Funeral Bond

Sureplan’s funeral bond is called Sureplan Gold and it is a conservatively managed bond that may be 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 can be 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). 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.

Sureplan Gold has some important benefits over traditional savings and investment funds

Pension Maximisation

You can contribute up to $13,500 (as at 1/7/2020) 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;

www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/funeral-bonds-and-prepaid-funerals

Reducing Aged Care Costs
When entering an aged care facility an investment in Sureplan Gold may reduce your assessable assets and, as a consequence, reduce your accommodation costs. Sureplan recommends you receive independent financial advice prior to making a decision to invest in Sureplan Gold for this purpose.
Investment Security
Sureplan Gold only invests in government bonds, highly rated corporate bonds (senior debt instruments issued by the major Australian corporates and banks) and cash.
Investment Returns
A bonus may be allocated to your policy annually. Since its inception in 1998/99 Sureplan Gold has produced an annual return that equaled or bettered inflation for that year. The allocation of bonuses is not guaranteed, and past performance is not necessarily a reliable indicator of future performance.
Taxation Minimisation
Any bonuses credited to your Sureplan Gold bond will not be required to be included as income for taxation purposes. Unless you assign your Sureplan Gold bond to a funeral director or cemetery/crematorium business bonuses paid as part of your funeral benefit will be subject to tax in your estate.
Low Fees
Sureplan Gold has no entry, contribution or exit fees. However, if you die within 12 months of commencing your account any bonuses credited will be reversed.
Easy and Speedy Claims
Sureplan guarantees to pay the funeral benefit within 1 working day of receiving verification of your death from an independent source. If you die within 12 months of joining, any bonus previously allocated to your policy will not be paid.
Decisions to acquire or invest in Sureplan Gold should only be made after considering the information contained in the current Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). Applications to invest will only be accepted if made on an application form which is available by request. To obtain a copy of the current PDS and application form, please phone 1800 817 105 or download from www.sureplan.com.au.

Recent Returns for Sureplan Gold Funeral Bond

Year Sureplan Gold Return Annual CPI (Inflation)
2010/11 4.70% p.a. 3.60%
2011/12 4.80% p.a. 1.20%
2012/13 3.50% p.a. 2.40%
2013/14 3.00% p.a. 3.00%
2014/15 2.00% p.a. 1.50%
2015/16 1.50% p.a. 1.00%
2016/17 2.06% p.a. 1.90%
2017/18 2.10% p.a. 2.10%
2018/19 2.00% p.a. 1.60%
2019/20 1.00% p.a. -0.30%
Sureplan Gold Bonus Rate
Q1

Sureplan has been managing funeral funds since 1935 and has a long and proud history of delivering outstanding benefits for members. Your investment in Sureplan Gold is safeguarded by the solvency reserves maintained in accordance with the prudential standards issued by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

Q2

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:

  1. The amount deposited and accumulated interest (bonuses) can be exempt from the Income and Assets Test for Centrelink and DVA pensioners
  2. The annual interest (bonus) credited to your funeral bond is not subject to taxation in your hands in that year. The accumulated bonus amount included in the funeral benefit payment at the time of your death will be treated as income for your estate
  3. Your family can immediately commence with funeral planning arrangements as claims are paid with 24 hours of the confirmation of your death.
Q3

Simply download the Sureplan Gold PDS and, if a Queensland resident, a Client Care Statement. Alternatively, call 1800 817 105 or email and we will post you the necessary documentation. You will need to complete the Application Form contained in the PDS and the front page of the Client Care Statement and forward them to Sureplan, Reply Paid 899, Spring Hill Qld 4004.

Q4

No. After the cooling off period the benefit is only payable upon your death.

Q5

Anyone can join. There are no health conditions applicable to Sureplan Gold.

Q6

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.

Q7

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.

Q8

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.

Q9

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.

Q10

Investment income earned by Sureplan on your investment in Sureplan Gold 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.

Q11

Under Australia's current Goods and Services Tax (GST) rules your contribution/s, investment earnings and benefit payments do not attract GST.

Q12

Yes, in accordance with the Fund rules. Please contact Sureplan Friendly Society Ltd for more information.

Funeral Bond Application Form

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