The cost of children's funerals

30 November 2016
What was claimed

The average cost of a child’s funeral is £3,675.

Our verdict

This is the cost of an average funeral in 2016 according to a survey by insurers Royal London. Another firm puts the cost slightly higher. The cost of burying a child may be lower in some areas, as councils often waive or discount burial fees for under-16s.

“The average cost of a child’s funeral today is £3,675. Some councils don’t charge anything, some do charge a lot, and the Social Fund is means tested.”

Chris Bryant MP, 30 November 2016

The average cost of a funeral in 2016 was indeed £3,675, according to research by pensions and insurance company Royal London. A rival insurer puts it at £3,897, but the Royal London figure is the one reproduced by the Money Advice Service, which is where Mr Bryant’s office sourced the figure.

The cost varies in different parts of the country, as well as depending on whether the family wants a burial or cremation and how elaborate the ceremony is.

It may also be lower in the case of a child. The Child Funeral Charity says that “many funeral directors, the clergy and most celebrants do not charge fees” for a child’s funeral. But “there are other funeral related expenses that bereaved parents struggle to find”.

These might include the burial fees charged by councils. As Mr Bryant says, some don’t charge for the burial of someone under 16. Others do, albeit that there is often a reduced fee in these circumstances.

A government Social Fund Funeral Payments scheme can help to pay for these and other funeral costs. Mr Bryant is correct that it’s means tested—only people who get certain benefits are eligible.

The average payment under this scheme in 2015/16 was around £1,400, according to the House of Commons Library, which says that “the adequacy of payments has long been a source of complaint”.

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