ASIC has granted temporary and narrow legislative relief for a funeral savings initiative developed to assist disadvantaged consumers.
The legislative relief relates to certain licensing, disclosure, and design and distribution obligations. The relief is granted for a period of five years and will expire on 18 July 2028.
The Funeral Saver Safety Net is an initiative developed to assist consumers to save for their funeral.
The Safety Net will be distributed by Lifeplan Australia Friendly Society Limited (part of Australian Unity) with no additional fees, alongside its FuneralPlan Bond, an existing funeral investment product that is licensed by ASIC and subject to APRA prudential regulation.
The Safety Net will not be sold directly to consumers but can be recommended by financial counsellors and funeral providers. It remains subject to the prohibition on hawking.
The Safety Net aims to assist consumers with funeral expenses by providing a ‘safety net top-up’ payment if they have not met a savings goal of $5,000, provided they meet the eligibility criteria. To find out more about the Safety Net consumers should talk to a financial counsellor.
ASIC will monitor the initiative and review its effectiveness and consumer safety during the period of relief.
Please note: Consumers who held a Youpla Group policy on or after 1 April 2020 will be covered under the Federal Government’s Youpla Group Funeral Benefits Program until 30 November 2023. They should take this into account if considering purchasing the FuneralPlan Bond alongside the Safety Net.
ASIC is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator.