18 January 2019

Scotland updates flawed benefit inherited from DWP

1 min read

Meera Khanna, Consumer PR Manager
Meera Khanna

Corporate PR Manager - Protection


Commenting on the Scottish Government’s announcement that the Funeral Expense Assistance (FEA) will replace the current Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Funeral Payment in Scotland and will be introduced by summer 2019, Louise Eaton-Terry, funeral cost expert at Royal London, said:

“The Scottish Government has chosen to update the woefully inadequate funeral payment system it inherited from DWP.  The new Funeral Expenses Assistance in Scotland is a much-needed improvement but does not go far enough in addressing the value of the benefit, which is supposed to be safety net for families on low income.  Whether North or South of the border, this will still leave bereaved families facing an unacceptable shortfall when faced with high funeral costs.”

Notes to Editors

Notes to Editors:

1.      The Royal London National Funeral Cost Index 2018 found that:

  • Funeral debt in the UK is at £131 million with those struggling to pay funeral costs taking on an average debt of £1,744.
  • The average cost of a funeral in the UK rose to £3,757, which is a 6% increase over the last five years.
  • The average cost of a funeral in Scotland is £3,499, compare to £3,399 five years ago.

2.     The Scottish Government’s announcement today can be found here https://news.gov.scot/news/funeral-expense-assistance

3.     According to the DWP’s figures the average award for the funeral payment benefit in 2017/18 was £1,455, which leaves bereaved families who qualify for the fund facing a shortfall of more than £2,000 to cover the cost of a funeral.

For further information please contact:

Meera Khanna, Corporate PR Manager - Protection

About Royal London:

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with funds under management of £117 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 3,745 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2018.