HM Insights

Funeral Savings Scheme proposed as Scottish Government tackles funeral poverty

The Scottish Government have set out proposals for a pilot of a government-supported Incentivised Funeral Savings Scheme. The proposed savings scheme is part of the Scottish Government's action plan to tackle funeral poverty and make more affordable funeral options available. The savings scheme is designed to encourage people plan for the future and make financial provision for their funeral.

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The cost of a funeral in Scotland

The savings scheme comes at a time when funeral costs have risen significantly over the last ten years with the average cost of a basic funeral in Scotland in 2018 being between £3,500 and £4,100.

Research conducted as part of the proposals found that over half of the respondents did not currently save for their funeral. Many families who have not made financial provision for funeral expenses may find it difficult to cover the costs.

What would the scheme do?

The proposed savings scheme seeks to encourage funeral planning and is targeted at those over 40 with low-to-middle incomes. Under the proposed scheme, both savers and the government will contribute to the scheme (at a yet unspecified capped amount) and the scheme would be available only for funeral expenses. It is proposed that a pilot scheme will be delivered through credit unions.

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Rising funeral costs place an imposing burden on those left behind, particularly those who are struggling with the cost of living. Making a Will and planning for the inevitable can  reduce the financial implications and stress on grieving relatives.