Kamloops funeral home applauds death benefit changes

By Vanessa Ybarra
December 16, 2017 - 11:18am Updated: December 17, 2017 - 8:15am

KAMLOOPS — A Kamloops funeral home is applauding the federal government's decision to set the death benefit at a flat $2,500.

The change to the Canada Pension Plan announced earlier this week means all Canadians will now receive the same amount regardless of how long or how much someone has paid into CPP.

The Funeral Services Association was lobbying to raise the value to $3,580, saying the flat payout isn't enough to cover a funeral, which costs an average $6,000.

However Drake Smith, with Drake Cremation & Funeral Services says the amount is more than enough as most British Columbians are opting for cremation anyways.

"In British Columbia and in Kamloops the cremation rate is around 90 per cent," said Smith. "The cost of that is just over $21-hundred, so if they're going to make this a flat benefit of $25-hundred that's going to be perfect for the vast majority we serve."

Smith says a large portion of families he serves are also choosing to have a 'celebration of life' for a loved one at their home or a restauraunt rather than a traditional funeral home service.

He adds the flat rate is a great move for low-income residents who prior to this week's announcement didn't make enough income to access the feds maximum payout of $25-hundred.

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