Ready to plan for your future retirement by trading futures? If so, you’ll need to start by upgrading your trading level to IRA The Works–our highest trading level for an IRA. By default, our Basic trading level is set to all IRA accounts. If you haven’t upgraded to IRA The Works, then you’ll need to do that first. Upgrading to IRA The Works will allow you to sell naked calls in your IRA, as well as allow you to apply for futures trading. Once futures trading is enabled, your IRA can trade outright futures contracts as well as options on futures. However, if you already have IRA The Works on your IRA, then you’re halfway there! All you need to do is enable futures. The illustrated instructions at the bottom of this page go over the entire process.


Are you not sure what level your IRA has? You can check by looking at your investor profile, or click here.


Sections


What are the Margin Requirements to trade futures in an IRA?

  • Outright Futures Contract: 125% of the overnight requirement
  • Options on Futures
    • Long options on futures: Debit paid
    • Short options on futures: 2X CME Span Margin Requirement
    • Long/short options on futures spreads:  2X CME Span Margin Requirement
  • IRA accounts that hold an outright futures contract, as well as any options futures position in the same root symbol will result in 2X CME’s SPAN Margining.


To view a list of available futures contracts, as well as overnight requirement amounts, please click here.

To learn more about CME's SPAN Margining System, please click here.


IRA accounts are subject to equity maintenance (EM) margin calls if the futures margin requirement causes your securities account to drop below $25,000 that are flagged as Pattern Day Traders (PDT).


To learn more about the separation of your futures and securities account, please click here.

To learn more about EM calls and PDT rules, please click here.



What are the Eligibility Requirements to trade futures in an IRA?

  • You must be eligible* for IRA The Works before applying for future trading. To learn how to upgrade your IRA trading level, please refer to the Instructions to Enable IRA The Works & Futures Trading next section below.
  • To trade standard (and micro) futures contracts: Net Liq must be $25,000 or greater.
  • To trade micro e-mini futures contracts only: Net Liq must be $5,000 or greater.

*Eligibility for "IRA The Works" is dependent upon your suitability (Trading Objective, Trading Knowledge, and Financial Standing). Your investor profile determines your suitability.



How do I enable futures trading in an IRA?

To enable futures trading in your IRA, you'll need our highest IRA trading level, IRA The Works. Below are step-by-step instructions on how to upgrade your IRA trading level as well as how to enable futures trading. However, if you already have IRA The Works, then please proceed to the Instructions to Enable Futures (IRA already has IRA The Works) section below.


Instructions to Enable IRA The Works & Futures Trading

Start by logging in to your account at tastyworks.com, or click here.



Instructions to Enable Futures (IRA already has IRA The Works)

Start by logging in to your account at tastyworks.com, or click here.