Funeral poverty – 2.8 million over-50s say they don’t plan to have a funeral

Posted in: Corporate

  • 2.8 million of over-50s say they don’t plan to have a funeral
  • To save money, 45% of over-50s say they would have a cremation, 32% would simplify the casket and 9% would donate their body to science
  • Almost three in ten (28%) of those opting to have no funeral say it’s because they don’t want loved ones to have to pay for it
  • Yet 79% do not have Over-50s insurance, with 11% saying they don’t understand the benefits
  • Of those with insurance, more than half (52%) say they bought it to pay for their funerals
  • Almost a third (29%) of those worried about their retirement savings say it’s because they haven’t kept up with inflation

Recent research by OneFamily has found 2.8 million over-50s are not planning to have a funeral.

The reasons behind this are complex and the cost-of-living crisis may have had an impact on their perspective, with one in eight (13%) of those choosing not to have a funeral saying they simply can’t afford one and almost three in ten (28%) saying they don’t want loved ones to have to worry about paying for an expensive send-off.

When asked how much they believe a funeral costs, the average amount people think they will have to put aside is £4,370. So, it’s understandable they may find this difficult to achieve when nearly two in five (39%) of the same group of people also said they are concerned they won’t have enough savings to live on comfortably in retirement. Of these people, almost a third (29%) said their savings simply hadn’t kept up with inflation.

To save money, nearly half (45%) of those surveyed said they would opt for a cremation and a third (32%) said they would simplify the casket. But the big surprise was that one in ten (9%) said they would consider donating their body to science – this equates to 2.3 million people.

However, nearly eight in ten (79%) don’t have over-50s insurance, which is an affordable solution for older people worrying about passing on costs to family members or considering abandoning the idea of a funeral altogether.

So, what can advisers do to support their customers? Ryan Griffin, OneFamily’s Director of Protection has some thoughts, “Funeral poverty is a very real problem, it’s quite shocking that 2.8 million people believe they can’t find a way to allow their families to celebrate their life. It’s part of the grieving process.

“Our research found nearly four in ten people aged over 50 thought life insurance would be too expensive, yet OneFamily’s premiums start from as little as £10 a month. Equally, one in ten said they didn’t understand what the benefits were and others said they don’t have over-50s cover because they have a pre-existing condition, yet we don’t require a medical and there’s guaranteed acceptance.

“So, advisers really have a big role in understanding people’s perceptions of the product and explaining how this type of cover works to their customers.

“Of those who had taken out insurance, or were planning to, just over half did so to ensure that the cost of their funeral was covered – and our policies automatically include funeral funding cover to make things as simple as possible.

“Having protection in place is a simple and cost-effective solution for those older people who are worried that their savings might not cover their funeral. But advisers are absolutely crucial in getting that message out there.”

The OneFamily Over-50s policy includes a comprehensive benefits package and funeral funding is automatically included. It also offers terminal illness benefit as standard and guarantees acceptance, with no medical needed. Premiums start from £10 per month.

To find out more please visit OneFamily adviser Over 50s Life Cover.


Notes to Editors

All research conducted by Opinium, on behalf of OneFamily, between 14th and 19th February 2024 among a sample of 2,000 UK adults aged over 50.
2.8m of over-50s don’t plan to have a funeral – There are approximately 25,707,500 over 50s in the population. 11% in our nationally representative survey of over 50s said they don’t plan to have a funeral. 11% of 25,707,500 is 2,827,825.
2.3m over-50s say they would donate their body to science to cut back on funeral costs – There are approximately 25,707,500 over 50s in the population. 9% in our nationally representative survey of over 50s said they would donate their body to science to cut back on funeral costs. 9% of 25,707,500 is 2,313,675.

About OneFamily

OneFamily is a member-owned financial services company that offers lifetime ISAs, lifetime mortgages, junior ISAs, child trust funds, bonds, over 50s life cover along with life insurance and critical illness cover under the Beagle Street brand.

We have over 45 years’ experience of being a trusted provider of financial solutions, with nearly 2 million customers and over £5.5 billion in funds under management at the end of 2022.

We are the UK’s biggest child trust fund provider, holding over 25% of the market.

Supporting our members and their communities

At OneFamily, we’re owned by our members for our members – and doing right by them is at the heart of our business.

We don’t have shareholders to pay dividends to, so we reinvest our profits to provide quality products and services for the benefit of our members.

We think that financial products should be accessible to everyone regardless of how much money they have to invest. That’s why our products have low investment levels and minimum contributions, giving more people the opportunity to save regardless of their circumstances.

Inspiring Better Futures

Our Inspiring Better Futures vision underpins our commitment to doing the right thing at every level for our members and customers, colleagues and communities.

The Inspiring Better Futures vision is built on 3 pillars – Members and customers, colleagues and communities.

Our focus is on long-term sustainability, so we can continue to be relevant and impactful to our members and communities.

Access to education and training

The costs of further education and training can be a barrier to many young people and their families. This is why we offer OneFamily customers the opportunity to apply for a Young Person’s Education Grant of up to £250 – for someone aged 15-19 – to help meet these costs, when they would otherwise struggle without financial assistance. The grant can be used towards study materials, specialist uniform, travel costs or a laptop/tablet.

Applications are open throughout the year, and grants are awarded following a random computerised draw.

We awarded over £52K to 210 young people through our Young Person’s Education Grants in 2022, helping them to invest in a better future.

Charity Partnerships

Supporting our communities has been a key focus of ours for many years. We’ve established partnerships with local and national charities that champion access to education and improving life chances for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

For more information on how we support our members and communities see:
Education grants
Charity partnerships