Response to new reviews into funeral prices and the pre-paid planning market

01/06/2018   //   No Comments

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Treasury have launched separate reviews looking at how much people pay for funerals. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is reviewing funeral costs as a whole, while the Treasury is focusing on pre-paid funeral plans.

In response, Terry Tennens, Chief Executive of SAIF said: “These are two areas SAIF has long been campaigning on and we fully welcome these new consultations.

“The average cost of funerals has risen significantly over recent years which has put additional pressure on bereaved families during what is already a difficult time. We believe full transparency and consumer choice are key to addressing these challenges. That’s why all SAIF members provide a full breakdown of costs for the funerals they organise, a wide range of payment options and a simple, lost cost funeral alternative.

“However, whilst SAIF’s independent funeral directors are known for their highly competitive prices, typically several hundred pounds cheaper than larger funeral organisations, many funeral costs are out of their control.

“Cremation and burial fees in particular have seen huge price rises in recent years and it’s important that the CMA’s scrutiny extends into this area.”

Commenting on the review of pre-paid funeral plans, Terry added: “Increasingly families are turning to pre-paid funeral plans as a way to spread the cost of their funeral over many years. This can be an effective way of setting money aside for your end of life arrangements and reducing the financial impact on relatives after death.

“Whilst there are many reputable providers offering quality funeral planning services, unfortunately, as with any industry, there are also unregulated organisations which present misleading claims. We always recommend families speak with their local independent funeral director who can provide impartial advice and the most appropriate options.

“As part of our commitment to protecting consumers we have issued guidance to all SAIF member firms to sell only funeral plans registered with the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) where the vast majority of funeral planning companies are registered and accountable.

“However, we welcome additional scrutiny from the Treasury and believe they should play a role in regulating the market as they would have stronger powers to act against abuse.

“SAIF has and will continue to work with the government and relevant organisations to ensure consumers are provided with the high quality and fairly priced funeral services we all deserve.”

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