Financial Rights Legal Centre
Hotline
Call the National Debt Helpline
on 1800 007 007.
Aboriginal Community Benefit Fund (Youpla)

Aboriginal Community Benefit Fund has gone into liquidation. What does that mean for you …

ACBF/Youpla funeral plans – 10 October 2022 update

As at 11 March 2022 all the ACBF/Youpla funds went into liquidation. That means they’ve gone broke.

Those who still had a funeral policy with these funds no longer have funeral benefits.

What is the government doing about this?

In August 2022, the Federal Government has made two major announcements:

  1. They have committed to what they refer to as an ‘enduring resolution’ to help affected ACBF/Youpla fund holders.
  2. While they are working on this enduring resolution, anyone whose loved ones passed away and they were a ACBF/Youpla fund holder can claim their funeral benefits through the Youpla Benefits Program

What is the Youpla Benefits Program?

The Federal Government has announced the Youpla Benefits Program which can be accessed here.

The Program will pay a funeral benefit for a person who has passed away that was a Youpla Group fund member on or after 1 April 2020. If the member’s funeral was already paid, you can still make an application.

To apply, go to the Program website to complete an application form. Then email or post the application form to the program along with any supporting documents.

If accepted, the Program will pay the benefit listed on the person’s fund membership (this amount is usually found on the membership certificate) – this is not a refund or compensation.

The Program will run until 30 November 2023. The Program is meant to help only a small number of people who pass away now while the Federal Government is working on how to help everyone affected.

The Program also has a helpline to call if you are having difficulties. You can call 1800 296 989 (9:00am – 5:00pm Sydney time). If you are still having troubles, call us for advice on 1800 808 488.

I paid into ACBF/Youpla – will I get any money back?

About 30,000 people have been affected by the collapse of ACBF/Youpla.

The ACBF/Youpla funds include:
• Aboriginal Community Benefit Fund Pty Ltd (Fund 1)
• Aboriginal Community Benefit Fund No 2 Pty Ltd (Fund 2)
• ACBF Funeral Plans Pty Ltd (The Plan)

What fund was I in?

To find out whether you were in Fund 1, Fund 2 or The Plan – check any recent documents you have or contact the liquidators SV Partners on (07) 3310 2005 or email youpla@svp.com.au

Note: you may have had memberships in more than one fund.

Note: you should ask which fund you are in and how much money you have paid them. Write that information down somewhere safe.

The latest information provided by the liquidators, SV Partners indicates this:

  • If you were in Fund 1: SV Partners creditor report indicates that Fund 1 has some money in the bank. That means that Fund 1 members may get some money back. If this happens, it will probably be a lot less than you paid – skinny money.
  • If you were in Fund 2: SV Partners creditor report showed it barely had any money left. It is unlikely you will get any of your money back.
  • If you were in The Plan: SV Partners creditor report showed it barely had any money left. It is unlikely you will get any of your money back.

SV Partners are preparing to get Court orders to divide the leftover trust funds in Fund 1 to those Fund 1 members. SV Partners hope to get those Court orders by the end of the year.

Will the government respond more?

We have been working with other consumer bodies in the #SaveSorryBusiness Coalition asking the government to compensate the 30,000 people harmed by the collapse of Youpla/ACBF.

Why did this happen?

SV Partners are looking into any wrongful payments made from the ACBF funds and are getting some court orders and government help to trace where the money went. SV Partners are also looking at whether some of the directors may have broken the law and will need to provide a report to government regulators about this. It would then be up to the government regulators to do something about this.

The investigations are still ongoing and it will take months to do and even longer to get back the lost money if there is a way to do it. However, SV Partners are still digging up new details and we will keep you updated when more information becomes available.

Survey for those who were ACBF/Youpla Members

For those who were an ACBF/Youpla member, we want to hear from you. We have put together a simple online survey to complete on what you want the government to do about the ACBF/Youpla collapse.

The survey is only a few questions and can be done in a few minutes. If you need help with completing this survey, you can call us on 1800 808 488 for help.

Fill out the survey here.

Where to get more information and advice

We’re providing updates about what is happening with ACBF on our Mob Strong Debt Help Facebook page. We will also keep updating this page with more developments, so please follow us and keep coming back for updates.

Other organisations in your state may be able to give you free advice:

VICTORIA

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service: 1800 064 865.

Koori Help Line: 1800 574 457 (Monday – Friday 10 am – 1 pm and 2pm – 5 pm) – Website: https://koorihelp.consumeraction.org.au/

QUEENSLAND

Legal Aid Queensland Indigenous Hotline 1300 650 143

The person who contacts you may be Aboriginal. If you prefer to speak to an Aboriginal worker, please let the person know when they ring you back.

What can I do now?

You can do the following things right now:

  1. IF you can afford it, start looking at safe alternatives – build a joint savings fund or pay into a pre-paid funeral or funeral bond. Talk to your family about this.
  2. You can also talk to your local members of parliament about this and get them to raise it with government. Together with other consumer advocates we are raising this with the federal government. We are asking the government to provide compensation to you.
  3. Keep watching this space as we try and campaign for you. We would love to hear from you.

Don’t sign up to another funeral insurance product until you get advice

All of this is unjust! If the liquidation means I get nothing then what is the point of all this?

Agreed! This entire situation is unjust. We are working with other agencies to try to campaign for the Government to put in place a remediation scheme for people who had ACBF/Youpla funds #SaveSorryBusiness