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Aboriginal Community Benefit Fund (Youpla)

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

ACBF/Youpla funeral plans – August 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.

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.

Will the fund pay for funerals now?

The Federal Government will pay ACBF/Youpla claims for families who have had a loved one pass as long as they were still paying up to 1 April 2020. This support will be available until 30 November 2023. To claim, contact the liquidators, SV Partners at:

  • Email: claims@youpla.com.au; or
  • Phone (07) 3310 2005 or freecall 1800 246 801; or
  • Post: SV Partners, GPO Box 5300, Brisbane, QLD, 4001

If you are finding claiming difficult, please call Mob Strong on 1800 808 488
Over the next 12-18 months Government will be consulting on a more permanent solution for other First Nations people who have been affected by the ACBF/Youpla collapse. Mob Strong will provide information on how to claim as soon as we can.

Will I get any money back?

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 getting legal advice on how to divide the leftover trust funds to those who are owed money. It will be at least a couple of months before they give an answer.

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.

What is the government doing about this?

We have been working with different consumer bodies to ask the government to provide compensation for those who have lost out. Thank you all who signed the #savesorrybusiness open letter.

Because of the campaign, the new Minister for Aboriginal Affairs has said that ACBF/Youpla is one of her top priorities. This is exciting news and we have started discussing this with the Federal government.

Can I complain?

There’s been lots of complaints recently about Youpla and the Funds about how they were misleading people when selling the funds and the poor value for money. You can still lodge a complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) (https://www.afca.org.au or phone: 1800 931 678 but AFCA have placed all complaints on hold because these companies have gone broke. Your complaint might help show the government there is a big problem here they should fix, but it won’t get your money back.

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.

You’ve called Mob Strong Debt Help, but couldn’t get through? 

Mob Strong is getting a lot of calls about ACBF. We’re sorry we haven’t been able to talk to you. We are answering as many calls as we can.

We’re providing constant 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.

Will someone get back to me?

We’re aiming to get back to everyone who has already lodged their details with us, to talk through your individual issues and help you work out what to do next. 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 payments are still coming out of your account or credit card: contact your bank to stop all payments to ACBF – if the bank refuses then contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority to lodge a complaint.
  2. Lodge a complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (https://www.afca.org.au and 1800 931 678) – have your complaint on the record.
  3. Share this website with your mob – it might help answer a lot of questions as we are getting hundreds of calls.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

We’ve joined over 130 organisations who’ve signed the open letter calling on the incoming government to support people affected by the Youpla funerals scandal. Add your name too.

And please fill out this survey to make sure your voice is heard in the campaign.