When considering funeral insurance and funeral bonds, it’s imperative that you have access to all the information. For this reason, we’ve assembled an extensive list of the most frequently asked questions. Below you’ll find questions and answers divided into general FAQs, Sureplan Family Fund FAQs and Sureplan Gold FAQs.
How safe is my money with Sureplan?
Sureplan, with over 70 years worth of experience in funeral bonds and funeral insurance, has been managing funeral funds since 1935 and has a long and proud history of delivering outstanding benefits for members. Both our funeral insurance cover (Sureplan Family Fund) and funeral bond fund (Sureplan Gold) are regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).
What is the difference between Sureplan Family Fund and Sureplan Gold?
Sureplan Family Fund is a life insurance funeral plans policy and therefore you are immediately covered for the full amount of your selected funeral death cover from the moment you are accepted. Sureplan Gold on the other hand is a funeral bonds service and works in a similar way to a bank account as the funeral benefit amount paid at the time of your death is simply the total of all money deposited and the accumulated interest (bonuses).
Anyone can apply for membership of Sureplan Gold funeral bond, however membership of Sureplan Family Fund funeral insurance is only available to people aged between 1 and 55. With Sureplan Family Fund, all medical and health conditions need to be fully disclosed. No such disclosure is required for Sureplan Gold funeral bond and it is an ideal way to put money aside for all funeral preplanning arrangements, including prepaid funeral plans.
As claims are paid within 24 hours of the confirmation of your death for both Sureplan Family Fund and Sureplan Gold, your family can commence with funeral planning arrangements immediately.
SUREPLAN FAMILY FUND - FUNERAL INSURANCE FAQs
Can I organise funeral cover for my entire family?
Yes, applications for funeral insurance can be received from all people between the ages of 1 to 55 years old, this makes funeral plans are easy and can be taken care of early in life. However, each person needs to apply individually. This means that younger members lock in the low premium for their funeral fund until age 60 when payments finish (even though full funeral cover continues for life).
How is it that with Sureplan’s funeral insurance premiums are only payable up to age 60, whereas with most other funeral insurance plans, premiums are payable until age 90?
As a member owned funeral death cover provider, we specialise in providing affordable plans. Our funeral insurance plan, Sureplan Family Fund, was designed so that members could fully pay for their funeral fund policy before they finished working. This means that they do not have to worry about finding the money when they are retired and, of course, they pay a lot less than with other death cover providers.
If I stop paying premiums at age 60, does that mean my funeral death cover also ceases at 60?
No, your funeral death insurance coverage is for life.
What is covered under my Sureplan Family Fund policy?
At Sureplan you are covered for death by accident and natural causes immediatly, suicide is not covered for the first 24 months.
If I am suffering from a serious illness, can I still apply?
Applications to join Sureplan Family Fund are accepted on the basis that, at the time of joining, they are not suffering from an illness that will shorten their normal life expectancy. All medical and health conditions need to be fully disclosed when applying for membership so that a decision can be made as to whether the application will be accepted. Non-disclosure of relevant medical and health information can result in the cancellation of a policy.
Should you be suffering from a medical condition that will shorten your normal life expectancy, or if your application to join Sureplan Family Fund is unsuccessful, you can join Sureplan Gold as there are no medical restrictions for this funeral fund.
When does my funeral cover with Sureplan Family Fund commence?
Funeral cover commences immediately after your application is accepted by Sureplan.
What happens if I miss a premium payment in the Sureplan Family Fund policy?
With Sureplan funeral cover, we give you at least 12 months to make up the missed payments without penalty.
If I cancel my Sureplan Family Fund policy do I get my premiums refunded?
No, as Sureplan Family Fund is a death insurance policy, like any insurance policy, premiums are not refunded.
How do I apply?
How does my family make a claim when I die?
Unlike other funeral insurance providers we do not have a long and complex claims process so your family can quickly commence the funeral planning process. Therefore, all we require is confirmation of your passing from an independent source - this means that in nearly all cases a family member simply notifies us of the contact details of the selected memorial service director and we will do the rest.
We promise to pay the funeral plan benefit within 24 hours of receiving this confirmation.
Won’t superannuation & standard life insurance cover me?
Superannuation and standard life insurance play their role, but in many cases their funds can be delayed for many weeks until a death certificate is issued and probate is granted. Therefore, if you rely on superannuation and standard life insurance to pay for your funeral expenses then someone else will have to pay upfront.
Do I have to disclose any medical and health conditions?
Yes, applicants are obliged to fully disclose all known medical and health conditions.
When wouldn’t Sureplan pay a benefit?
If an undisclosed medical condition existed when joining or purchasing additional units, or when death is the result of suicide that occurs within the first 24 months of membership or when a fraudulent condition exists.
How much does a funeral cost?
An average memorial service can cost between $5,000 and $9,000. You can select the benefit to suit your needs.
Can I withdraw my money?
No. Sureplan benefits are payable only on the death of a member.
Are there any Government charges?
Stamp duty may apply to your policy. The rate of stamp duty varies from state to state, and if payable, may be deducted from your contributions.
Does Sureplan offer other funeral products?
Yes - Sureplan Gold is a funeral bond suitable for all people ineligible to join Sureplan Family Fund and Sureplan Body Transportation Funeral Fund is an additional insurance product.
SUREPLAN GOLD - FUNERAL BOND FAQs
Why should I deposit money in Sureplan Gold - funeral bond rather than simply putting money in a bank account?
The simple answer is convenience. When a member dies, we simply need to be advised of their death together with the name of the funeral director being used, and we will organise for the claim to be processed without the family needing to complete any paperwork. There are also other advantages for using Sureplan Gold for your funeral preplanning or prepaid funeral plans, including:
How do I invest in Sureplan Gold?
Can I withdraw money from my funeral bond?
No. After the cooling off period the benefit is only payable upon the death of the member.
Who can join Sureplan Gold?
Anyone can join. There are no health conditions applicable to Sureplan Gold. However, if you are under 56 and in reasonable health you may like to consider joining Sureplan Family Fund, our funeral insurance fund.
How much can I contribute and how many funeral bonds can I have?
There is no maximum contribution amount or number of funeral bonds that a member can use for their funeral cover. However for Centrelink and Veterans' Affairs pensioners to qualify for an exemption under the Incomes and Assets Test, your contribution to a funeral bond is subject to a Government threshold (see Pension Advantages for explanation) and you cannot have more than two funeral funding arrangements. Also, for tax purposes, the money contributed to all funeral funding arrangements must not exceed the amount that would reasonably cover a member's future funeral expenses.
Is my money safe?
Yes, Sureplan has a successful history since 1935 of managing funeral funds. Sureplan Gold is a secure fund focussed on the preservation of members' funds and Sureplan's investment activities are regulated by the Corporations Act and the Life Insurance Act - protection is provided by the conservative nature of the authorised investments and the continuous solvency requirements maintained in accordance with the Life Insurance Act and Prudential Standards.
What fees and charges do I pay?
None as an individual but the Fund pays a monthly Management Fee (maximum of 2% p.a. of the balance of the Fund) to the Sureplan Friendly Society Ltd General Fund to cover operating and administration costs. No fees come directly out of members' contributions.
Are there any Government charges?
Stamp duty may apply to your initial contribution and any subsequent contributions, or on assignment of your policy. The rate of stamp duty payable varies from State to State, and if payable, will be deducted from your contribution/s.
How is the benefit claimed and what evidence is needed to confirm my death?
Someone, ideally the nominee, needs to ring our office on 1800 817 105 to advise of your death. Sureplan requires independent evidence of your death from a third party (e.g. the Funeral Director). The Society reserves the right to sight a death certificate before paying the benefit.
Who pays tax?
Investment income earned by Sureplan on your investment in the Fund will be subject to tax in the hands of Sureplan, but when investment income is paid to nominees Sureplan may receive a tax deduction for that amount. This will mean that benefits paid by Sureplan may be effectively at their gross (or untaxed) value. The Board may declare a terminal bonus, based on taxable growth, payable in respect of claims paid in the twelve months following the annual 30 June actuarial valuation.
The investment income or bonuses component of benefits received will be subject to tax in the hands of your estate in the year in which they are paid. Whether any actual tax is payable will depend on your estate's tax position in that year. Note though that the 'capital' component of benefits paid is simply a tax-free return of capital.
It is recommended that appropriate and independent professional advice be sought to determine how tax laws may affect your individual circumstances, mindful that these laws may change from time to time.
Does my investment attract GST?
Under Australia's current Goods and Services Tax (GST) rules your contribution/s, investment earnings and benefit payments do not attract GST.
Does the Funeral Fund allow joint membership?
Yes, in accordance with the Fund rules. Please contact Sureplan Friendly Society Ltd for more information.