Regulating the funeral plans sector

On 29 July 2022, we started regulating pre-paid funeral plans. Any provider and directly authorised intermediary wishing to sell these plans must be authorised to do so.

On this page:

Our aim for regulation

Our aim is to achieve good outcomes for consumers. We want to make sure that the products offered by firms: 

  • meet consumer needs 
  • offer fair value 

We also want to make sure that firms look after consumers' money and use it to deliver funeral services.

Who we regulate

Our regulation extends to:

  • providers: firms that enter into and administer funeral plan contracts (including those sold before FCA regulation)
  • intermediaries: firms that sell funeral plans to customers on behalf of providers (this may include, for example, funeral directors, will writers and lead generators)

If you undertake any of these activities, you must be directly authorised or be an appointed representative (AR) of a principal firm (funeral plans provider). Continuing to sell pre-paid funeral plans without appropriate authorisation (unless you’re an exempt person, such as a solicitor) is a criminal offence.  

What to consider

Read our Policy Statements

We've published rules that funeral plan firms must comply with.

  • Policy Statement 1 sets out our rules and what we expect from firms.
  • Policy Statement 2 sets out rules on the resolution of regulated funeral plans and Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection, and our requirements for the structure of trust and insurance arrangements.

There's also information on requirements around funeral plan transfers in Chapter 3 of CP22/10

All our rules are also set out in our Handbook.

Firms that are already FCA regulated 

If you’re already regulated by us and wish to conduct activities in relation to pre-paid funeral plans, you may need to submit a variation of permission application.  

You may need to add one or more new regulated activities to your existing permissions or add the investment type ‘funeral plan contract’ to the scope of your existing permissions. 

Find out more about applying for variation of permission and the fee you will need to pay. The fee will be based on the standard fee for funeral plan firms.  

If you’re an FCA authorised firm, you will pay 50% of the appropriate direct authorisation application fee. 

Please see our web pages on providers and intermediaries for more information on these fees.  

Principal firms with existing ARs looking to sell funeral plans

From 4 August 2022, if you’re a principal firm and one of your existing ARs begins selling funeral plans, you'll need to notify us. You must submit the relevant notification using the form in SUP 12 Annex 4R.

Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR)

The SM&CR applies to all directly authorised funeral plan firms. The regime is a set of rules and guidance that sets standards relating to professionalism, conduct and governance, and holds senior members of a firm to account.  

You must follow the requirements of the SM&CR, but there aren’t specific qualifications for individuals working at funeral plan firms.  

To find out how the SM&CR applies to funeral plan providers and intermediaries, read Chapter 7 of our Policy Statement. You can also find more information in Chapter 8 of CP21/4.

More information on the authorisation process

Read more on our authorisation and supervision processes (please note, this isn’t specific to the funeral plans sector):

Consumer contracts and advertising

All firms need to make sure that their contracts with consumers are fair and their advertising is clear, fair and not misleading. This applies to all firms and isn’t linked to our regulation. 

It's your responsibility to make sure that:

  • your terms are written clearly and are not unfair under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 
  • you follow the Committee of Advertising Practice’s Advertising Codes, which are administered by the Advertising Standards Authority
  • you don’t engage in commercial practices that may be regarded as unfair under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008

Find out more about unfair contract terms and what you need to consider.

Page updates

29/07/2022: Information changed Updates to page following regulation on 29 July.
05/11/2021: Information added Policy statement added to page.
01/11/2021: Information added Application time frames.
01/09/2021: Information added applications open for authorisation
06/08/2021: Editorial amendment
04/08/2021: Information added What you need to do
29/07/2021: Information added Date clarified '1 November'.
23/07/2021: Information added Registering for Connect.
13/07/2021: Editorial amendment
07/07/2021: Information added Webinar: funeral plan intermediaries