Who is the Australian Friendly Society?
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.
What is a Bendigo Funeral Bond?
The Bendigo Funeral Bond is an investment product that is issued by the Australian Friendly Society. It is a capital guaranteed investment product designed solely to accumulate funds to finance the cost of your funeral.
How can I apply for a Bendigo Funeral Bond?
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 – Via the home page of our website or contact our customer service team on 03 5485 7891 or 1800 803 173
- Independent Investment – after reading and understanding the Disclosure Document you can make application direct to the Australian Friendly Society.
- Financial Planner – you can seek advice from your Financial Planner and make 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).
What are the forms of the bond ownership?
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, and would therefore need to complete an individual application for each.
- Joint Investors – bonds may be jointly owned by any two people, however only one funeral may be funded under joint ownership. Upon the passing of the first joint member the bond will be surrendered and the surviving joint member would need to apply for a new bond (if so desired).
How do I contribute to the bond?
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 base value.
- Utilise the ‘regular savings plan’ which allows you to make a monthly payment of at least $42* via direct debit, until you have reach the nominated maximum bond value.
- You can also make additional contributions with a minimum of $500* in each instance.
- Fees – The management fee charged is 1.75% (inclusive of GST) of funds. * There may also be a contribution fee of 2.0% (inclusive of GST) payable, however this is determined by the method in which the investment is made.How does the investment grow?
- The bond funds are pooled together and invested, with the income from these investments being paid as a ‘bonus’ to each individual account annually.
Are there any other benefits?
The Bond is also designed to 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 (effective from 1 July 2016 indexed annually at 1 July) is $12,500.
In addition to the Bendigo Funeral Bond there is the Bendigo Funeral Bond 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 70km 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 70km of your residential address).
Can I surrender my bond before I pass away?
The bond can only be surrendered upon the passing of either an individual investor, or the first member of a joint bond.
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.