Australian Friendly Society has been caring for the financial needs of Australians since it was first registered on 28 April 1969. It is a friendly society for the purposes of the Life Insurance Act 1995 and retains the historical friendly society philosophy of service and community concern, while encouraging the traditional values of thrift, self-help and fellowship.
The Bendigo Funeral Bond is an investment product that is issued by the Australian Friendly Society. It is a capital guaranteed investment designed solely to accumulate funds to finance the cost of your funeral.
You can apply for a Bendigo Funeral Bond online by filling out our application form here. Before applying for a Bendigo Funeral Bond you must obtain a Bendigo Funeral Bond Disclosure Document. You can do this in a number of ways including:
- Downloading the disclosure document – You can download the Disclosure Document here or by contacting our Customer Service Team on 03 5485 7891
- Direct Investment – after reading and understanding the Disclosure Document you can make an application direct to the Australian Friendly Society.
- Financial Adviser – you can seek advice from your Financial Adviser and make an application through them.
- Prepaid Funeral with a Funeral Director – should you prepay your funeral with a participating Funeral Director they will apply on your behalf to place the bond with the Australian Friendly Society. Should you apply in this way you will be ‘assigning’ your funeral bond to that Funeral Director (refer to the Disclosure Document for more information).
You can choose between individual or joint ownership of your Bond.
- Individual Investor – If applying as an individual you complete the form enclosed in the Disclosure Document. Couples can also apply for individual bonds. The advantage of individual ownership is that each person can invest up to the nominated maximum amount with both parties separately covered for their own funeral expenses.
- Joint Investors – Bonds may be jointly owned by any two people. However only one funeral can be funded under joint ownership. Immediately upon the death of a joint member, the surviving member must elect in writing whether the bond is to be redeemed for the deceased member, (with any excess paid to their estate) or continue for the surviving member. A Bond opened under joint ownership is still subject to the contribution limit for income and asset test exemption purposes, unless assigned to a Funeral Director.
Assigning your Bond to a funeral director.
Ownership of your Bond may be assigned to a funeral director of your choice as a part of a pre-paid funeral. It is important to note that assignment of your Bond transfers complete ownership of the Bond to the funeral director.
You can contribute in a number of ways:
- Make an initial contribution of at least $500*.
- Make a contribution of the full amount of your desired bond value.
- Establish a Regular Savings Plan which allows you to make a monthly contributions of at least $42* via direct debit from your financial institution. This plan allows you to contribute over a time frame until you have reached your desired amount.
- You can also make additional contributions of a minimum amount of $500*.
*A contribution fee of 2% may apply depending on the method in which the investment was made.
A Management fee of 1.75% p.a.* (inclusive of GST) is charged for the costs for operating the Fund.
There may also be a 2.00 % ^ contribution fee (inclusive of GST) on the initial amount and each amount contributed to your investment thereafter (determined by the method in which the investment was made).
*Under the Fund Rules, the Society is able to charge a maximum annual management fee of up to 3.00% p.a. plus GST on the average daily balance of the Fund to meet the costs of managing the Fund. 60 Days’ notice will be given to investors prior to any changes.
^ There is no contribution fee payable on Bonds assigned to Victorian funeral directors.
In determining whether or not to declare a bonus and the bonus rate to be declared, Australian Friendly Society considers the investment returns achieved during the year, as well as the advice of the Society’s Actuary. The actual bonus declared is calculated after the deduction of Fund fees, charges (including tax) and any solvency reserves required by law. If a bonus is declared, it is allocated to each member’s account as at 30 June and becomes part of the total investment for the calculation of future bonuses. The bonus is guaranteed once declared.
The Bond may help you qualify for both income and asset test exemptions if you receive a means-tested pension or benefit from Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The exemption threshold for the 2018-19 financial year is $13,000.
In addition to the Bendigo Funeral Bond there is the Travel Protection Plan (the Plan). The Travel Protection Plan is an optional benefit that covers the transportation cost in the event of your death in Australia 70kms or further from your residential address. The Plan covers the cost of transportation of your remains from the place of death to the chosen funeral home, up to a maximum of $3,000 (the funeral director must operate within 70kms of your residential address).
The Bond can only be accessed upon the passing of an individual member, or in the case of joint applicants, the Bond will mature upon the death of either one of the applicants as selected by the surviving applicant.
The Bendigo Funeral Bond is issued by Australian Friendly Society Limited (the Society) ABN 29 087 648 851 AFSL 247028. All benefits are guaranteed by AFS. Investors should read the current Disclosure Document before making a decision to acquire this product.