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Last Updated March 21, 2009



For purposes of retirement plan investments, a collectible is defined as follows:

  1. any work of art,
  2. any rug or antique
  3. any metal or gem,
  4. any stamp or coin,
  5. any alcoholic beverage, or
  6. any other tangible personal property specified by the Secretary for purposes of this subsection

A retirement plan  can invest in one, one-half, one-quarter, or one-tenth ounce U.S. gold coins, or one-ounce silver coins minted by the Treasury Department. It can also invest in certain platinum coins and certain gold, silver, palladium, and platinum bullion.


Referring Cite

IRC § 408(m) , IRS Publication 590


Additional Helpful Information

Generally, any amount invested in a collectible is treated as a distribution from the plan for the year of  the investment. The 10% early distribution penalty may apply to the amount.