Ahead of today’s Work and Pensions Committee hearing on the funeral industry’s price hikes, Mona Patel, Royal London’s consumer spokesperson, said:
"In addition to the high price of funerals, the costs of arranging a funeral are far too opaque. We have been calling for the industry to make their pricing clear and transparent to ensure those arranging a funeral fully understand the options available. As well as the industry explaining what they are doing to help bereaved families who are struggling with funeral costs, the government also needs to urgently overhaul the Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment which is not fit for purpose. The social fund is supposed to act as a safety net for low-income families, but the woefully inadequate benefit fails to cover the cost of a basic funeral, forcing thousands of bereaved families into debt.”
Notes to Editors
- 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 shortfall in the government’s social fund in 2018 was £2,296. This is calculated by: The average cost of a funeral minus the DWP’s average social fund pay-out (£3,757- £1,461 = £2,296).
3. More details on the Work and Pensions Committee hearing can be found here: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/work-and-pensions-committee/news-parliament-2017/support-for-bereaved-evidence-17-1 9/
About Royal London:
Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with funds under management of £114 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 3,893 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 December 2018.