Royal Mint offers gold bullion pensions investment
Pension investors will now be able to hold gold bullion from the Royal Mint as part of their scheme.
Through its bullion trading website, the Royal Mint said it will now offer people and pension scheme providers access to buy and manage gold held within a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) or a small self-administered scheme (SSAS).
Investors will be offered a choice of bullion to hold in their collection, ranging from Royal Mint Refinery 100g and 1kg bars, to a service called Signature Gold that allows customers to purchase and own a fractional amount of a 400oz gold bar.
Once bought, the gold is stored in the Royal Mint's highly-secure on-site bullion vault storage facility.
The Royal Mint launched its bullion trading website, www.royalmintbullion.com in 2014, enabling customers to buy, store and sell bullion coins at constantly updated prices directly from the Mint, whose history stretches back 1,000 years.
The Mint said its latest move follows a decision by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in 2014 to add physical gold bullion to its list of standard assets, meaning that financial advisers can now assist clients wanting to include physical gold in their pension planning through regulated pension schemes.
Director of bullion at the Royal Mint, Chris Howard, said: "The Royal Mint benefits from a centuries-old reputation as a trusted bullion provider and manufacturer of coins on a global scale.
"The move to make Royal Mint gold bullion available for holding within pension schemes opens us up to a whole new marketplace."
The fee per annum for storing the gold in the vault is 1% plus VAT for Royal Mint Refinery gold bullion bars, based on the average daily market value of total gold being stored there. The storage fee for the Signature Gold service is 0.5% plus VAT, also based on the average daily market value of the gold being held in the vault.
People can access Royal Mint gold to hold in a pension by downloading an application form, while pension providers should contact the Mint's customer services team for more information.
Danny Cox, a chartered financial planner at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: " Investors need to understand investing in gold is by no means a one-way bet. Gold is notoriously difficult to value, subject to seasonal demand, and unlike shares and bonds, it provides no income for investors. Price movements can be fickle and unpredictable.
"It can, however, be used as a hedge against calamity, but we have seen wider supply and demand considerations put pressure on the gold price up then down in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
"Given an improving economic outlook and the prospects of interest rate rises in the US and UK getting closer, it is hard to see how gold gains many more followers from here, unless economies and central bank policies should go into reverse.
"It can be used as a hedge against the prospect of this happening, but should make up no more than about 5% of a typical investor's portfolio."