We understand that a conversation about funeral planning can be difficult. You want to protect your loved ones from unnecessary stress at a difficult time.
To help with this process, Funeral plans make sound emotional and financial sense.
The FuneralPlan Bond allows you to set money aside for the specific purpose of funding your funeral service, without having to organise the service details in advance.
The FuneralPlan Bond offers capital guaranteed and growth investment options and may offer valuable tax and social security advantages.
To plan ahead is to show you care. While funerals are not a subject that any of us feel comfortable discussing, planning for a funeral is a very thoughtful thing you can do for your loved ones. With some forethought, you can relieve your family of any future financial burden of funeral expenses.
The FuneralPlan Bond offers you:
Who are FuneralPlan Management (FPM)?
Funeral Plan Management is part of Australian Unity. Established in 1840, we were Australia’s first member-owned wellbeing company, delivering health, wealth and care services. We’re committed to real wellbeing for all Australians, and for us, real wellbeing means so much more than physical health. It’s about your standard of living and feeling safe in your home. It’s your personal relationships and being connected to your community. It’s about what you want to achieve in life, while having the security to get out and do what makes you happy.
Being a member-owned company—also called a mutual— gives us the freedom to invest money back into the services and solutions that matter most to our members, customers and the Australian community. We can also make long-term decisions.
Who can invest?
The FuneralPlan Bond is available to anyone over age 16, individual or joint investors.
How much do I need to get started?
You can open an account with a lump sum of $500 and top up at any time with a minimum of $50. Alternatively, you can start with a $100 lump sum with a minimum $50 per month on an instalment plan.
How much money can I invest in a funeral bond?
You can invest any amount into your funeral bond The total amount you you contribute should be reasonably commensurate with your expected funeral expenses. . If you receive Centrelink benefits and wish this to be exempt from both assets test and deeming provisions of the income test, you cannot exceed the threshold, which is $13,500 for 2021/22 financial year. If you do not receive benefits, this threshold does not apply.
My partner and I want to take out a joint bond. Is this possible?
Yes. A FuneralPlan Bond can be held in single or joint names, however the benefit can only be used to pay for the expenses of a single funeral. Upon the death of one owner, the other owner must choose within 30 days to either continue the funeral bond, or have the benefits paid towards the funeral expenses.
Can I turn my FuneralPlan Bond into a pre-paid funeral plan?
Your FuneralPlan Bond can be transferred to a funeral director under contract and you can pre-plan your funeral under this arrangement.
How will a funeral bond affect my social security entitlements?
If you receive a means-tested government benefit and don't want this to affect your payments, the total amount you contribute should not exceed the 'exempt funeral investment threshold', which is $13,500 for 2021/22 financial year.
If you decide to enter into a pre-paid funeral contract with a funeral director, no maximum contribution applies.
What if I change my mind about a funeral bond?
A funeral bond is an investment owned by you. It incorporates a 'cooling off' period, during which time you can withdraw your money. However, after this, the funds cannot be withdrawn.
Specific details about the cooling off period can be found in the PDS.
Are my contributions tax deductible?
No, contributions may not be claimed as a tax deduction.
Who holds my money? Is it safe?
Your investment in the FuneralPlan Bond is managed by Lifeplan Australia Friendly Society, a wholly owned subsidiary of Australian Unity Limited. If you choose the capital guaranteed investment option, Lifeplan guarantees to pay your net contributions and declared bonuses, excluding any tax benefit, at the time the benefit is due. If you choose the Conservative or Moderate investment options, the returns may vary significantly from year to year and the benefit paid may be more or less than the contributions made.
Can I access my money in the funeral bond before I die?
No. A funeral bond is designed specifically to meet your funeral expenses and cannot be withdrawn for any other purpose. You can only access your money during the cooling off period.
What if someone pays my funeral expenses before making a claim on my funeral bond?
We will reimburse payments made towards funeral expenses when provided with a funeral invoice and receipt of payment. The reimbursement will be up to the amount invested in the policy and paid to the same person listed on the receipt.
What if the amount on the invoice is less than in the funds in the FuneralPlan Bond?
We will pay the amount due of the invoice to the funeral director and the difference to the Estate of the deceased.
What if the invoice is greater than the funds in the FuneralPlan Bond?
We can only pay as much as is in the Bond. Any outstanding amounts will have to be paid to the funeral director directly For more information on this, please refer to the FuneralPlan Bond PDS.
What is the difference between a pre-paid funeral plan and a funeral bond?
A pre-paid funeral is a funeral contract purchased in advance. The type and style of funeral you want is documented in a written contract and paid for at today's prices. Subject to any specific terms of a pre-paid funeral contract (e.g. if Government taxes are subsequently imposed or increased), you won't have to pay any additional amount for that contracted funeral regardless of when the funeral is required. Payment of a pre-paid funeral is invested with an independently managed funeral fund and is only released to the funeral director once the contracted funeral service is completed*.
A funeral bond is a specialised investment which enables you to accumulate funds to meet future funeral expenses. An investment in a funeral bond is similar to a life insurance policy, whereby the benefit becomes payable on death. The benefits must be used to meet your funeral expenses. A funeral bond is an investment towards the cost of a funeral and by itself does not guarantee against rising funeral prices*.
*Source: Australian Funeral Directors Association.
What is the difference between FuneralPlan Bond and funeral insurance?
We do not provide funeral insurance.
What is it?
• Funeral insurance involves making a regular set weekly, fortnightly or monthly premium payment which is determined by the policy cover chosen.
• The policy benefit is then generally paid in a lump sum to your beneficiary in the event of your death to provide a payment in respect of funeral costs.
What to be aware of:
• You may end up paying more in funeral insurance premiums than the actual value of your cover
• Failure to miss one premium payment can result in the insurance being cancelled and monies paid all forfeited
• In most instances you are unable to specify your preferred funeral director or funeral type.
Carefully read the relevant PDS to ensure you understand all of the features, what will happen if you cancel your policy and how much you really will be paying.
What contributes to the cost of a funeral?
Funerals can be simple or extravagant, and there are a number of items that make up the cost of a funeral service. These include the location of the service, the type of coffin or casket, the choice of burial or cremation, and any religious or other specific requirements.
What is a Travel Protection Plan and why would I need it?
For those who enjoy travelling or may be away from home for periods of time, the Travel Protection Plan means that eligible transportation costs of up to $3,200 are covered if death occurs more than 70kms away from the funeral home chosen. The Travel Protection Plan is an optional feature and can be purchased as part of a funeral bond or a pre-paid funeral plan.
If I am the executor or next of kin, how do I make a claim on a FuneralPlan Bond?
To make a claim you must:
• Download the Application for Funeral Benefit Fund form in the Forms section of our website, or call us on 13 29 39 to be sent a copy.
• Complete the form and attach a Certified Copy of the full Death Certificate (issued by the office of Births, Deaths & Marriages). Also attach the invoice from the Funeral
Director and the Receipt of payment.
• Post to GPO BOX 89, Adelaide SA 5001 or, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
• On receipt of all the correct required information, payment will be made within two business days.
What are the transaction costs?
There are no contribution or switching costs applicable to the Capital Guaranteed investment option.
However, you may incur an investing transaction cost when you invest or switch into either the Conservative or Moderate investment options.
What are the management fees?
Total management fees are:
• Capital Guaranteed - 1.50% p.a.
• Conservative – 1.25% p.a.
• Moderate – 1.50% p.a.
©Funeral Plan Management Pty Ltd ABN 30 003 769 640 is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lifeplan Australia Friendly Society Limited ABN 78 087 649 492 (Lifeplan) AFS Licence 237989, Lifeplan is a wholly owned subsidiary of Australian Unity Limited ABN 23 087 648 888. Products are issued by Lifeplan. Information provided here is indicative and general in nature and has not taken into your account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You must read all relevant disclosure document before making any decision. Any decisions relating to a financial investment should only be based upon a consideration of your overall objectives, current and anticipated situation or needs, and should not be influenced by historical data such as past performance.
Any tax information provided here and in any disclosure documents is general in nature and is only intended to provide a guide on how tax may affect investors. Tax laws may change in the future and may affect an investor’s tax position. Investors should seek independent tax advice relevant to their circumstances.