The provider we use is one of the UK’s premier funeral plan providers, it is of paramount importance that their plan-holders’ investments are safe and secure. Set up in conjunction with Wrigleys LLP (a law firm specialising in trust funds), great care has been taken to ensure the fund in which customers’ monies are invested, complies with all current legislation as set out in the Regulated Activities Order (Financial Services and Markets Act 2000).
Article 60 of the RAO stipulates, ‘sums paid by the customer under the contract will be held on trust for the purpose of providing the funeral and that the following requirements will be met with respect to the trust‘:
- The trust must be established by a written instrument
- More than half the trustees must be unconnected with the provider.
None of the directors or staff are in any way connected with the board of trustees, making it 100% independent. The Trust Fund is with Pitmans Trustees Ltd.
- The trustees must appoint an independent fund manager who is an authorised person who has permission to carry out an activity of the kind specified in article 37 of the RAO, and who is a person who is unconnected with the provider, to manage the assets of the trust.
The providers Trust Fund is managed by UBS – a multinational investment management firm, voted ‘Global Best Investment Bank’ at the Global Finance World’s Best Investment Banks Awards 2016.
- Annual accounts must be prepared and audited by a person who is eligible for appointment as a company auditor under Section 25 of the Companies Act 1989 with respect to the assets and liabilities of the trust.
Mazars, one of the UK’s largest accounting and auditing firms, have been appointed to audit their Trust Fund. They have already carried out the first audit (to April 2015) and will be undertaking the following year (to April 2016) imminently.
- The assets and liabilities of the trust must, at least once every three years, be determined, calculated and verified by an actuary who is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries or the Faculty of Actuaries.
Mazars have also been appointed as actuaries to their Trust. Although the initial actuarial report is not due until January 2017, it is expected to be compete and ready for publication by no later than November 2016.