Royal Mint invites pensioners to save for retirement in solid gold

Starting from Wednesday, investors will be able to buy 100g and 1kg gold bars

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The Independent Online

The Royal Mint is to open its golden vaults for the first time to pensioners who wish to invest.

Starting from Wednesday, investors will be able to buy 100g and 1kg gold bars, or Signature Gold, as part of a service that allows customers to own a fractional amount of a 400oz gold bar, to be held as a pension scheme.

The bars will be stored in The Royal Mint's vault and are subject to a one per cent (plus VAT) storage charge, based on the daily market value.

The most expensive bar featured on the organisation’s website is currently priced at more than £28,000. That buys 1kg of gold.

The move follows the 2014 decision by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to add gold bullion to its list of "standard assets”. 

For HM Revenue & Customs (HRMC) to recognise the gold, it must be a minimum of 99.5 per cent pure. The Royal Mint's gold bullion exceeds this, at a purity of 999.9 per cent.

Chris Howard, director of bullion at The Royal Mint, said the organisation benefits from a reputation as a “trusted” bullion provider and manufacturer of coins on a global scale.

“The move to make The Royal Mint gold bullion available for holding within pension schemes opens us up to a whole new marketplace. This is a natural progression in The Royal Mint’s aim to provide the complete one-stop bullion solution,” Howard said.

People can buy the gold, to be held in a pension, by downloading an application form. Pension providers should contact the organisation's customer services team for more information.

Global gold demand rose at its fastest pace ever in 2016.

Demand for gold has spiked by 21 per cent from January to March this year, or 1,290 tonnes.

Concerns about the shifting global economy and uncertain financial landscape have created a positive environment and gold became a “safe haven” for investors, according to a recent report by the World Gold Council.

But Jason Hollands, managing director at Tilney Bestinvest, the independent financial advisers, said The Royal Mint’s move would be of “marginal interest” to pension investors.

“Most investors wanting exposure to gold will do so either through Exchange Traded Commodities (ETCs), which follow bullion prices and are backed up by physical reserves, or through the prism of gold mining stocks or funds specialising in gold equities. The latter are very high risk,” he told the Financial Times.