Sureplan’s funeral bond is called Sureplan Gold and it is a conservatively managed bond that is an ideal way with which to put aside funds for your funeral expense. You can either invest a lump sum, or save using regular deposits from as little as $50 per month. Therefore it is an ideal funeral saving plan.
With Sureplan Gold you are not locked into a contract to pay monthly funeral insurance premiums. You choose how much you wish to pay and you are free to change your saving program at any time. And crucially, as you do not have to make compulsory payments (as with funeral insurance plans) you cannot lose your money if you fall into arrears - your money will always be there for your family. But please note, as Sureplan Gold is a funeral bond, you will be unable to access your funds after the 30 day "cooling off" period.
You can contribute up to $12,500 (as at 1/7/2016) without it being subject to the Centrelink or Department of Veterans' Affairs Income and Assets Test – this is very relevant for self-funded retirees who are either receiving a part pension or who are just outside the pension entitlement threshold. For more information, click on the link below;
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We also have a funeral insurance product - our Sureplan Family Fund - which has low fixed premiums that are payable only until age 60, even though cover is for life.
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.
Download Client Care Statement 109K (Queensland Residents Only)