One Life Funeral Planning Limited (“the Company”) In Administration
Andrew Watling and Kelly Mitchell were appointed as Joint Administrators of the Company on 2 November 2022. In accordance with Paragraph 46(3) of Schedule B1 of the Insolvency Act 1986 we are notifying you of the appointment of the Joint Administrators. Following a change in legislation, from 29 July 2022, the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) commenced the regulation of pre-paid funeral plan providers. Ahead of that, the FCA assessed applications from funeral plan providers for authorisation. You should have previously been made aware that the FCA has confirmed to the Company that the Company was unsuccessful in its application to continue to trade as a funeral plan provider. Following this notice the Company was entitled to continue to trade on a limited basis until 31 October 2022 and to fulfil existing plans but was unable to continue to sell or enter into new funeral plans. With this in mind, the Company proceeded to seek an FCA authorised provider to acquire the Company’s funeral plans, including your funeral plan. Unfortunately, the Company has not been able to secure a sale or transfer of its funeral plans and as a result, has been placed into Administration to protect its position, but which also allows a further limited time to seek to transfer of the Company’s funeral plans to an FCA authorised provider, or to find an alternative solution to mitigate any loss to the plan-holders and other creditors. The Administrators have approached other funeral providers to ascertain if they would be interested in acquiring the Company’s funeral plans and as soon as we are able to provide an update on these discussions, we will. The Administrators understand that the Company placed your instalments into a separate Trust, which funded the Company’s operating costs and over time was expected to build up a significant fund. There are not currently enough funds within the Trust to meet the cost of the funerals of all of the Company’s plan holders or to pay a full refund to every plan holder. At this point the Administrators believe that maintaining the funeral plans at their current level improves our chances of successfully transferring the Company’s funeral plans to an FCA authorised provider so we would urge you not to cancel your policies. The Company, by its Administrators will continue to collect instalments, which will be held on your behalf by our payment provider, pending the final outcome of our efforts to find an acquirer for your plan. These monies will either be transferred to a new FCA authorised provider, at which point they will become protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, or they will be refunded in full in the event that a transfer is not completed. We appreciate that this news is unwelcome and potentially unsettling to you so we have included in this communication a Factsheet, which will answer many of your questions. We are also including information on how you will be able to register to receive regular updates and reports produced by the Administrators in due course and how to contact us with any queries you have beyond those answered below:
What has happened to One Life Funeral Planning Ltd?
Having been unsuccessful in its application for FCA authorisation, the Company approached other FCA authorised firms in respect of a transfer of the funeral plans. Interest was received, and negotiations are ongoing with approved providers, however the directors concluded that these negotiations could not be concluded by the approaching deadline of 31 October 2022. The directors sought professional advice in relation to this and other matters, and the decision was taken to appoint administrators, which would allow negotiations to continue beyond the statutory deadline. On 2 November 2022, Andrew Watling and Kelly Mitchell of Quantuma Advisory Ltd were appointed as Joint Administrators of the Company. Under the supervision of the Joint Administrators, the Company continues to administer plans of existing plan holders whilst the Joint Administrators seek to secure a transfer of all funeral plans to a FCA authorised pre-paid funeral plan provider.
How does the Administration affect my funeral plan?
Even though the Company is in Administration, it will continue to honour its commitments to provide a funeral until further notice and One Life’s Bereavement Helpline is still active.
Is there another funeral plan provider that is willing to take on my plan?
Our discussions with other FCA authorised providers are ongoing and we will update you of the result of these discussions when they have concluded.
Will my funeral plan be transferred to another provider?
Your funeral plan may be transferred to an FCA authorised provider. The Joint Administrators are in discussions with a number of FCA authorised providers to see if a transfer of the Company’s funeral plan contracts can be achieved. If your contract is transferred to a FCA authorised provider, the new provider would administer your funeral plan and you would benefit from the protection of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (the FSCS) if your new provider was to fail.
What will happen if I or my loved ones want to utilise my plan after 2 November 2022?
Whilst the Joint Administrators pursue a transfer of all funeral plans to an FCA authorised provider, the Company will continue to administer plans of existing plan holders of the Company. The Joint Administrators have retained the employees of the Company to ensure that the current services provided by the Company can continue during this period. This includes working with the Trustees of The One Life Trust (“the Trust”) to allow for the cost of any funerals that take place during this period to be paid from the funds within the Trust. The Trustees continue to have a fiduciary duty to the Company’s plan holders to ensure plan holders’ monies are safeguarded. The Company’s Bereavement Helpline is still active, through which we would ask be only used for the purpose for which it is intended in order to avoid any unnecessary delays in responding to such notifications, and adversely affecting the bereaved at that difficult time
What has happened to my money?
The Joint Administrators understand that all plan payments – both prepaid and instalments – have been paid by the Company into a separate Trust, which remains under the control of its Trustees, with whom the Administrators are working. The Joint Administrators will be looking at whether these funds were used to pay the Company’s running costs and to meet the costs of funerals as part of their duties to investigate the failure of the Company. Some of the funds were used to make investments on behalf of the Trust. Unfortunately there is a shortfall between the level of assets in the Trust and the forecast level of funeral plan costs and refunds to be paid. Essentially the value of the assets is not enough to meet the funeral plan obligations of the Company, or to refund paid instalments in full. The Joint Administrators will communicate with plan holders further regarding the likely return to them in the event that a full transfer of plans in not achieved.
Are the payments I previously made protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme?
The Company is not FCA authorised, and therefore your payments are not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and plan holders are unable to refer a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. If your plan is transferred to an FCA authorised provider, then those plans will become covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Continuing to make instalment payments under my contract
Plan holders can continue to make instalment payments in the usual manner. All instalments are collected by the Company’s payment provider, GoCardless. These payments will be held by GoCardless in a segregated account until the Joint Administrators are successful in transferring the funeral plans to a new FCA authorised provider, at which time, they will be released to the Trust and transferred to a new FCA authorised provider and will become protected by the Financial Compensation Scheme. If a transfer of the funeral plans is not successful, payments made since 2 November 2022 will be refunded to you in full.
I recently received a refund from GoCardless and a message that they could no longer accept payments from me
There was a slight delay in the appointment of the Administrators and GoCardless were right to refund any payments that were processed between 31 October 2022 and our appointment on 2 November 2022. They were also correct that at that time, One Life Funeral Planning Ltd were not able to take payments and notified those affected accordingly. Now the Company is in Administration, it is again able to collect instalment payments and GoCardless continue to be the payment provider. Future payments will be collected as scheduled and we will shortly be instructing GoCardless to collect those payments that were previously refunded. This will bring your payments back up to date. You do not need to do anything to rectify your payments.
Will I get any payments I made before the Administration refunded?
This refers to both instalments and paid in full funeral contracts. There are not enough assets in the Trust to pay a full refund to all plan-holders. The Joint Administrators hope that they can find an FCA-authorised funeral plan provider who is willing to take on the Company’s funeral plans. As set out above, if your contract is transferred to a FCA authorised provider, the new provider would administer your funeral plan and you would benefit from the protection of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (the FSCS) if your new provider was to fail. If a transfer of the Company’s funeral plans cannot be achieved then the Administrators will notify all plan-holders and commence an exercise in which plan-holders receive a partial refund of amounts that they have paid. The Administrators are required to deal with all plan-holders fairly so any refunds will be processed in due course, with regard to the final amount available in the Trust. At this time, it is not possible to indicate what percentage of your premiums you will receive, but further information, including the expected level of refunds, will be provided in later reports from the Joint Administrators if a transfer cannot be achieved (see below).
Can I cancel my plan?
The Terms and Conditions of you plan will continue to apply. Details of how to cancel your plan are shown in Clause 12 of the Terms & Conditions issued at the time your plan was taken out. The Joint Administrators will work with the Trustees to review and respond to any refund requests but due to the uncertainty over the possible transfer of your plan and the requirement of the Trustees to treat all plan holders fairly, it is unlikely you will receive a full refund, either immediately or at all. Given the efforts the Joint Administrators are making to transfer your plans to a new FCA authorised plan provider and the arrangements in place to safeguard and ring fence in full any new instalments, plan holders may wish to await further updates on any progress made in securing a transfer of their plans before requesting a refund.
Can I get my money back from my card provider?
If you have paid all or part of your plan by credit or debit card, you may be eligible to claim a repayment from your card provider. You should contact your card provider to find out if you are eligible for a refund. If you do receive a refund, we ask you to notify the Administrators that the refund has been received so the Company’s records can be updated.
Can I get my money back if I paid by bank transfer or my card provider won’t authorise a chargeback?
All plan holders are entitled to submit a claim in the Administration but you do not need to submit a claim yet. The Administrators will write to all plan holders with details of how to make a claim in due course.
Where can I find out more about my rights to a refund?
You may find some useful information through the link below:
What is the status of the Administration and when can I expect a more general update?
The Administrators have very specific objectives that they must strive to achieve and our ability to do this relies on keeping the plan book as intact as possible but it also relies on us having the requisite funding in place. The Administrators have an agreement in place for funding of our work, but if that changes and we have insufficient funding to continue to carry out our work in relation to the Trust, it is unlikely we will be able to achieve the purpose of the Administration and will need to bring the Administration to an end. The Administrators are required to produce their proposals for their future strategy within 8 weeks of their appointment – by 28 December 2022. These proposals have been uploaded to the creditors portal, details of which are noted below. The Administrators are further obliged to provide a detailed progress report to creditors of the Company every 6 months. The first report covers the period from 2 November 2022 to 1 May 2023 and this has been issued onto our dedicated online portal, details of which are as follows:
To access the documents, please click ‘Login’ and enter the following details when prompted:
Unique ID: Onel!fe123
Please note you will only be able to access the website through Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. All other communication will also be uploaded to this dedicated online portal.
What information is included in the Administrators progress report?
The progress report will include the following information;
- • A general update on the status of the Administration, steps taken to date and further work that needs to be undertaken
- • An update on the Administrators’ attempts to achieve a transfer of the Company’s funeral plan contracts
- • Progress made in respect of the Administrators’ investigation into the affairs of the Company in the lead up to the Administration
- • An update on the current and estimated future costs of the Administration process. The Administrators’ costs and expenses in relation to their work relating to the Trust and the plan holders would be deducted from the funds within the Trust subject to Court approval.
- • The estimated future return to plan holders
When will the Administration end?
The Administration is currently due to end automatically on 1 November 2023 as this will be 12 months from the date of the appointment of the Administrators. This period can be extended with consent of the creditors for up to 12 months or longer by application to the court.
How do I contact the Administrators?
In the first instance we would direct you to the schedule of FAQs above, which may address your concerns. The Administrators have set up a dedicated UK-based customer service team to assist you with any further questions you may have in respect of the Administration and the impact of the Administration on your plan and any potential return of the money you have invested. The customer service team is available to be contacted by freephone on 0808 178 3018 (Office hours 9am to 5pm)
We also have a dedicated email firstname.lastname@example.org if you prefer to contact us in writing, or to send any documents. This email will be constantly monitored and your emails will be responded to promptly. In the event your queries are not answered by the FAQs and/or the customer service team is unable to deal with your specific query, you will be referred to the Administrators’ office directly where your enquiries will be dealt with in a timely manner.
Telephone: 0808 178 3018
Post: One Life Funeral Planning Ltd (In Administration)
c/o Quantuma Advisory Ltd, Office D, Beresford House
Town Quay, Southampton, SO14 2AQ
The affairs, business and assets of the Company are being managed by the Joint Administrators, Andrew Watling and Kelly Mitchell, who act as agents of the Company without personal liability. Andrew Watling and Kelly Mitchell are licensed as insolvency practitioners in the United Kingdom by the ICAEW