Category Archives: News

Why people buy Funeral Plans

Why People buy funeral plans: for all sorts of reasons.

Here are a few reasons people give us for buying funeral plans:

Reason: “I want to buy funeral plans now,  so they are available to other family members in the event of a financially embarrassing death. What I mean is, if my aunt dies, there is no money until her house is sold. My uncle lives there too, so it would be nice to be able to donate my funeral plan to them if it was needed.  My next door neighbours grandson was killed in a car accident at the age of 17.  I know that caused all sorts of financial problems.  I just don’t want that to happen in my family.  Hopefully it will be me that uses my plan, but I want one which has that extra flexibility – can you help?”

Our comment: Yes, we certainly can.  The ability to donate plans is really important we think, and some plans are just not designed to be that flexible – at least, not without a penalty.  So we will be please to advise you on the most suitable plan for you.

Reason: “I want an environmentally friendly funeral plan.  I don’t mind paying a little bit more for it if I have to, but I don’t want to spend a fortune.”

Our comment:  We are very happy to arrange eco or green funeral plans.  Very often we can save a substantial amount of money for clients because we know which funeral plan providers will help put together green funeral plans economically.  Even if they don’t actually advertise them. There are also ongoing developments in the area so a green funeral may well look very different in ten or twenty years time.  Flexibility is especially important.”

Reason: “I want to leave detailed instructions for my funeral, but I realise that they may need updating as the years roll by.  I might have to move to be near my daughter (though I would much rather not!)  Anyway, the point is that I don’t want the family arguing about what they all think I would have wanted – I have seen that happen to other families!”

Our comment: Funeral Plan providers do differ. Many of them want to charge you every time you want to make a minor change.  But some are very flexible, and it is never a problem to have a document which details your wishes kept by the relevant next of kind or even care home.  We supply our clients with a comprehensive template which they can use to make their wishes clear.

Financial Reasons to buy funeral plans now.

Reason: “My mother has died, so for the first tine in my life, I have some spare money.  I had to pay for her funeral and I don’t want my children to go into debt (even temporarily) just to pay for mine.”

Our comment: Another common time for people to invest in a funeral plan is at retirement, when they get a lump sum payout.  Or when a savings plan matures.

More financial reasons for buying funeral plans now….

Labour Free Funerals for Children?

Labour party suggest Central Government funds free funerals for children.

Child Funerals

Child Funerals Should Be Free

The Labour Party has asked the chancellor to allocate £10,000,000 in his Autumn Statement to help parents pay for the costs of child funerals. Local authorities have different charging regimes for the burial and cremation of children. Some do not charge for childrens funeral, others do.

Labour’s proposal would mean no family would have to pay for either a burial plot or cremation that was provided by their local council. (That does not necessarily mean the funeral would be free.  Burial or cremation typically forms around a third of total costs.  Many funeral directors are sympathetic. Ed.)

Care for bereaved parents.

The Labour Party is today asking the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, to allocate £10 million in his Autumn Statement to help parents pay for the costs of child funerals.

At present, local authorities across England have different charging regimes for the burial and cremation of children. Some offer the service free, while others charge. Labour’s proposal, if accepted by the government, would mean that no grieving family would have to pay for either a burial plot or cremation that are provided by local authorities.

Teresa Pearce MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary for Communities and Local Government said.

“Sadly each year around 5000 children die, many of them in their infancy. If the Government accept our proposal to provide free burial for children it would go some way to reducing the strain for those grieving families.

“While we must always be careful with public expenditure, the cost of this scheme for government is minimal when compared to the benefits it could bring.”

Our comment: most prepaid funeral plan providers would certainly consider allowing the funds saved to be used to pay for an unexpected child funeral.

Free Funeral For Children.

Electric Tesla hearse with Autopilot

The Tesla Hearse

The Tesla Hearse

Perhaps the current ultimate in environmentally friendly but modern ways to depart is the Tesla electric hearse. We’re not quite sure how well the autopilot version would go down.

You may need to think about that.

The Tesla based hearse was developed for a Dutch firm, and as far as we know there isn’t one in the UK yet.

First the 600 kg lithium-ion battery was removed from the Tesla S. Then the aluminium body was sawn in before being extended by a little over 2 feet (80 cm). The Tesla hearse finished up being just under 19 feet long (5.77m to you youngsters).

Tesla Hearse on autopilot.

Surprisingly, the hearse still manages to look a little sporty (as well as having a range of over 200 miles (350 km.) Ideal for that last tour of the area! Neither the Tesla hearse nor the tour are included in a standard funeral plan – but our members can tailor them. Funeral plans can be set up to take into account everything from space flights to being turned into a diamond. We can’t promise the Tesla hearse will be imported though.

The hearse has glass walls and roof glass roof make for a sleek look. And all this beautifully finished.  Have we seen the future?  Or will there be more horse drawn carriages than Teslas?

Funeral Costs – Where To Avoid Dying

UK Funeral costs.

In the UK, the average cost for a cremation funeral is £3,214, comprising: £716 (cremation) £164 (doctor) £143 (minister) £2,208 (funeral director) according to the survey by Royal London in 2016.

The average cost for a burial funeral is £4,136, comprising: £1,785 (burial) £143 (minister) £2,208 (funeral director.)

Note: the doctor’s fee does not apply for funerals in Scotland. We at Best Funeral Plans Research have concerns about this.  Funeral costs have been rising far faster than inflation. That is why we strongly recommend that you contact one of our members.  They subscribe to our Prepaid Funeral Plan Research and can recommend the most suitable plan for your wishes and purse (or wallet!)

Top 10 most expensive locations for funeral costs.

Top 10 cheapest locations for funeral costs.


  1. Royal London’s National Funeral Cost Index is an annual study. The 2016 Index is available here: www.royallondon.com/about/media/research-and-consultation-responses/ along with the 2015 report.
  2. The Royal London National Funeral Cost Index is published in partnership with The Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) – the organisation which represents professionals working in burial and cremation authorities and companies throughout the UK.
  3. Royal London commissioned two surveys from YouGov which took place from May to June 2016. The first was made up of 2,003 nationally representative UK adults aged 18 who had organised a funeral within the past five years and had used the services of a professional funeral director. The second was made up of a random sample of 1,034 UK adults aged 18 who had organised a funeral within the past five years and had used the services of a professional funeral director.
  4. ICCM surveyed 275 crematoria in the UK to ascertain their costs for cremation. Fieldwork for ICCM took place between April and June 2016.
  5. Yourfuneralchoice.com provided data which is based on mystery shopping of funeral directors to gather information and prices for a comparable ‘simple funeral’ to include collection/care of the deceased, a basic coffin, hearse, and to manage a simple service at a crematorium. Prices based on this research do not include third party costs which fall outside of the funeral directors immediate control or minister/celebrant fees.

2016 Funeral debt almost £147m

2016 Funeral debt almost £147m

  • New National Funeral Cost Index reveals funeral debt reaches £147m
  • People are looking at cheaper options including direct cremations
  • There is a postcode lottery for funeral costs which range from £2,898 to £6,422

The latest Royal London National Funeral Cost Index reveals funeral debt in the UK has risen to £147m. People are forced borrow from friends and family or the bank to fund the last wishes of loved ones.

Royal London’s research highlights that the average cost of a funeral in the UK is now £3,675, with 93,359 adults taking on funeral debt. The average debt being taken on to cover funeral costs is £1,601, which collectively equates to £147m across the UK.

One in seven (15%) said they struggled with funeral costs. Amongst those who struggled, one in four said they borrowed money from family and friends (27%) or went into debt by taking out a loan or going into their overdraft (24%) to pay funeral costs.

Data obtained from the Institute of Cemetery & Crematorium Management highlights the postcode lottery on funeral costs. The cost of a funeral differs depending on where you live in the UK, with charges ranging from £2,917 for a burial in Belfast, to £9,679 for a burial in Kensal Green in London. Cremation costs are significantly lower in comparison to burials, with Greenock in Scotland (£2,873) being the cheapest.

The research also found consumers are using different coping strategies to keep costs down, with 5% choosing to have a direct burial or direct cremation, which is a radically different and cheaper option. While direct cremation and direct burials aren’t offered by the majority of funeral directors, the findings show that there is a clear demand for it.

Commenting on the findings Mona Patel, Royal London’s consumer spokesperson, said:

“When dealing with the loss of a loved one, the last thing that people need is financial stress as well. It is shocking that more than 90,000 people had to borrow an average of £1,600 simply to give their loved ones a decent send off. It is vital that the Government tackles funeral poverty by addressing the flaws with the Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment. This includes the length of time it takes to get a payment which then often falls far short of the cost of the funeral.  The funeral industry also needs to address consumer demand for a simpler and cheaper funeral option, by providing more access to direct cremation and direct burials.”

Bobbie, one of the Funeral Plans Research Team at Best Funeral Plans commented:

“Thousands of families are struggling to meet funeral costs. There are affordable option for many, provided they plan early.  It may have to be a family affair, but it can be done.  Just the same as the Roman Legions did 2,000 years ago.  We do the research so that our members can tailor a solution for you.”

Royal London is calling for:

  • Harold Shipman

    Harold Shipman

    Policymakers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to follow Scotland’s lead and do away with doctors’ fees. (At Best Funeral Plans we do agree – but the use of a single doctor in Scotland dramatically increases the risk of doctors getting away with murder.  The two doctor rule was brought in after the dreadful Harold Shipman affair.)

  • Westminster to adopt the pathway set by the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016.  This would allow re-use of abandoned old graves, to alleviate the pressure on unsustainable cemeteries.
  • Department for Work and Pensions to continue its proactive work on the Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment. Addressing the process flaws and value, not just the speed and complexity issues is vital.
  • The funeral sector to provide simpler and cheaper funeral options. This by providing more access to direct cremation type services. (We at BFP can offer such plans, but the problem is with those left behind unaware that a traditional funeral is impossible.)

 

Cash ISA Dire Returns

MANY UNHAPPY Cash ISA RETURNS AFTER SEVEN YEARS OF 0.5% BASE RATE

Cash ISAs ReviewedCash ISA returns are decidedly modest, so have a look at the foot for a place where the return would have been several times higher. We thought we would hijack this press release to make the point!(Ed)

  • Cash ISA savers have lost money in four of the past seven years after inflation
  • Average annual return since 2009 is just 1% for cash ISA savers
  • New MetLife Guaranteed ISA delivers security and potential for growth with innovative daily lock-ins

Cash ISA savers are marking an unhappy anniversary this month as seven years of 0.5% base rates condemn them to average annual returns of just 1%, analysis* from retirement savings experts MetLife shows.

The analysis of average annual cash ISA rates shows an average cash ISA saver has received just 6.8% in interest since March 5th 2009 when the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee cut rates to 0.5%.

There is little consolation from current low inflation – in four of the past seven years cash ISA savers have even lost money in real terms as the rate they receive from their ISA is less than the rate of inflation.

MetLife’s analysis shows someone making regular investments in the average cash ISA would have put away £24,911 since March 2009 and seen it grow to £26,272 for a gain of £1,729 – growth of 6.8% before inflation.

Annual average cash ISA rates have never been higher than 2.8% and have been as low as 1.4% while annual average inflation has been as high as 4.48% and as low as 0.04%. In 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 average inflation was higher than average cash ISA rates.

Simon Massey, Wealth Management Director, MetLife UK said: “Cash ISA savers have suffered for seven years and are not guaranteed an improvement any time soon.

“It is understandable that many are wary of investing in the stock market with the risk of losing money but the unfortunate reality is that many are already losing out after inflation.

“With more than £61 billion invested in cash ISAs last year it is clear that savers and their advisers need to look at alternatives to ensure their money delivers more competitive returns.”

The table below shows average cash ISA rates and inflation and the real return:

YEAR AVERAGE CASH ISA RATE AVERAGE INFLATION REAL RETURN
2009 2.21% 2.18% +0.03%
2010 2.80% 3.31% -0.51%
2011 2.75% 4.48% -1.73%
2012 2.80% 2.84% -0.04%
2013 1.75% 2.57% -0.82%
2014 1.48% 1.46% +0.02%
2015 1.40% 0.04% +1.36%

 

MetLife’s ISA Portfolio is an innovative stocks and shares ISA offering MetLife’s innovative income and capital guarantees with unique daily lock-ins. Savers can invest in the Secure Income Option from age 50 and take a guaranteed income for life from age 55.

Customers using the capital guarantee are protected against market falls and have the certainty of a guaranteed amount at the end of their chosen term. Both guarantee options provide the potential for growth and locks in any investment growth above the existing guarantee base daily. Global powerhouses BlackRock and Fidelity Worldwide Investment provide the investment expertise for the funds.

Investors can apply online through their adviser. Guarantee charges start from 0.6% on the Secure Income Option and 0.3% on the Secure Capital Option. MetLife’s Active Asset Allocation has a total expense ratio of 0.55%. Initial minimum investments in the Guaranteed ISA are £15,000. The annual management charge for the ISA Portfolio ranges from 0.7% to 0.4% depending on the value of the investment.

So what has offered far higher returns than cash ISAs? Have you guessed?

OK, so it is boring, but a godsend for hard pressed and stressed relatives when you die.  Instead of juggling savings and loans, they can just make a call to your funeral plan provider and most things (in that area) will be sorted.  Over the last 5 years, the cost of funerals has risen nearly SEVEN times faster than the interest offered even by cash ISAs.  So maybe you should contact one of our members for Independent Advice on choosing the most suitable prepaid funeral plan.  They really are very different from each other.

Funeral Loans Funeral Poverty

Funeral Loans needed by 2,710,000 – Funeral Poverty.

Funeral loans and debt are an increasing problem for families with funeral cost inflation being nearly 7% a year.  A quarter (25%) who have dealt with a loved one’s affairs have had to resort to credit cards, personal loans and payday loans to pay for funeral costs, spending £1.6 billion3 on such financing collectively over the last 5 years.  Our Members mission is to help avoid funeral loans by advising on prepayment plans.

1,200,0004 people have had to resort to payday loans to pay for a funeral over the last 5 years borrowing around £576 million3 between them.

Friends and families spent £4,800,000,0002 on funerals for loved ones over the same period.

Among adults under 35, more than four in ten used credit cards and 27% had to resort to a payday loan to pay for funeral costs. That is scary.

Londoners are most likely to take out a credit card (4 in 10) or payday loan (39%) to pay for a funeral – that is very nearly 8 out of 10 people. Probably the rest are either wealthy or have prepaid funeral plans 😉

Just over a quarter (27%) of those who have managed a loved one’s affairs have had to dip into their own pockets and savings to pay for funerals.  Maybe they at least avoided expensive funeral loans and just lost out on their own savings.

Average expected funeral cost5 is forecast to rise by 22% over the next decade, rising to £5,066. At Best Funeral Plans, we consider that to be a ridiculously low estimate, bearing in mind costs have risen by 49% in the last 5 years.

Just 21% of UK adults have some form of life or funeral cover in place to cover the costs of their own death.

Paying for the funeral of a loved one. Funeral Loans?

The research shows that people who are funding the cost of funerals for family and friends are mainly dipping into their own pockets (16%), spending £936 million collectively over the last 5 years. Personal savings are also taking a big hit as people have withdrawn £870 million from nest eggs because life cover, funeral cover or other provisions have not been put in place. In total, 27% are paying for funerals out of their own pocket or their savings.

The new research also reveals that of the 2.7 million people who have had to spend £1.6 billion on some form of finance in the last 5 years, 1.2 million people have taken out payday loans in order to pay for the funeral of a loved one, borrowing an average of £576 million, and £485 million has been spent on credit cards.  When looking across the country at consumers who took some form of credit or finance to pay for a funeral, Londoners top the table with 39% of those in the Capital taking out a payday loan (borrowing £256 million) and 40% taking out a new credit card, spending £183 million on credit cards in total.

Funeral loans and funeral poverty.

Ignorance isn’t bliss.

When asked to imagine that they were responsible for the funeral of a relative or loved one tomorrow, 40% of UK adults assume the cost of the funeral would come out of the estate or would be otherwise covered, while 23% think that they would have to pay out of their own pocket or savings. just 2 in 100 think they will have to pay by credit card or payday loan and 17% don’t know how the cost will be covered. The proportion who don’t know how these costs will be covered rises to 25% for the 18-35 year olds who are the most affected.

Funeral Costs:

In the research UK adults estimated on average that the cost of a funeral is £3,733, however those who have had to pay for a funeral had to pay significantly more with a total average spend of £4,136. Loved ones could be badly out of pocket if the worst were to happen, as only 21% of UK adults have life or funeral cover in place to cover the costs of their funeral. Londoners are more unprepared for the costs of their funeral to be covered, whilst those outside of the South are the most prepared, with those in the North East (27%) most likely to have life insurance in place followed by 26% of Scots.

Dave Sutherland, Managing Director of Neilson Financial Services commented: “The emotional impact of losing a loved one is devastating and it is only exacerbated when a family member or friend has to deal with not only managing the affairs but also having to pay the funeral costs.  Our research reveals that many, particularly the younger generation, have to resort to forms of credit resulting in their grief being made worse at what is already a difficult time.’’

At British Seniors Insurance Agency, our focus is on our customers and doing the right thing by them. Our customers tell us the last thing they want when they die is for their loved ones to be left in debt paying off their funeral. That’s why at British Seniors Insurance Agency we offer great value and fully flexible Over 50s life cover – and with the new Lifetime Payback Guarantee we ensure customers get full value for their hard-earned cash as they will never get back less that they’ve paid in. We want to encourage people to make sure that they have some form of life insurance or cover in place so as to provide peace of mind that when the inevitable happens they’ve got it covered for their loved ones.’’

Stephen Pett of the Best Funeral Plans Research Department said “There is a major shortfall in funeral planning. But we do strongly recommend sticking to proper prepaid funeral plans. They directly pay for funerals, and whereas life insurance may well have no inflation proofing. Worse still, it may not be available for months after the funeral as probate is often required before they pay out. Contact one of our advisers for an independent overview.”

UK Death Rate Rises Dramatically

5.6% Rise in UK Death Rate in just a Year.

That is scary news, than means more than one in twenty extra people have died in 2015 than in the previous year.  Speculation about whether it is due to cutbacks in Social Care spending or in NHS spending abound.   It certainly can’t be due to the weather, as 2015 was relatively mild.

Public health experts have called for investigation after statistics showed the biggest increase in the UK death rate for several decades in 2015, says the Health Service Journal. Funeral directors have been the greatest beneficiaries, along with loan companies where families had not taken the basic precaution of setting up a prepaid funeral plan!   Stephen Pett of The Probate Department Ltd Solicitors said “We have been busier than ever, but I was very surprised – and concerned. Especially to hear that funding cuts by the Government may have been the root cause.  Everyone deserves a dignified old age.  I for one would be perfectly happy to pay extra tax to make sure that was possible.”

UK Death Rate

UK Death Rate 2015

A report by Public Health England says “The report shows however, that despite this overall picture of improvement, calculated life expectancy for older people in some parts of the country did not increase or fell. At English local authority level there is a good deal of variation in the trend in life expectancy at older age for which there is no apparent explanation. As expected from the national figures, in the most recent data, the majority of local authorities showed an increase or no change in life expectancy at age 65. But approximately one quarter showed a decrease. A larger number of local authorities showed a decrease in life Recent Trends in Life Expectancy at Older Age. Update to 2014 5 expectancy at age 85. At the level of regions, life expectancy at age 85 is still lower than it was in 2011 in some parts of the country, although in all regions it increased or remained stable in 2014 compared with 2013. ”

That was going back to 2014, so the clear implication is that things are worse now.   All we can do is to recommend that people at least prepare for the inevitable,  it is up to the Government to improve the quality of life of our older folk – preferably before I join them!

Future of Ageing bleak without better planning

Future of Ageing bleak without better planning.

The future of ageing is tough in many respects, and part of what our members at Best Funeral Plans do is to try to, in a small way, reduce the burden.  What follows is concerns a  new report by the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK.)  The report argues that our ageing society offers significant social and economic opportunities but only if policymakers plan better for the long term. The report, ‘Tomorrow’s World: The Future of Ageing in the UK’ describes the future challenges and opportunities posed by an ageing population.

The ILC-UK argues that our society is not adequately responding to ageing today:

  • The social care system is crumbling and health care is failing to incentivise the prevention of ill health.
  • The housing and planning system is failing to respond to ageing resulting in people living in housing which does not meet their needs.
  • Individuals are currently underestimating their life expectancy and risking running out of money in retirement.

ILC-UK point out that without action today, the picture in 10 years time could be much worse. The report predicts that average pensioner incomes will start falling as more people retire with a less generous state pension and without the benefit of final salary pensions.

If urgent action is not taken to address the challenges posed by population ageing, ILC-UK presents a future in which health expenditure has increased debt as a proportion of GDP to 180%; more than 1 million additional care workers are required to meet the demand for social care; and millions have failed to save enough ahead of retirement.

ILC-UK predicts that:

  • Without action to better support more disadvantaged social groups and communities, the gap in life expectancy between the wealthy and the poor will continue to increase.
  • Without action to address the current funding and workforce shortages in health and social care, the future needs of our ageing population are unlikely to be met.
  • Without action to better highlight how long people are likely to live, and the measures that they need to take to ensure financial security later in old age, even wealthier older adults may experience financial difficulties in later life.
  • Without action to encourage and facilitate longer working lives we will see a future drop in the UK’s employment rate and reductions in overall productivity.
  • Without action to build more houses, and houses which are adapted to the needs of older people, the housing shortage will continue.

The report proposes 10 long-term indicators of progress. ILC-UK plan to report against these indicators at their next Future of Ageing Conference on November 9th.

1. Health must find a way to be more responsive and preventative
2. Government must make progress in delivering a long term settlement to pay for social care
3. Savings levels for working age adults must increase
4. Average age of exit from the workforce should rise
5. The number and type of homes built should be increasingly appropriate for our ageing society
6. Government should make progress in facilitating greater risk sharing in accumulation and decumulation of retirement income
7. We must have a more informed older consumer
8. Our aspirations for retirement must be about much more than us spending more hours watching television
9. Businesses should better respond to ageing
10. We must strengthen the social contract between young and old

The report incorporates expert testimony from contributors at ILC-UK’s first Future of Ageing Conference which took place on Tuesday 24th November 2015. ILC-UK’s second Future of Ageing Conference will take place on Wednesday 9th November 2016: http://www.futureofageing.org.uk/

Baroness Sally Greengross OBE, Chief Executive of ILC-UK said:

‘If we want future generations of older people to age well policymakers must act now. The UK’s demography is slow to change and we can make some reasonable predictions and forecasts on how this may influence UK society over the next ten years. This gives us an opportunity to plan for the change we will witness. We can’t wait and hope ageing goes away. It won’t’.

Dr Michael Hutton, Chief Scientific Officer, Neurodegenerative Disease at Eli Lilly and Company Ltd said:

‘An ageing population is placing pressure on finite NHS resources whilst there are also important concerns about the quality of care, particularly for our elderly population in health and social care settings. The total cost of conditions such as dementia is huge. When assessing the scale of the problem, we must have a holistic understanding of the disease to ensure patients and their families are adequately supported and also to prevent a knock on effect to our economy, as this caring role prevents ‘carers’ from accessing other forms of employment’.

‘Innovation offers the NHS a real opportunity to meet the challenge of increasing demand on resources and squeezed budgets. Lilly was delighted to support this event and help develop ideas, to make the UK the best possible environment for supporting an ageing population’.

Lord Filkin, Chair of the Centre for Ageing Better said:

‘If we don’t build the social care workforce by some mechanism both in volume and skill we are in trouble. It is hard to overstate what a bad place we are in. The system is crumbling now. Social care needs to have increased investment: the increase in long term conditions in the older population will drive big increases in demand and cost’.

Professor Ian Philp CBE, Deputy Medical Director for Older People, Heart of England Foundation Trust said:

I think we can turn a concern about the costs of an ageing population into an opportunity to see growth, partly because so much wealth, asset wealth and disposable income sits with older people in our society. That wealth can be mobilised, for example to pay for major infrastructure projects through investment and return. We could turn it on its head from the apocalyptic tales of ‘we can’t afford an ageing population’ to ‘my goodness what an asset’.

Emma McWilliam, Hymans Robertson LLP said:

‘Grey hair is definitely something to be celebrated. That’s easier to do when governments have applied wisdom to setting policies that encourage generations to save enough to enjoy retirement, as well as leaving a fair and sustainable legacy for future generations that we can be proud of. There is more that Government can do, both to safeguard future generations and to support people in retirement.

The Government’s role in retirement should be to provide certainty through the flat rate state pension and act as an insurer of last resort for long-term care needs. To ensure those roles can be performed in a sustainable way, it’s vital that individuals are clear about how much money they will have in retirement, how far off track they might be and what they need to do to get back on track. Talking about the ‘savings gap’ in general terms doesn’t resonate with individuals.

They need to know how they will personally be affected. Technology is making that easier, and the government should pave the way to make that technology more readily available to greater numbers of people. Enabling a smoother transition into retirement through part-time working will also help address individuals’ savings shortfalls, as well as deal with a potential future fall in UK productivity as we see greater swathes of the population ‘retired’.

Gary Day, Land & Planning Director from McCarthy & Stone, said:

‘The population is ageing rapidly but the UK’s housing stock is not coping with this change. There is a lack of choice when older people come to move to properties suitable for them in later life. This impacts negatively on a range of areas – poorer well-being, higher public spending on health and care, and blocked housing chains. We need to raise our focus beyond starter homes and encourage the building of more specialist housing suitable for older people across all tenures’.

Lord Filkin and Professor Ian Philp are available for further comment.

“Tomorrow’s World” has been made possible with the financial support of Eli Lilly.

 

Notes
ILC-UK’s first Future of Ageing Conference took place in November 2015.
Representatives from Government, business, academia and civil society gathered for the first annual Future of Ageing conference, hosted by the International Longevity Centre – UK ILC-UK.

Speakers included Baroness Altmann (Pensions Minister), Lord Willetts (Executive Chair, the Resolution Foundation), Professor Sir Mark Walport (Government Chief Scientific Officer), Lord Filkin (Chair, Centre for Better Ageing and former Labour Minister with responsibility for Sure Start, Early Years and Childcare), Paul Johnson (Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies), and Professor Jane Elliott (Chief Executive, The Economic and Social Research Council).

ILC-UK’s second Future of Ageing Conference will take place on Wednesday 9th November 2016http://www.futureofageing.org.uk/

The International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) is a futures organisation focussed on some of the biggest challenges facing Government and society in the context of demographic change.

Much of our work is directed at the highest levels of Government and the civil service, both in London and Brussels. We have a reputation as a respected think tank which works, often with key partners, to inform important decision-making processes.

Our policy remit is broad, and covers everything from pensions and financial planning, to health and social care, housing design, and age discrimination. We work primarily with central government, but also actively build relationships with local government, the private sector and relevant professional and academic associations.

Bad Month For Funeral Plan Prices

A Bad Month For Funeral Plan Prices

The Only Way is UP

The Only Way is UP

December this year will be one of many bad months for funeral plan prices, with two of the major funeral plan providers putting up their prices by inflation busting amounts.  This has pretty much been the pattern for the last 10 years, with buyers discovering that they could have saved a substantial amount by buying a little earlier.  There are not many “investments” which seem to consistently provide returns well ahead of inflation – costs are rising on average between 6 and 7% this year, and will no doubt do the same this year.   A funeral plan costing around £3,000 today would have cost you about £2,000 5 short years ago.  So paying by installments may not be such a bad idea!

Dignity funeral plan prices are rising by up to £270 on the first of December.

As Dignity control 25% of the market and are already massively profitable, it may we be that our members could find you a much better price elsewhere – there are lots of providers to choose from after all.  Our Members have the benefit of our Central Research Department to help them to help you chose the funeral plan which is just right for your needs, wishes and (of course) pocket, so why not use the links above to contact a Member.

Safe Hands Funeral Plan prices – up by around £200 after 31st December.

Safe Hands have held their prices steady for 2 years, I think the only major player to do so.  They have finally announced that the prices for their funeral plans are rising by around 6.7% after 31st December.

Stop Rising Funeral Plan Prices and don’t Overpay

  • Our members can help you find the best value plan for your particular needs and pocket.
  • They will look at the flexibility of the contract (if you move 200 miles away, what happens to your plan?)
  • Cost is clearly important.
  • Would it make sense to pay in installments?  With the rate if funeral plan price inflation, it certainly makes sense if you have a reliable income (or a good deposit).
  • Will you have the time or the experience to review and understand so many very different contracts?  Even our experts rely to some extent on central research.

Why not use the links above to contact one our our members today?