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Funeral Plan Regulation

Funeral plan regulation

At Golden Charter we’re proud to have supported almost 900,000 people* make funeral provisions over the last 30 years. Our customers have the security and peace of mind of working with a trusted, reputable funeral plan provider.  

Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) regulation of the pre-paid funeral plan market will bring additional protections, and ensure all funeral plan customers in the market can have confidence in their provider. 

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What is regulation?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is introducing a number of new rules which come into force on 29 July 2022.  These will ensure high standards and provide further protection for customers. They’ll require all businesses operating in the market to make sure plans are sold fairly, provide value for money, and deliver the expected product benefits. 

FCA regulation aligns closely with many of the customer-focused principles we already have in place at Golden Charter.  We’ve been preparing for regulation for some time and we’re confident the changes will be a positive step forward for the market.

Our FCA status

We’re pleased to share that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed its intention to authorise Golden Charter to continue offering and administering funeral plans from 29 July – the day it takes on supervision of the funeral planning sector. All funeral plan providers will be required to obtain FCA authorisation to continue selling plans after this date. The full list of companies currently achieving this status can be found on the FCA website.

Find out more here.

Ensuring our funeral plan customers are protected

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The FCA has included Golden Charter in the list of providers it is minded to authorise on 29 July. The minded to authorise status is based on the information firms have provided to date. It is subject to there being no material changes to the companies including, and not limited to, their adherence to the threshold conditions from 29 July 2022 onwards. No funeral plan providers can be authorised before that date.

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Our plan holders' funds are held securely in the Golden Charter Trust*, and ring-fenced for future funerals to provide additional protection. The Golden Charter Trust is one of the largest and most transparent trusts in the sector.

The most recent full valuation of the Trust confirms that the assets were over 100% of the funds required to meet the projected future funeral costs covered by the plans in the Trust. Full details of funds held and how they are managed are available here.

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Our plan holders can be reassured that their funds are safe. Depending on how you choose to pay for your plan, your funds are either held in the Golden Charter Trust or paid into a life assurance policy. 

We hope this provides reassurance your funeral plan and the money you have paid towards it are safe with us. Over the past 30 years, we’ve already delivered over 300,000 funerals for our customers.

Further reassurance

Each year we publish important information about the Golden Charter Trust and its performance as part of our Annual Review. The FCA is now making publishing this information a requirement for all pre-paid planning companies who offer trust backed plans and we are pleased to be the first company to publish this new report.

The FCA will require each plan provider to hold the assets in its trust and to prove that these are sufficient to pay for the plan at the expected time of the funeral. In addition, that the plan values are increased to provide a level of inflationary protection. The report shows that at the latest valuation, the Golden Charter Trust held assets totalling 121% of the future liabilities.

A second scenario is also considered. If every plan holder cancelled their plans today would there be enough assets available in the Trust to meet the total sums due*? On that basis at the most recent valuation the Trust held 120% of the sum needed.

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns you’d like to discuss, please call us on 0800 833 800.