Keeping Your Money Safe

Last Updated: 26th January 2022

Some plans are provided through insurance policies and others operate under a legal trust fund that is operated independently to the funeral plan company.

Article 60 of the ‘Regulated Activities Order’ stipulates that ‘the provider undertakes to secure that sums paid by the customer under the contract will be applied towards a contract of whole life insurance on the life of the customer (or other person for whom the funeral is to be provided), effected and carried out by an authorised person who has permission to effect and carry out such contracts of insurance, for the purpose of providing the funeral; or sums paid by the customers under the contract will be held on trust for the purpose of providing a funeral and that the following requirements will be met with respect to the trust:’

These legal requirements are:

  1. ‘The trust must be established by a written instrument.'

    This is the trust deed

  2. 'More than half the trustees must be unconnected with the provider.'

    It is the trustees job to administer the fund for the purposes specified.

  3. ‘The trustees must appoint an independent fund manager who is an authorised person who has permission to carry out an activity of the kind specified in article 37 of the RAO, and who is a person who is unconnected with the provider, to manage the assets of the trust.'

    A fund manager is an institution that manages the investment of money.

  4. ‘Annual accounts must be prepared and audited by a person who is eligible for appointment as a company auditor under Section 25 of the Companies Act 1989 with respect to the assets and liabilities of the trust.'

    Annual accounts record the financial records of the trust, an eligible company auditor is usually a firm of accountants.

  5. 'The assets and liabilities of the trust must, at least once every three years, be determined, calculated, and verified by an actuary who is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries or the Faculty of Actuaries.'

    The purpose of the actuary is to value the trust to identify that there is sufficient funds in the trust to pay for the funerals of all plan holders. In doing so the actuary will consider:

    • available funds to pay for the funerals of the plan holders if all plan holders died at the same time


    • available funds to cover the future liabilities of the costs of funerals based on the number of funerals expected each year and the expenses incurred administering the trust

    Simply put this would identity if the trust was in surplus or deficit. If Funeral Plan Market became aware that a funeral plan provider’s trust fund was in deficit the funeral plan provider would not be featured on our comparison or results tables.

How do I get my money Out?

Your money is held in a whole of life policy or trust fund and managed by the trustees until, on the death of the plan holder, it is paid back to the funeral plan provider to meet the costs of the contracted funeral. You do not receive a cash payment when you have a funeral plan, instead the funeral is arranged as per the terms of your plan. The funeral plan providers pays for the cost of the funeral pre-paid.

When you set up a pre-paid funeral plan you fix the cost of your funeral at the time of purchased and the funeral plan provider will cover the cost of your funeral, as per the terms of the plan, at the time of need – even if the cost is more than what you paid.

What if I want my money back before I die?

If your funeral plan is provided through an insurance policy and you cancel your policy you will not have to make any further payments however you may not get any of your money back and you will not have any cover in place for your funeral costs. If you choose a funeral plan provided through an insurance policy please check the terms and conditions carefully.

If you have paid for your funeral plan in full or are paying in instalments over a given term you can cancel your funeral plan within the cooling off period and receive a full refund of all monies paid; the cooling off period varies by provider. The majority of funeral providers allow you to cancel outside of the cooling off period and you will receive your money back less a cancellation fee. The cancellation fee varies by provider.

Is my money safe?

Yes. When you pay for your funeral plan the money is held in trust (or is some cases in a whole of life policy) your money is completely protected so even if the funeral plan provider or funeral director went out of business your money will still be safe and secure to pay for your funeral. When you purchase a pre-paid funeral plan from Plan with Grace your monies are held securely in the Plan with Grace Trust, the custodian trustee is Apex Group Ltd., is a global financial services provider. With over 40 offices worldwide and 3,000+ employees, Apex delivers a broad range of solutions to asset managers, capital markets and private clients. The Group has continually improved and evolved its service suite to cover three key pillars: fund solutions, financial solutions and corporate solutions. Apex administers over $650 billion in assets globally. Apex provides a range of trustee services to corporate and private clients through its legal entity, Apex Corporate Trustees (UK) Limited.

  • Managed by Saranac Partners, an independently owned and operated investment management business that has a London based team of over 50 experienced professionals. These investment professionals have a broad range of experience and expertise drawn from careers with a variety of preeminent financial institutions and family offices. Saranac specialise in managing unconstrained, high conviction portfolios for a variety of ultra-high net worth families and institutions. They focus on absolute returns across the cycle. Saranac Partners are based on St James’s Street in London and they are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • The trust accounts are produced and audited annually by Hays McIntyre, an award winning firm of chartred accountants that are a top 24 firm in the Accountancy Age's Top 50 + 50 2019 rankings and have 38 partners and over 300 staff.
  • The actuaries are David Downie a qualified Actuary with over 25 years of experience in Pensions Consultancy and Rowanmoor who perform an annual valuation to ensure there are sufficient assets to ultimately meet the future payments to funeral directors.

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