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The trust into which payments are placed is a financially separate entity run by an independent board of Trustees, ensuring security of funds for the funeral plan holders.

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The Golden Charter Trust Chairman’s Report

Ian Blackford
Chairman Golden Charter Trust

“In my first year as Chairman of the Trust, I am pleased to present our Annual Review of the Trust for the year to 31 March 2016. As a Trustee Board we are committed to providing you with clear information about the Trust and the funds we hold on behalf of funeral directors and plan holders.”

How the Trust has performed in the year to 31st March 2016:

I am pleased to report another year of continued growth in the asset values of the Trust through both increased plan sales and investment performance, with the audited Trust net assets at the year-end totalling £761 million (2015 audited £660 million), which demonstrates the on-going success of Golden Charter. The average value of an outstanding funeral plan at the year-end was £2,869, rising from £2,747 in 2015.

 The charts below show how the value of the Trust and the average value of a plan have grown significantly over the last five years. Looking ahead, we anticipate that the Trust’s funds will continue to grow, in line with Golden Charter Limited’s forecasts for plan sales.

You will see the detailed spread of the underlying investments and assets in our Investment Report.

Review of Investment Strategy: 

During the year, the Trustee Board reviewed the investment strategy and took the decision to change our asset allocation policy to meet our principal investment objective (as set out in the Investment Report below). Our strategic target now is to hold a broader mix of investments, which includes gilts, equities and infrastructure funds.
Regulatory Compliance: 

During the year, Golden Charter Limited submitted its 2015 annual return to the FPA, which included the submission of the Trust’s audited accounts and actuarial report.
The accounts to 31st March 2016 for The Golden Charter Trust and its subsidiary, The Golden Charter Trust Ltd have been prepared and audited.
Additional Maturity Payments: 

The Trustees, after consultation with the Directors of Golden Charter Limited, were pleased to authorise additional maturity payments from the Trust to qualifying funeral directors, on each plan maturing between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017.  The ability to continue to pay additional maturity payments from the Trust will be reviewed annually by the Trustees. 
Actuarial Valuation as at 31 March 2016:

The Actuary’s Report confirms that the Trust assets continue to cover more than 100 per cent of future expected funeral director payments, when taking into account anticipated future consumer price inflation.

I believe the Trust continues to be governed in an effective manner in accordance with the Trust Deed, the duties and responsibilities obligated on the Trustees under Trust Law, and the FPA Rules and Code of Conduct.
You can be reassured that the Trust is in good shape and that, with a combination of adherence to regulation, maintaining the Trust’s reputation and retaining a high calibre and  integrity of Trustees, we will continue to safeguard the assets of The Golden Charter Trust for the benefit of funeral directors and plan holders.
Finally, I would like to thank my fellow Trustees for their commitment and support over the year.
Ian Blackford, 
Chairman of The Golden Charter Trust