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January 2018

Dear Members,


IMPORTANT - NEW License Renewal Process

For your 2018 license renewal you will need to renew through the State's new licensing system PALS at www.pals.pa.gov. There will be no paper renewal for any license class. All establishment licenses, including branch and main establishments, must be renewed in order for any of the individual licenses associated with the establishment to be renewed.

If you run into any issues with the system please visit: https://www.pals.pa.gov/#/page/AnonymousSupportTicket

Source: Pennsylvania State Board of Funeral Directors


Increased Annuity Rate of 2.60% Announced by SecurChoice for 2018

SecurChoice is excited to announce an increased interest rate of 2.60%, effective January 1, 2018, for the SecurChoice Trust Annuity. Highlights of this hassle-free preneed solution include:

• Net 2.60% compounded annually and paid daily
• Funeral Directors don't need to maintain an insurance license
• Free, compliant, easy-to-use forms
• Outstanding customer service
• Trust continuously operational since 1983
• PNC Bank long-term Trustee since 1987
• Issued by Funeral Directors Life, rated A-, underwriter since 2000

No outrageous promises, just 30+ years of solid results. Contact Donna Centofanti to learn more and sign up to participate: 800-692-6068 or donna@pfda.org

New & Improved Statement of Funeral Goods and Services Available for Purchase!

PFDA has updated and improved its Statement of Funeral Goods and Services for 2018! The improved form, which is available to purchase for $0.75/copy, has been approved by the PA State Board of Funeral Directors. The improved form is more reflective of current funeral practice and remains in full compliance with FTC and Pennsylvania funeral law. For purchase inquiries, please contact PFDA at 800-692-6068 or email teri@pfda.org

Classified Ads in the Reporter and on the PFDA Website

Members and non-members are permitted to advertise jobs and any funeral related products they are looking to sell in both the reporter and on the website. The cost to advertise is $55.00 per month, which includes a listing in the monthly newsletter and on the website. It's an additional $5.00 to have a file# attached to your ad. All ad information needs to be sent to Donna in the PFDA office via email to donna@pfda.org or fax at 717-545-7360, by the 15th of the month to appear in the following month's newsletter and on the website.

PFDA Welcomes Our New Members

Join PFDA in welcoming our newest member: Hall & Stone Funeral Home, Steelton

PFDA Office Closed

The PFDA office will be closed on Monday, January 1, 2018 in observance of the Holiday and reopen on Tuesday, January 2, 2018. The office will also be closed on Monday, January 15, 2018 in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. The office will reopen Tuesday, January 16, 2018.


National Pre-Arranged Services

National Pre-Arranged Services, the receiver that had been processing death claims for Lincoln Memorial Insurance Company and Memorial Service Life Insurance Company has passed the responsibility for processing death claims to Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Company and The Capitol Life Insurance Company (collectively "Liberty"). Liberty has agreed to take over the obligations for collecting premiums, providing customer service and paying claims for the Lincoln policies. Funeral homes making a claim on a Lincoln policy should now contact:

Texas Service Life Insurance Company
Email: LBLClaims@tslic.com; LBLService@tslic.com
Toll fee: 877-248-1111
Main Fax: 512-263-6981
Claims Fax: 512-637-4989
Mailing address: 2121 Lohmans Crossing Rd, Suite 504-577,
Lakeway, TX 78734

Funeral homes making claims on Memorial policies should continue to use the processing system set up by the Special Deputy Receiver.

Source: Kathleen K. Ryan, Esq., PFDA Executive Director

NFDA 2018 Pursuit of Excellence Guidelines

Every year, more than 160 funeral homes earn NFDA's prestigious Pursuit of Excellence Award, demonstrating their ability to motivate funeral home staff, nurture innovation and sustain consumer confidence in the profession.

Your funeral home could be on our list of award recipients in 2018. If families trust you and your staff to exceed expectations before, during and after the funeral, you may already qualify for the Pursuit of Excellence Award.

Begin Your Pursuit of Excellence journey today!

Save big! Register before February 16 for only $280!
• Get the details! Download the 2018 Registration and Application Materials booklet now.
• Start now! It's easy to organize and submit your entry (online or by mail ... it's up to you!) by the July 15, 2018, deadline when you track your firm's activities throughout the year.

For more information, visit www.nfda.org/pursuitofexcellence.

Source: The Bulletin, November 20, 2017

NFDA Webcasting License

The music license that NFDA has offered for over 20 years covers the performance of music (live or recorded) that is played at any funeral service, whether at the funeral home or at another facility as long as it is performed in connection with some type of funeral or memorial service or ceremony.

While the music license covers performance, a different license is required for a funeral home to broadcast musical performances over the internet. Funeral homes that offer funeral webcasting services are violating copyright laws when they broadcast over the internet any funeral services that contain copyrighted music.

NFDA has finalized agreements with BMI, ASCAP and SESAC to offer the only group webcasting license available to funeral homes in the market, enabling you to legally broadcast funeral services that include copyrighted music over the internet.

NFDA has expanded its music license program to cover all three licensing organizations and offering the lowest rate available in the profession. To qualify for the $243 music license only fee, a participant must be a member of NFDA or, FAMIC member organizations, or NFDA federated state associations. The licensing application can be found at http://www.nfda.org/resources/compliance-legal/music-and-webcasting-licenses.

Source: NFDA.org


Federated Insurance appoints new President and new Director of Association Risk Management Services

Federated Insurance Companies' Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Fetters announced the appointment of Michael G. Kerr to the role of President of the Companies effective December 1, 2017. Kerr will add these responsibilities to his current role as Chief Operating Officer. Kerr has worked in various roles at Federated for 36 years. As President, Kerr will assume greater responsibility and authority for the operational functions that drive the Companies' financial results.

They also appointed, David Szymanski as the Director of Association Risk Management Services effective January 1, 2018. David will lead the ARMS function in addition to his current role as Director of Home Marketing Services. He joined Federated Insurance in 1989.

Source: Federated Insurance Press Release, December 2017

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Winter

It shouldn't be surprising that weather-related auto accidents account for a lot of insurance claims every year. Employees who drive as part of their job face driving risks every day, but especially in harsh weather.

These best practices may help you and your employees prepare for winter road hazards.

•Remain alert for scattered slippery spots, especially on bridge decks and overpasses. Frozen slush can produce ruts that can "grab" the vehicle's wheels and affect steering.

•Adjust speed to compensate for road conditions. Snow and ice dramatically increase the time and distance a car or truck needs to maneuver and stop. When driving on snow or ice, speed should be well below the posted limit.

•Leave extra room between you and the vehicles around you. This could give you an extra second or two for reacting more evenly in a surprise situation, and help avoid sudden maneuvers that can cause rear-end collisions, spinouts, or rollovers.

For additional information and trainings to better prepare your employees, contact your local Federated Insurance Representative.

Source: Federated Insurance, November 2017

PIMS Students Spread Holiday Cheer

PIMS students collected toys and monetary contributions to provide a Christmas breakfast at the Kingsley Association Family Support Center in Pittsburgh. The students entertained neighborhood children and they also saw that each child had their picture taken with Santa; as well, each child was given toys for the Christmas holiday.


Complaint Filed Against Kezmarsky Funeral Home

A complaint has been filed claiming that Stephen E. Kezmarsky, III kept close to $50,000 collected from funerals in 2016 and 2017. The money was supposed to be turned over to a court trustee to repay debts.


Funeral Homes Warn Your Families

Recently a family that was working with a member funeral home on arrangements for a loved one, received a phone call from someone who claimed to be representing the funeral home. The caller was trying to gather social security information from the next of kin. Fortunately, the family realized the call was a scam. Please warn the families you work with of this scam.


LAST CHANCE for Continuing Education for the Current Renewal Period

PFDA is offering 4 Continuing Education Credits on January 9th and 2 Child Abuse Credits on January 10th at Highmark Caring Place, 3 Walnut Street, Suite 200, Lemoyne, PA 17043. Registration forms are enclosed. Additional information can be found under "Upcoming Events" at www.pfda.org.

2018 Mid-Winter Conference-Save the Date!

PFDA is having a Mid-Winter Conference, February 6-8, 2018 at Bear Creek Resort in Macungie, PA. To book hotel reservations please call the hotel directly at (610) 641-7101 or toll free at 1-(866)-754-2822. Pending approval, six (6) credits will be offered.

2018 Convention and Expo

The 2018 PFDA Annual Convention and Expo will be held June 3-6, 2018 at Kalahari Resorts, Pocono Manor, PA. To book hotel reservations visit: https://book.kalahariresorts.com/poconos/groups.asp and use group ID: 498 or call 877-525-2427. Pending approval five and half (5½) credits will be offered.


PFDA's Annual District Meetings will be held during the weeks of September 10-13 and September 17-20, 2018.


Mina K. Baxter, 90, of New Cumberland, passed away on November 13, 2017. She is survived by her daughter, Heidy Weirich, Board Administrator for the Pennsylvania State Board of Funeral Directors.

Theodore James Pietryka, Jr., 45, of South Abington Township, passed away on November 30, 2017. He is survived by his brother Aaron Pietryka, a licensed funeral director and owner of Wroblewski Funeral Home, Inc., Forty Fort.

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