Ready to plan for your future retirement by trading futures? If so, you’ll need to start by enabling IRA The Works–our highest trading level for IRA accounts. 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 enable you to sell naked calls in your IRA, as well as allow you to apply for futures trading. Once futures are 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 account, 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; please refer to the sections below.

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


Margin Requirements

  • 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.

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be eligible* for "IRA The Works."
  • Start of Day Net Liq must be $25,000 or greater to trade futures.

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

Instructions to Enable IRA The Works & Futures Trading

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

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

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