Leading funeral plan providers working together to find a solution for Safe Hands’ plan holders following the appointment of an administrator.
Last year, legislation was passed to move the regulation of the sale and administration of funeral plans into the remit of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The FCA will require providers to demonstrate solvency where funding of funerals is based on a dedicated trust. This is to ensure a customer can be confident their funeral will be funded whenever it is needed by guaranteeing that funeral plans will always deliver a funeral (unless the plan is paid for by instalments and the customer dies within two years of taking out the plan, in which case a full refund will be offered).
Safe Hands had submitted an application for authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) but subsequently withdrew their application and have now appointed an administrator.
Pure Cremation, one of the UK’s leading providers of funeral plans, is working with other major plan providers and the FCA to assess what can be done to ensure that customers of Safe Hands are looked after following today’s announcement about its financial position.
Paul Thilo, MD of Planning Ahead at Pure Cremation, said “Firstly I must reassure all Pure Cremation customers that their funeral plans are well funded and comfortably exceed the FCA’s need solvency requirements for Funeral plans. The Pure Cremation Trust is managed by independent Board of Trustees to safeguard customers’ interest so their funeral will be provided whenever needed.”
“Safe Hands funeral plans represent around 3% percent of all UK funeral plan customers, we recognise that every one of those customers will be concerned about the future of their arrangements. Pure Cremation’s success has been rooted in a responsible and caring approach to its own customers, and we will explore how that can be extended to others.”
Pure Cremation sales represented 30% of all plans sold in the UK in 2021and the firm is determined to continue working with the FCA to implement everything that is required to secure authorisation.
This work includes investing more than £1m in the people, structures and processes that an authorised plan provider will require, in addition to demonstrating how Pure Cremation applies its founding values to safeguard its plan holders’ funds and to guarantee that there is nothing more to pay at the time of need.
Paul continued: “The FCA has created a framework designed to ensure people can have every confidence buying a funeral plan in the future and is something that we fully support.”
The Pure Cremation Funeral Planning Trust’s position is monitored monthly and then independently assessed annually. A report will be issued in the coming weeks showing that the Pure Cremation Funeral Planning Trust comfortably meets the FCA solvency threshold, thanks to good governance and expert fund management. The report will be sent out to plan holders and be available on its website.