, the Investment Direction can be signed and forwarded to NPMG for completion of details and forwarding to your IRA Trust Company.
 
Q. Where will the precious metals in my IRA be stored?
A. The precious metals held by IRA accounts at GoldStar Trust Company and Sterling Trust is stored in a specialized precious metals depository. The depository provides expert verification and handling of shipments into and out of the depository and provides for safekeeping while the metals are stored.
 
Q. What depository does GoldStar Trust Company and Sterling Trust use?
A. Precious metals IRA assets are deposited with the Delaware Depository Service Company (DDSC), which is an Exchange-approved, Delaware-based, limited liability company providing a full range of specialized precious metals custody, accounting and shipping services to financial institutions and industrial companies worldwide.
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Q. Are the precious metals for my IRA account separately identified and stored?
A. The investor has the choice as to whether his/her metals are separately identified and stored (segregated) or stored together with other IRA investors metals (commingled). An additional

storage fee is required to have the metals segregated (see the Fee Disclosure and/or the Precious Metals Depository Holdings Election Form). Commingled assets are considered “fungible” and are not individually identified. IRAs with commingled assets will be credited with the assets received for it by type of metal, type of coin or bullion, manufacturer of bullion, denomination of coins, and weight of item. For American Eagle products of the U. S. mint, the year of mint is recorded and coins are credited according to their appearance as bullion, as proof, or as proof without containers, certificates or packaging. Metal which is delivered for the IRA will be from the deposits of items with the same characteristics, but will probably not be the same coins or bullion which were originally received.
 
Q. How will the metals be physically stored?
A.

When metals are shipped to the depository, the shipment will be opened upon receipt, and the contents inspected before being deposited as follows:

Gold, Platinum, and Palladium coins and bars (excluding 100 oz Gold Bars, 50 oz Platinum Bars, and 100 oz Palladium Bars) are repackaged after verification and stored separately. This ensures that the client will receive the exact material as was deposited when the client decides to sell, exchange, or take an in-kind distribution (take personal possession of the material) of the metal.

Silver Coins and Bars (excluding 1000 oz Silver Bars) are commingled. While the client will not receive the same material as was deposited when the client decides to sell, exchange, or take an in-kind distribution (take personal possession of the material) of the metal, a coin of the same year will be provided. The following material will be commingled. However, by virtue of the fact that the following have serial numbers, the client will receive the same material as was deposited when the client decides to sell, exchange, or take an in-kind distribution (take personal possession of the material) of the metal.

  • 1000 oz Silver Bars
  • 100 oz Gold Bars
  • 50 oz Platinum Bars
  • 100 oz Palladium Bars
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Q. Can I transfer my precious metals to a storage facility I choose?
A. Your IRA Trust Company is responsible for custody of IRA assets and selects the facility used to deposit all precious metals held in IRA accounts. You may, of course, transfer the IRA assets in kind to a different trustee or custodian which currently uses a different depository. Your IRA  Trust Company will deliver the assets in accordance with the instructions of the successor trustee or custodian after payment of costs and fees due.
 
Q. Can I take custody of IRA assets?
A. No. All IRA assets must remain within the custody of a custodian or trustee of the IRA. You may take a distribution of assets in your IRA, which is a taxable event reported to the IRS. Unless you make a qualified rollover contribution of the assets into another plan, you will probably owe income taxes on the value of the distribution and are likely to be subject to a penalty for a premature distribution as well. As always, consult your investment and tax advisors regarding these matters prior to any action on your part.
 
Q. Can a person have more than one IRA?
A. There is no problem with having more than one IRA. However, the maximum deferred annual contribution, which is currently $4000 for an individual, is not applied to each IRA; it is the maximum total for the year.
 
Q. Can I transfer money from an existing IRA account to fund my precious metals IRA, without incurring any tax penalties?
A. If you have an existing IRA or 401K the easiest way to set up a new precious metal IRA is by Direct Roll – Over. You transfer the amount you want to spend into a new IRA and there are no tax penalties. Your IRA custodian knows exactly how to do this and they will facilitate the process.
 
Q. What types of IRA’S are eligible to rollover?
A. All IRA’s (Standard IRA, Roth IRA and SEP IRA) can have a direct roll-over. You can speak with your IRA custodian for details or any limitations.
 
Q. Can I open a new IRA with cash?
A. You can open a new IRA with cash. The tax benefits will only be on the first $4000. The advantage of putting in more than $4000 is that any gains are deferred until you actually make a withdrawal. The negative is that there are penalties for withdrawals before age 59 ½. We would suggest you discuss this issue with your IRA custodian.
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Q. Does NPMG have a minimum dollar amount for an IRA purchase?
A. Yes the minimum amount for an IRA purchase from NPMG is $5000. It is simply not financially beneficial for the customer on a dollar amount less than $5000 once you factor in yearly custodial fees.
 
Q. Who is eligible for a Traditional IRA?
A. Anyone who is under age 70½ and has earned income is eligible for a Traditional IRA
 
Q. How much can be contributed to a Traditional or Roth IRA?
A. For 2009, an individual may contribute up to 100% of compensation or $5,000, whichever is less. In addition, individuals that attain age 50 by December 31 may make a catch-up contribution of $1,000. Keep in mind that contributions made to both a Roth IRA and Traditional IRA may not exceed the annual maximum limit.
 
Q. Who is eligible for a Contributory Roth IRA?
A. Anyone who has earned income and falls within the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) limits is eligible for a Roth IRA. If you are single, your MAGI must be less than $110,000. If you are married, your MAGI must be less than $160,000.
 
Q. Who can establish a SEP IRA?
A. Any employer or self-employed individual may establish a SEP IRA.
 
Q. What are the eligibility requirements for employees to participate in a SEP IRA?
A. An employee is eligible if the employee has reached age 21, worked for the employer for at least 3 of the last 5 years, and has at least $500 in compensation from the employer.
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Q. How much can be contributed to a SEP IRA?
A. For 2009, contributions of up to 25% of each employee's compensation, or $49,000, may be made. The maximum compensation that may be considered for 2009 is $245,000.
 
Q. Can I contribute bullion or coins I already own into a Self-Directed IRA?
A. No, all contributions must be made in cash, except in the case of transfers and roll-overs.
 
Q. Why should I make a contribution if it is not tax deductible?
A. Non-deductible contributions grow tax free in a Roth IRA and tax deferred in a traditional IRA.  This tax favored treatment usually makes even a non-deductible contribution a smart move.
 
Q. My bank IRA is free why is there a fee for my Self-Directed IRA at GoldStar Trust or Sterling Trust?
A. A bank has its fee built into the interest rate it pays you. In addition a bank probably won’t allow you to invest in precious metals. Since GoldStar and Sterling Trust receives no commission from any of your investment actions, separate fees are necessary to cover the costs of maintaining your account.
 
Q. Does my employer have to be involved in the decision as to what I do with my 401(k)?
A. The employer establishes the plan for the benefit of the employees. The employer will have specific investment language incorporated in the plan that states what options are available to the employee.
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