Gold, Silver Buying Service Newest Voluntary Benefit
Since 2008, Mass Metal in Lawrence, Kan., has helped individuals buy, hold and sell gold and silver through its online service, SilverSaver. Now the company is offering SilverSaver as a voluntary benefit program.
Josh McCleary, Mass Metal’s chief operating officer, says that the SilverSaver benefit program is the only service that enables participants to automatically save in precious metals through the convenience and safety of payroll deduction. It was developed in response to customer demand for an easier way to buy silver and gold as a hedge against what they see as loose money policies by central banks.
It took a year to build the back-end system to support the voluntary benefit program, which was launched earlier this summer. Todd Fletcher, the company’s voluntary benefit specialist, reports that several employers have contracted for the service, though none have gone live with it yet.
“Employers are extremely excited about being able help their employees do something that typically upper management has been able to do for itself,” Fletcher says. “They can take this down to hourly employees.”
For sponsors, there is no cost to offer the benefit program and little administration required, says McCleary. Employers complete a simple online signup process, and employees use a single form to choose how much physical silver or gold to save. The metal is housed in a secure facility, or employees can arrange to have it shipped to them. Employees pay transaction fees on purchases, though the cost is less than Mass Metals charges individual clients.
To address employer concerns about fiduciary liability associated with the purchasing service, Fletcher says that the forms that employees sign include disclaimers releasing the sponsor from any responsibility.
“Employees must understand that all markets have volatility, and they should understand that if they are saving in gold and silver, they should be looking at a minimum of a three-to-five-year period,” he comments. However, he also notes that if SilverSaver account holders have a financial emergency, they can sell their metal back to the company at no extra charge. “It works like regular savings account at this point,” he says.
“Our goal has always been to get physical precious metals into the hands of everyone,” says Jeremy Brakenhoff, president and CEO of Mass Metal. “Creating the ability for companies to offer SilverSaver through payroll deduction makes accomplishing it that much easier.”