FCA Regulation

The Financial Conduct Authority regulate pre-paid funeral plan providers and what to do if you have a pre-paid Funeral Plan.

About The New Regulation
Authorised Providers
Unauthorised Providers
Forbidden Providers
Financial Services Compensation Scheme – Make a claim
NAFD Advice For Consumers
New Regulation Benefits
Purchasing New Pre-Paid Funeral Plans
Useful Links

About The New FCA Regulation

As of the 29th July 2022, pre-paid funeral providers must have applied to the Financial Conduct Authority for permission to carry on selling and providing pre-paid funeral plans to consumers. Companies must have applied and gained authority by the 29th July 2022 otherwise they will have to stop trading and selling but may continue to administer pre-paid funeral plans until 31st October 2022, to which point their current plans have to be transferred over to another pre-paid plan provider that has been authorised. This is a huge step in the right direction for consumer protection.
Below you will find all the information you need to help you with existing/purchased pre-paid funeral plans, purchasing of new pre-paid funeral plans, what you need to do and planning for a funeral.

 

If you have a pre-paid funeral plan with any of the above pre-paid plan providers, you do not need to do anything as they have been authorised and approved to continue selling and carrying out funeral plans previously sold up until 29th July 2022 and going forward.

List of pre-paid funeral plan providers who must not carry out or sell funeral plans as of 29th July 2022 (the following companies did not apply for authorisation and have subsequently gone into administration or liquidation as a result of not conforming to FCA regulations or being granted a license to continue selling pre-payment plans or to carry out their existing plans:

 

Pre-paid funeral plan providers that can carry out any existing plans they have sold prior to 29th July 2022 and will be allowed to continue until 31st October 2022: (But are strictly forbidden not to sell any new plans).


Aura Life
Empathy
Maple Brook
Pride Planning
Rest Assured
SJP Lichfield
Wren & Fraser

Capital Life
Eternal Peace
One Life Funeral Planning
Prosperous Life
Silver Clouds (Later Life Planning)
Serene Funeral Planning Limited

 

These Pre-paid plan providers are not authorised by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and have up until the 31st October to transfer their plans to another provider who has been authorised.

If you have purchased a pre-paid funeral with one of the above pre-paid plan providers, you should contact them straight away if haven’t already been contacted. They will be able to give you an update on whether your plan will still be administered following a death. Whether the pre-paid funeral plan will or has already been transferred to another provider and which provider that will be.

At this point it is also important to check if you have specified a certain funeral director if they are transferring you to another provider, specify you would like the funeral director to remain the same which should automatically happen, regardless it is still best to check and confirm for peace of mind.

If the pre-paid plan provider will not transfer the pre-paid plan or cannot issue a refund you may have FSCS protection. Visit the Financial Services Compensation Scheme website for more information FSCS Funeral Plan Protection

Making a Claim

Check if you can claim here: FSCS Claim Form
This will determine if you are eligible to make a claim

They also have a list of helpful FAQ’s at the bottom of the page if you have any unanswered questions, they also have a further list of failed firms which differ from the ones mentioned above and these are mainly financial institutes or pension schemes.

Article written in February by The NAFD (National Association Of Funeral Directors) recommend consumers carry out the following:

Advice for consumers

The FCA said in the BBC interview that funeral plan companies will be contacting customers to explain about FCA regulation and what it means for them. We are clarifying this point. Some people may already have be contacted with a request to transfer their plan to another provider who is seeking authorisation.

However, for anyone who is concerned, the NAFD offers the following advice:

In the first instance, contact your plan provider and ask what steps they are taking in respect of your funeral plan ahead of regulation coming in, on 29 July.

If you wish to do your own research, you can also check if the planning company has applied for authorisation on the FCA website here.

If you do not get satisfactory answers from your plan provider, contact the Financial Conduct Authority here to find out what plans are being put in place to support affected consumers

Link To: NAFD Article

For more information visit Planning & Paying For Your Funeral This page is brought to you buy Money helper which is very informative and will give you a lot of information surrounding pre-paid funeral plans, insurance policy cover, not taking out a funeral plan, leaving money behind in your estate and leaving instructions in your will.

New Regulation Benefits

For decades pre-payment plan companies have been mis sold plans with no guarantee the provider will actually pay for the funeral when a loved one passes away or what the plan covers and companies fully guaranteeing costs when often this is not possible.

There has previously been protection to a certain degree by the FPA (Funeral Planning Authority) who have now ceased to exist as of 29th July 2022 now the FCA have taken over all regulation. The FPA were a voluntary regulator which upheld high standards of practice to a handful of pre-paid plan providers but not all. The FCA (Financial conduct Authority) are a government regulatory body who have the powers to dictate to the market what they expect to from companies, and they MUST abide by these rules and regulations. If you don’t align yourself or have authorisation, they have the ability to stop you trading and shut down your business, which in recent times has been fairly clear.

One of the many benefits from the FCA regulatory body is, consumers with a pre-payment plan with one of the authorised companies and purchasing a new plan now have protection from the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme).

The FCA have committed to regulating pre-paid funeral plans and it is welcomed to ensure consumers now receive:

the plan you’ve paid for and it meets your needs
your money is looked after and used responsibly
you get the information you need to make an informed decision
providers selling plans now have follow FCA rules.
Also, consumer protection safeguards the following is introduced and applied by all the authorised plan providers:
banning cold calling and setting new standards on advertising to ensure plans are sold fairly
banning commission payments to intermediaries, such as funeral directors, to ensure products represent fair value
carrying out full checks on the fitness to operate of those selling funeral plans, in order to improve governance standards and oversight
guaranteeing that funeral plans will always deliver a funeral unless the customer dies within 2 years of taking out the plan, in which case a full refund will be offered
guaranteeing that customers will receive a full refund if they cancel a plan within 30 days of purchase, or pay only a reasonable charge later on.

Purchasing New Pre-Paid Funeral Plans

If you are looking to secure and arrange a new pre- payment plan, make sure the company you take the plan with are registered and authorised by the FCA, this list of companies are at the top of this page. You can also check here.

Useful Links:

How To Claim Compensation If A Firm Fails
https://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/funeral-plans