Category Archives: axa sun life over 50

axa sun life over 50

Insurance Funeral Plans SLAMMED by Daily Mail & Which?

The Daily Mail & Which? Slam Insurance Funeral Plans

“The insurance funeral plans that pay out LESS than you’ve saved”

goes the headline.   The implication of the article is that insurance funeral plans are poor value and you would be better off saving in a building society.

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

There is certainly an element of truth in that.   The problem is that if you save £10 a month for 2 years plus a day, and then die, you would have saved £240 with a few pence interest. That won’t even buy the casket!  If you had bought a “bad value” insurance based plan, you would have created a payout of around £2,000 which might pay for a basic funeral if you shop around.  Well, if your relatives shop around!

So insurance funeral plans are good value if you die early (but not too early, or there will just be a refund of premiums paid.)   However, if we use the example published in the Mail (page 47 on 16th May 2012) of buying the insurance at age 64 and dying 26 years later, you would have paid in around £3,12o.

What would you get back?  According to the article Axa Sun Life Over 50 plan would pay out less than half that amount!  Foresters, Aviva, Asda, Tesco, Legal and General, and Sainsburys are even worse.  Top payer would be CUNA Mutual followed by Shepherds Friendly and Engage Mutuals Funeral Plans.

When you bear in mind that your savings would have earned some interest too, the benefits of the life insurance element of insurance funeral plans have to be pretty high to make them good value.

Here at the PrePaid Funeral Review, we rarely recommend insurance based funeral plans except in very rare circumstance (and we’re not giving away trade secrets on the site!)

However, they do have a place.  They are just massively oversold and massively misunderstood – I would argue that their sales pitch is rather misleading because the public just don’t take the trouble to really understand what they are buying!  According to the Daily Mail, nearly half a million people bought these plans last year.   We reckon that more than half of then should have bought a proper prepaid Funeral Plan – and perhaps there are a million who still should still cut their losses and buy a full funeral plan.  Click the link to enquire!  But don’t expect anything back from the old insurance based plan.

Originally posted 2012-05-16 19:34:07.

Not long to live?

Not Long to Live?

If you have had a bad diagnosis and have not long to live, funeral plans suddenly come into sharp focus.

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

There are many options which you will discover through this site, but there are other options which we are reluctant to publish for fear they might be withdrawn. We do suggest that you contact us immediately if you or a friend or relative who has been diagnosed with a terminal condition.  Provided you have at least six months to leave, we may be able to help.

So if you or someone you know has not long to live, but doesn’t already have a proper prepaid funeral plan.  (As opposed to the Axa Sun Life Guaranteed Over 50 Plan sold by Michael Parkinson which just pays out a guaranteed fixed lump sum towards the cost of the funeral – unless the new ones are different.   With funeral inflation running at 8.7%, a fixed sum will soon be inadequate.)

There is nothing wrong with a level payout life insurance policy, it will make a useful contribution towards funeral costs, but it is NOT a prepaid funeral plan. If you do have one of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plans, we suggest you contact us to arrange a basic prepaid funeral plan, and let the Axa Plan cover the extras.

Contact us urgently and we may be able to save you lots of money if you don’t have too long to live.

Most people who know they don’t have too long to live like to get their affairs organised, and leave as few loose ends behind as possible.  Organising and paying for the funeral  can save all sorts of family problems.   For some reason funerals seem to be an occasion for families to fall out.   Every family member knows exactly what the deceased would have liked.  Trouble is they all disagree and families often split up over it.  Our recommend Probate service, The Probate Department Ltd, can confirm that.   They can also help you to simplify the transition  of your assets for your family.

Not long to live?  Call us on 03 300 102 301.


Originally posted 2012-03-16 17:17:35.

Which? warns against over 50 plans

Over 50 Plans. 

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

Whilst we wouldn’t agree with Which? if they imply that a cash ISA is better for pre-paying funeral plans, we certainly agree with them that over 50 plans aren’t ideal.  The problem with an ISA is that it is subject to Inheritance Tax and Probate, so it won’t be availble when it is needed to pay for the funeral.   But I don’t think that is what Which? is intending to say.  Here is their story:

  Over 50 plans* could leave pensioners thousands of pounds out of pocket, and the payout often falls well short of what they’d earn in a cash Isa, according to new research from Which?

The consumer champion found that on average, a 60-year-old man paying £15 a month into an over-50s plan for 30 years would earn a lump sum of just £2,980**. This compares to a cash Isa (4% AER) which would earn more than triple the amount over the same time (£10,313).

If a customer stops payments then they forfeit any payout or even the return of their premiums***. This means that they’re forced to keep paying money into the plan each month until they’re 90. For instance, a 60-year-old man with a monthly premium of £15 would pay a total of £5,400 by the time he reached 90. However, in some cases he could receive a payout of less than half that amount (£2,650). So the longer you live, the worse value over-50s plans become.

Even worse, if inflation was to follow the same patterns over the next 25 years as it has done over the past quarter of a century, by January 2037 the real value of a plan paying out £3,450 could be less than half this in today’s money.

Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith, says:

For most people, over-50s plans are incredibly bad value. They’re inflexible and, for the majority of customers, they will pay out far less than you have paid in. For those that are looking to leave their family a cash sum, our advice is to steer well clear of these plans, and to put your money into a cash Isa instead.”


*Over 50 plans are intended for anyone aged 50 to 85 who doesn’t have a life insurance policy or provision for a payout when they die. They tend to be aimed at people who are less wealthy, who often find it difficult to meet the monthly premiums. Customers pay a monthly premium from the age they take out the policy until they die, or until the age of 90. In return, their family receives a payout of a fixed amount (determined at the outset) when they die, provided that they’ve contributed to the plan for at least one or two years, depending on the provider.

One advantage of over 50 plans is that no medical questions are asked. This could make them worth considering for customers with a serious medical condition who cannot take out conventional life insurance.

**Quotes obtained in October 2011

Over 50 Plans

PROVIDER                                  LUMP SUM        4% CASH ISA OUTPERFORMS LUMP SUM BY YEAR
SHEPHERDS FRIENDLY        £3,450                        15
ENGAGE MUTUAL                    £3,366                         14
FAMILY INVESTMENT              £3,288                         14
RIAS                                            £3,281                          14
SAGA                                           £3,139                          14
SUN LIFE DIRECT (AXA)         £3,020                          13
TESCO                                        £2,942                          13
AA                                                 £2,940                         13
ASDA                                           £2,890                         13
LEGAL & GENERAL                 £2,879                         13
SAINSBURY’S                           £2,879                         13
SKIPTON BS                              £2,879                        13
LV=                                              £2,815                         13
STANDARD LIFE                     £2,815                          13
AVIVA                                          £2,712                          12
POST OFFICE                          £2,712                          12
NATIONWIDE BS                     £2,650                          12
average                                     £2,980                           13

***Based on providers’ terms and conditions and an online quote


Over 50 plans criticised by Which?

Originally posted 2011-12-14 13:16:14.

How to Find A Lost Funeral Plan

find lost insurance policy

How do I find a lost funeral insurance?

Finding a lost funeral plan after death is not straightforward. Much better to get the ducks in a row earlier, as actions you take after death just could invalidate an otherwise perfectly good plan. But if you are looking at this, it is could be too late.  There is a downloadable PDF version of this guide at the foot of the page on how to trace a funeral plan.. 

Instructing a funeral director yourself could invalidate plan benefits, so checking earlier is MUCH better. 

Typically, the aged parent has said that they have a plan, but no one has pinned them down as to what it was – or they just can’t remember. So where to find the funeral plan?

Here is what to do to find details of that elusive lost funeral plan, ideally in advance:

  1. If you have immediate access,  check through the paperwork for a funeral plan (or more likely for older people, an insurance policy).
  2. If immediately available, check bank statements for payments to funeral plan or insurance companies. For funeral plans, payment may have been in one go, many years ago.   For insurance policies, the older type pre-regulation policies may have been made paid up with a value, so payments could have stopped decades ago.   For the awful post-regulation policies often with no cash value, a policy may well be valueless if it is a non-profit whole of life, and a few missed payments mean everything is lost.  But still worth asking.
  3. To find funeral plans, the only central point to check is the Funeral Planning Authority, but not all funeral plan companies are members. However, you could cross-check against their members and the list of companies we review. They are the main port of call to find funeral plans which are “prepaid” – but they could still have been paid in instalments.
  4. Also at the same time, check for lost insurance policies (etc) on the Unclaimed Assets Register or ring 0333 000 0182 – you may even turn up some other assets! The biggest seller of Over 50’s Plans is Axa Sun Life on  0800 008 6060 though there are dozens of others as over 500,000 a year take out these insurances (why, we do not know:  See our review.) They will trace a plan if it is an insurance one.

How to avoid having a lost Funeral Plan:

    • Make sure your family knows about your plan, whether it be a proper prepaid plan or a life insurance policy, and how to claim on it as doing the wrong thing may invalidate it.
    • Ensure both you and your family fully understand what is paid for and what is not covered.  We never cease to be amazed by the number of people buying plans over the phone without seeing the full terms and conditions.
    • Always have the paperwork with other important documents in a designated folder that the family can find easily.
    • Never pay for a funeral plan in cash as there is less of a record of payment.

Funeral Plan Sales rise 12%

The Funeral Planning Authority has announced that prepaid funeral plan sales have risen to a total of 135,160 in the last year.   This is a big rise on the sales of 120,731 recorded in 2012. We suspect that in subsequent years the figures will be much higher as prepaying for your own funeral becomes a natural event to protect those left behind.

Funeral Plans becoming the norm.

In some countries, most funerals are organised via prepaid funeral plans, but the UK has been a bit slow off the mark.

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

There are now in excess of 860,000 prepaid funeral plans in existence a figure which is growing rapidly as more and more people take out funeral plans as they hit their 50s.  Last year just over 57,000 funerals where arranges for folk who had taken the wise precaution of taking out a prepayment funeral plan.  These figures don’t cover funeral plan firms which are not regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority, and there are major sales teams who are outside and thus not included in the figures.

As independent Funeral Plan advisers, we know that the plans differ wildly, and the best way to get a plan which is the most suitable for you is not to talk to lots of funeral plan salespeople  and try to read between the lines, it is to contact us.  We are INDEPENDENT and we are on your side.

Over 50’s “Funeral Plans” Sales boom, sadly!

Insurance linked “funeral plans” continue to vastly outsell proper funeral plans which actually do prepay funerals rather than just provide a lump sum of cash which has been eaten away by inflation.

Why?  Because people don’t understand the market.  Most over 50’s plans are insurance contract pure and simple, and they can be sold without advice as they don’t have a cash value.  In most cases, you could miss a payment or two as you ill, and the cover (and all the money paid in) has gone.

To quote Martin Lewis in The Telegraph:

He’s a lovely man, that Parky – just don’t listen to him when it comes to insurance. Michael Parkinson’s caring voice-over makes Axa Sun Life’s Over-50s Plan seem simple, yet for many it’s a seriously bad bet. You wouldn’t buy a lottery ticket if it cost more than the jackpot, but the two million people with these types of policies risk doing just that.

You may have gathered we think these plans should be very much a last resort, and they are certainly no substitute for a proper prepaid funeral plan, which is designed to prepay all or most of the funeral costs.  But do click on the link above if you are still tempted, and read more about Over 50’s plans.