We set out our final and near final rules on funeral plans regulation, including new guidance for providers on their arrangements for trust-backed funeral plans.
Why we are changing
On 29 July 2022, we will start regulating the pre-paid funeral plans sector.
In this paper, we summarise the feedback to CP21/20 and publish further rules on the regulation of the market.
Our rules aim to protect customers if their regulated funeral plan provider fails. They cover resolution of funeral plan firms, requirements for the structure of funeral plan providers’ trust and insurance arrangements, and access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Following engagement with stakeholders on PS21/8, we’ve also made minor corrections and amendments to some of the rules published with that paper.
Who this applies to
Who needs to read the whole document:
- firms that sell or carry out funeral plan contracts for funerals in the UK
- insurance firms who provide life insurance policies that back some funeral plans
- trustees of trusts and discretionary investment managers which manage the assets of trusts that back some funeral plans
- trade bodies representing firms that carry out or sell funeral plan contracts
- groups representing consumer interests
- FSCS levy-payers
Who else will be interested in this consultation:
- consumers that have a funeral plan, or are thinking of purchasing one
- investment advisers who provide advice on funeral plan contracts
- religious organisations and religious burial societies that provide funerals for a defined community of members
Background to the policy
On 5 July 2021, we published our final rules for the regulation of pre-paid funeral plans (PS21/8), which will take effect on 29 July 2022.
At the same time, we set out what we want for consumers in the event of a firm failure in (CP21/20). This Consultation Paper contained proposals on:
- the resolution of regulated funeral plan firms and FSCS protection
- our requirements for the structure of funeral plan providers’ trust and insurance arrangements
It also set out additional proposals for our regulation of funeral plans, including obligations for firms to notify customers and nominated representatives after a transfer of funeral plan contracts.
Rules relating to the FSCS are dependent on the Government’s proposed legislation being introduced. We intend to finalise the rules subject to the legislation being made, and for them to come into force on 29 July 2022.
We will conduct a review of our regime in 2026, giving the industry time to adapt to these changes. In the meantime, we will supervise firms operating in industry against our rules and will intervene if we identify issues.
Customers should remember that we don’t currently regulate the pre-paid funeral plans market. This means they won’t have access to the FSCS or the Financial Ombudsman Service until our regulation starts in July 2022.