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Canberra extends Youpla redress scheme to 2024 

The Federal Government has extended the financial redress scheme for beneficiaries of deceased Indigenous policyholders who had acquired funeral insurance from Youpla Group. 

Applications for the Youpla Group Funeral Benefits Program will be accepted until June 30 next year. The program, created after Youpla collapsed last year, was to have expired at the end of next month. 

“The Government is committed to an enduring resolution to the Youpla Group collapse, however the process has been more complex than expected,” Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones and Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney said in a joint statement. 

“By extending the interim program, we are giving former Youpla Group customers certainty while the final details of the enduring resolution are worked through.” 

Since the program started on September 7 last year, it has approved over 325 grants with a total value of more than $2.6 million to eligible beneficiaries of policyholders who had an active policy on or after April 1 2020. 

The April 1 2020 date is when Youpla Group stopped issuing new policies due to its failure to obtain an Australian Financial Services Licence. 

Youpla was under scrutiny for years over high-pressure sales tactics and misleading and deceptive practices used to sell low quality funeral plans to Indigenous communities. 

The insurer’s business model was exposed during the 2018 Hayne royal commission and later collapsed as its financial troubles deepened. 

In August the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) launched civil penalty proceedings against five former Youpla directors, alleging they have breached their duties in contravention of the Corporations Act. 

And in a separate proceeding against Youpla’s ACBF Funeral Plans, ASIC lodged an appeal this month to challenge a Federal Court decision in relation to one of the regulator’s claims. 

Click here for the redress scheme details.