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Pre-paid funeral plan market now regulated

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

Much has been written about and discussed in the media about pre-paid funeral plans over the past few years and, while planning ahead for your funeral is a thoughtful and caring thing to do, many people have been put off by these stories.

Here at Tester & Jones Funeral Services we welcome the fact that, from 29 July 2022, the pre-paid funeral plan market is now regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and that our preferred provider – Ecclesiastical Planning Services Limited – is one of the 26 providers which the FCA has authorised.

Regulation of the sector will bring higher standards and boost consumer protection; the new rules include:

  • A ban on cold calling.

  • A ban on commission payments to intermediaries.

  • A requirement for a funeral plan to deliver a funeral unless the customer dies within two years of taking out the plan, in which case a full refund will be offered.

Customers of authorised providers will now have access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so their money is protected if their provider fails.  Consumers can also make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), even if the issue they are complaining about happened before July 2022 if the firm was registered with the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) at the time the issue occurred.

Emily Shepperd, Executive Director of Authorisations at the FCA, said: “We have worked tirelessly to assess funeral plan providers, under our robust authorisation process. With our new rules in place, consumers will be better protected, when they need it the most.”

The plans we offer at Tester & Jones (through Ecclesiastical Planning Services) cover our costs (as specified in the plan paperwork) as long as we carry out the funeral and your requirements don’t change. You can also make a contribution towards third party costs, such as the cremation fees. These costs are outside of our control.

At this time in your life, planning your own funeral may be the last thing on your mind, but choosing the funeral you want and making provision in advance makes sound practical and financial sense.

On the practical side, you can choose the type of funeral you want, including any special wishes such as music and readings. This can provide real comfort to your family at a difficult time. You can plan your funeral in as much or as little detail as you’d like.

You can download our funeral plans brochure here.

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