There are so many funeral plan providers in the UK that it can be difficult to know which is best for your business. To help you to choose a funeral plan provider that can offer the level of support you require, here is more information on how we operate.
Funeral pre-payments are usually held in one of two types of investment vehicle: trust funds or whole of life assurance policies.
Although trust funds are governed by trust law and have independent trustees, they are not necessarily as secure as insurance company life assurance funds for investing funeral planholders’ premiums. The latter are subject to strict rules and regulations in terms of governance and financial reporting. There is also a requirement to hold additional solvency margins over and above the policyholder reserves. Trust funds have no such requirements.
Our funds are held securely in whole of life assurance policies provided by Royal London. As the UK’s largest mutual life, pensions and investment company1, Royal London is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). Royal London is also regulated and monitored for solvency by the PRA and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Funeral plans themselves are not regulated by the PRA or FCA but we, as the provider, are registered with the Funeral Planning Authority.
For added peace of mind, funds are ring-fenced to pay for your customer's funeral at the time of need and cannot be used for any other purpose.
By holding pre-payment funds in guaranteed whole of life assurance policies, we can provide a guarantee of the funeral pre-payment amount plus the prospect of a financial return for the funeral director that outstrips inflation, although this cannot be guaranteed. 100% of any plan growth is paid to you.
Ecclesiastical Planning Services supports Royal London’s funeral plan proposition which generates high-quality business for firms that choose to participate. For each plan that we allocate, we ensure the funeral director receives all of the information required and remain the contact point at all times.
Our focus is to support funeral directors in developing their own pre-payment business and this relationship with Royal London enhances our funeral plan proposition, giving funeral directors another reason to work with us.
We do not employ sales teams to sell funeral plans direct to customers. Nearly all of our plans are sold through funeral directors that arrange pre-payment plans for their customers, and a small number are arranged by advisers who are professionally qualified or hold a membership with the Later Life Academy. The Later Life Academy provides education and guidance to professional advisers specialising in later life planning.
If you wish to guarantee to cover all increases in the cost of disbursements, you may do so. You will need to cover any shortfall, if this scenario arises, and ensure financial provision is in place.
Any money paid will be held in the plan and used as a contribution towards the funeral at the time of need. Alternatively, your customer can cancel the plan and receive a refund of monies paid minus the initial management fee.
1. Royal London website www.royallondon.com/about/whoweare as at 30 June 2018.