The Role of the Funeral Planning Authority
The Funerals Planning Authority is a voluntary regulator which regulates some providers of pre-paid arrangements. It also provides an independent complaints mechanism in the event of disputes, for the protection of consumers. We have not been great fans in the past. We have accused the so-called authority of being little more than a gentleman’s club for established plan firms. That said, we understand it has starting to deal more robustly with its members.
Sadly, they are not to be given statutory back up and the ill informed, expensive and incompetent Financial Conduct Authority is to regulate funeral plans from 2022. MORE HERE
Past experience indicates that the FCA believe all consumers are morons and should be protected from planning ahead on the basis that they might make a bad decision. Or at least, a decision which proves to be bad after the FCA have meddled in things they don’t understand and caused a problem, which they then expect the industry to compensate for.
The FCA have an unfortunate history of stopping consumers getting any sort of advice, unless they are wealthy enough to not really need it. Virtually all of the financial advisers who used to help the less than wealthy to get pensions, save or protect their families have gone since Regulation came in.
Sadly, we expect that costs for funeral plans will rise (the expectation is 8% on top of normal inflation) and most sales people will be put out of business – and not just the bad ones.
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We still don’t think it has the courage to tackle some serious fundamental issues, but time will tell. The public should understand that by no stretch of the imagination is it what most people would understand to be a Government Regulator. It regulates its’ members only with their consent with no real teeth to protect consumers. We are encouraged but don’t feel that FPA membership bestows a great deal of benefit when considering which plan is right for you. But they are a good thing, not a bad one, and we would have no problem if membership was made compulsory.
All UK plan providers should have proper financial safeguards in place or they are in breach of the Law. All clients have recourse to Trading Standards, so the extra help provide by the FPA is limited. It certainly doesn’t offer any additional financial guarantee to the public.
Here is the FPAs view:
Funeral Planning Authority
The “Authority’s” role goes somewhat further than the basic regulation and aims to ensure that.
- Registered Providers regulated by the FPA maintain high standards of professional conduct.
- The money paid by customers to Registered Providers for a funeral is safeguarded. Therefore when the time comes, their funeral is provided in accordance with that plan.
- Registered Providers co-operate in the delivery of the Funerals Planning Authority’s Pledge to Customers.
The Funerals Planning Authority does this by.
- Checking that Registered Providers are fit and proper persons.
- Monitoring members via a totally independent Compliance Committee, Registered Providers’ compliance with the exclusion criteria in the Regulated Activities Order and also with the Funeral Planning Authority’s Rules.
- Setting standards of professional conduct for Registered Providers, their staff, agents and representatives. See code of conduct.
- Ensuring either.
- That funds are protected by being held in trust, are regularly audited, regularly reviewed by an actuary. Are only invested by independent fund managers authorised under the Financial Services & Markets Act 2000. OR
- That funds are applied towards a contract of whole life insurance on the life of the customer.
- Providing arrangements for resolving disputes between Registered Providers and their customers.
- Pledge to Customers. In the unlikely event of a Registered Provider becomes insolvent. The other Registered Providers will work together to examine ways in which the Planning Authority might assist customers of the insolvent Registered Provider.
The Funeral Planning Authority – Resolving Complaints.
By its Rules, the Planning Authority has introduced a dispute resolution service. It is there to resolve any complaint or dispute which arises between a Registered Provider and a customer, another Registered Provider or a third party. Further information is provided in the Complaints section.
To enquire about plans to the prepaid funeral review, please use this form.
FPA Registered Funeral Plan Providers as at August 2014
The following Providers of Pre-Paid funeral plans are Registered by the Planning Authority:-
Advance Planning Limited
4 King Edwards Court
King Edwards Square
Advance Planning Limited offers the Age UK Guaranteed Funeral Plan to customers and also manages the Age Concern Plan.
BFD Prepaid Funeral Plan
The BFD Prepaid Funeral Plan to customers in Bristol and surrounding areas, through family owned independent directors. Plans can be arranged to suit individual requirements and funds are held in a Trust, the Trustees of which are a major firm of Bristol solicitors.
Chelmsford Star Cooperative Society Limited
78 Broomfield Road
Chelmsford Star Cooperative Society Ltd offers the Chelmsford Star Cooperative Society Plan to its customers.
Clydebank Co-operative Society Limited
11 Hume Street,
Clydebank Co-operative is an independent regional retail Society offering the Co-operative Bond throughout the Clydebank and Greater Glasgow areas and is a member of the National Association of the Funeral Directors, the Planning Authority and the Co-operative Funeral Service Association. All services are provided on a 24 hour basis.
Dignity Pre Arrangement Limited
4 King Edwards Court
King Edwards Square
Dignity Pre Arrangement Limited is a national plan provider and offers the Dignity, Royal London, Age Concern plans, as well as the Funeral Assistance Plan and the Guaranteed Funeral Plan, to its customers throughout the UK.
East of England Co-operative Society Ltd
We are an independent Co-operative Society, and are proud to be owned by hundreds of thousands of Members from across Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk. Choosing a plan is flexible and straightforward with our comprehensive range of plans and tailor-made options. Whichever plan you chose you can spread the cost over a period of time that’s convenient for your budget. All plan payments are deposited with Royal London Group.
Family Funerals Trust Limited
Family Funerals Trust Limited offers Pre-payment and Pre-arrangement Plans to its customers.
Funeral Planning Services Limited
Funeral Planning Services Ltd was established in 1995 and provides a range of pre-payment plans for clients of any age and state of health, in conjunction with independent directors throughout the UK. Payments are held in Funeral Planning Trust, with Capita Trust Company Ltd as Custodian Trustee.
Golden Charter Limited
10 Canniesburn Drive
More than 350,000 people in the UK have planned their ceremonies with Golden Charter, an independent company which is owned by approximately 900 directors who are members of the SAIFCharter Association. Golden Charter provides a truly nationwide service, with over 2,900 independent directors accepting their plans.
Golden Leaves Limited
299-305 Whitehorse Road
Golden Leaves has been at the forefront of Pre-paid Funeral Planning since 1984 when plans first became available in the UK. Golden Leaves is available throughout the UK. Plans (outside the regulation of the FPA) are also available in Spain, Portugal & Cyprus, provided locally by reputable Directors , IFA’s and authorised representatives
Heart of England Co-operative Society Limited
22 Abbey Street
Heart of England Co-operative Society Limited offers the Heart of England Cooperative Society Pre-paid Funeral Plan to its customers.
Midlands Cooperative Society Limited
Midlands Cooperative Society Limited offers the Midlands Cooperative Funeral Bond to its customers.
NAFD Services Limited
Perfect Choice Funeral Plans are provided throughout the UK by funeral directors who are members of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD). NAFD is an independent organisation that strives for the very highest standards in funeral service. Please contact us for more information.
Reynolds Funeral Service
27-31 High Street
Reynolds Funeral Service does not offer new funeral plans but remains registered in respect of existing plans
Tamworth Co-operative Society Ltd
The Co-operative Funeralcare
Funeral Plan Service Centre
2nd Floor, Hanover Building
The Co-operative Funeralcare, as the UK’s leading Funeral Director, offers the Co-operative Funeralcare Funeral Plan to customers throughout the UK which is available to purchase through different channels, including their own nationwide funeral home network, Co-operative Insurance Services Agents, regional building societies as well as directly, by telephone, post or by email.
The Midcounties Co-operative Ltd
Technology Park Warwick
The Midcounties Co-operative is the second largest member owned independent co-operative in the U.K. It provides locally owned and managed services to a large region that broadly runs from Walsall and Woverhampton in the west to High Wycombe and Aylesbury in the east, Gloucester, Cheltenham and Swindon in the south and Litchfield in the north. It has over 80 funeralcare homes in its region.