18 July 2019

Government funeral fund improvements fall short yet again

1 min read

Meera Khanna, Consumer PR Manager
Meera Khanna

Corporate PR Manager - Protection


Royal London’s Funeral Cost Expert, Louise Eaton-Terry, comments on the announcement by the Department for Work and Pensions that bereaved families will receive funeral payments quicker as a result of a new change to speed up Funeral Expenses Payment.

“The decision to speed up funeral payments for bereaved families is a step in the right direction. But yet again the Government  has failed to address the value of the award, so any improvements made to the system are just tinkering around the edges. The Funeral Expenses Payment is supposed to act as a safety net for low-income families, yet many grieving families are still being forced into debt. We want the Government to commit to increasing the value of the funeral payment, which currently falls well short of meeting the cost of a basic funeral.”

Notes to editors

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

·         The average cost of a basic funeral in the UK is £3,757, which is a 6% increase over the last five years.

·         Funeral debt in the UK is at £131 million with those struggling to pay funeral costs taking on an average debt of £1,744.

2.     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 insurance, pensions and investment company in the UK, with assets under management of £139 billion, 8.6 million policies in force and 4,348 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2020.