How safe is my funeral plan money?
Many people who consider purchasing a prepaid funeral plan have concerns about whether their money will be safe.
The law exempts some prepaid funeral plan providers from regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In order for funeral plan providers to satisfy the exemption rules (“exclusion criteria”), they must hold funeral plan monies either in a trust fund or a whole-of-life insurance policy. What this means for you is that the money paid into a funeral plan is ring-fenced.
In 2002 the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) set up as the self-regulatory body for the UK funeral planning industry to offer consumer protection beyond the basic investment rules. The FPA’s role ensures:
- “The exclusion criteria” is satisfied so that when the time comes the client’s funeral is provided in accordance with the plan purchased.
- Funeral plan providers must have their funds valued by an actuary each year. (Non FPA-registered plan providers only have to have their funds valued every three years).
- Registered providers co-operate in the delivery of the FPA’s Pledge to Customers in the unlikely event that a funeral plan company becomes bankrupt.
- Registered funeral plan providers maintain high standards of professional conduct.
- Monitoring registered providers’ compliance with the FPA’s Rules and Code of Practice is carried out by an independent Compliance Committee,
You should be aware that exclusion from regulation by the FCA means funeral plan providers are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), nor can a complaint be made against them to the Financial Ombudsman. The FPA operates a complaints resolution service.
Did you know?
Not all funeral plan companies are registered with the FPA. In such cases it is advisable to check what protection schemes and complaints procedures are in place should something go wrong. About the Funeral shows you which plan providers are registered with the FPA.