This fact sheet is for information only. You should get professional advice about your personal situation from a financial counsellor or a lawyer.
Aboriginal Community Benefit Fund has gone into liquidation. What does that mean for you?
Update on ACBF/Youpla collapse: 25 October 2023
How to apply for the Youpla Group Funeral Benefit Plans
Where to get information about what might happen next
Call Mob Strong Debt Help or follow the Mob Strong Facebook page for more updates
In this fact sheet
I paid into ACBF/Youpla, will I get my money back?
•What fund was I in?
ACBF/Youpla funeral plans – 25 October 2023 update
The Government announced they have extended the Youpla Group Funeral Benefits Program (for those who have passed) until 30 June 2024. Visit the Treasury Website for more infromation about the Youpla benefits scheme.
We are all still waiting for the government’s enduring resolution to be announced.
What is the government doing about this?
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.
In August 2022, the Federal Government has made two major announcements:
- They have committed to what they refer to as an ‘enduring resolution’ to help affected ACBF/Youpla fund holders.
- 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 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 Government told us that the Program (for those who have passed) will now be available until 30 June 2024. The Program is meant to help only a small number of people who pass away now. This is while the government is working on the Enduring Resolution.
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.
What is happening with ASIC taking court action?
(1) ASIC takes action against former directors – 31 August
From 31 August you may hear that ASIC (the Australian Securities and Investments Commission – or the government agency that makes sure financial companies do the right thing) has started civil legal action against 5 former ACBF/Youpla directors.
One of ASIC’s claims is that the ACBF directors agreed to make payments to an overseas company that were not in the best interests of the fund and its members. ASIC says this was part of the reason the fund went broke. Two of the directors owned and controlled the overseas company. The directors were putting their own personal interests above the interests of the fund. This will be a difficult case to win.
Download this document from ASIC to learn more about it:
There will be no money back for members from this legal case. ASIC does not have the power to start any criminal proceedings against the directors, so nobody will go to prison, but the directors may be ordered to pay large fines and could be banned from being directors of companies in the future.
The action that ASIC has taken is a good step in the right direction and serves as a warning to other company directors to take their duties seriously.
(2) Federal Court decision released – 5 September
On 5 September the Federal Court handed down its decision about whether ACBF misled its members between 2015 and 2018. ASIC won part of the case. The court agreed that ACBF had misled people by making them believe they would get a lump sum in cash, when what they would really only get was their funeral expenses paid. This could add up to less than the benefit amount.
ASIC lost the other parts of its case. The court said that ACBF did do things to make people believe it was Aboriginal owned and managed, but the court did not think ASIC had proven that this was not true. ASIC is reviewing the legal decision and what they can do from here.
The Court assessed a $1.2million penalty against the company. This amount will not be paid since ACBF/Youpla is broke, but it is a warning to other companies they should not mislead people.
ASIC put out a Media Release about the case and said “taking regulatory action where misconduct is targeted at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is a priority that we are committed to, and we will continue to work with stakeholders to achieve appropriate outcomes.”
This chart from ASIC helps explain how this legal action fits in with the promises made by Government and the insolvency proceedings:
I paid into ACBF/Youpla – will I get any money back?
Over 100,000 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 email@example.com
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 in 2023 but no further information has been provided.
Will the government respond more?
We have been working with other consumer bodies in the #SaveSorryBusiness Coalition asking the government to compensate the people harmed by the collapse of Youpla/ACBF.
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.
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.
If you need more information you can visit the Mob Strong Debt Help section of this website.
Other organisations in your state may be able to give you free advice:
Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service: 1800 064 865.
Koori Help Line: 1800 574 457 (Monday – Friday 10 am – 1 pm and 2pm – 5 pm)
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- If you have lost a loved one and was expecting money from ACBF/Youpla:
- Visit the MoneySmart website about paying for funerals for more information
- Ring your local Aboriginal Land Council for support
- Find a free financial counsellor on the National Debt Helpline website to consider other options to pay or save like a savings account
- If you are feeling sad, angry, confused and lost and want to speak to a professional, contact
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