divider image

February 2019 Reporter

February 2019

Dear Members,


2019 Standard Mileage Rate Increased

The standard mileage rate for business driving has increased to .58 cents a mile, which is up 3.5 cents from 2018.

Source: Internal Revenue Service, December 14, 2018

FedEx and UPS Rates to Increase in 2019

FedEx and UPS rates are going up in 2019, and it's more important than ever that NFDA members know how to mitigate the impact to their business. Here are a few things you should know about the changes to come:

1. FedEx and UPS small package rates are increasing an average of 4.9% - Effective January 7, 2019 and December 26, 2018 respectively.

2. Your actual costs will vary. Depending on the service you use and your package characteristics, you could see increases above or below the average.

3. Many common surcharges are also increasing. On top of the base rates, you need to be aware of the charges that apply to your shipments and how they'll affect your total costs.

PartnerShip®, part of the NFDA Discount Advantage Program, has analyzed the FedEx and UPS increases, so you can accurately prepare for the new year.
Download the free white paper to see a breakdown of where you'll find the highest increases and get a simplified explanation of the complicated changes you need to be aware of: https://www.partnership.com/resources/white-papers

Source: NFDA Bulletin, December 24, 2019

NFDA Seeking Board of Director Candidates

NFDA is seeking applicants for open seats on the Board of Directors for the 2019- 20 leadership year, which begins at the conclusion of the 2019 NFDA International Convention & Expo.

Open positions are: president-elect (one-year term), treasurer (one-year term), Secretary (one-year term) and two (2) at-large representatives (two-year terms). The president-elect, after completing his or her term, automatically succeeds to the office of the president.

All interested candidates should go to www.nfda.org/elections for more information.

Source: NFDA Bulletin, December 31, 2019

NFDA Offers Members Exclusive Health Insurance

NFDA members can get health insurance through the partnership program. Employers of any size can work with a representative to find coverage that works for your team. There are options that can save members five to 15% on health insurance.

More information about the NFDA Health Insurance Options program is available online, www.nfda.org/endorsedproviders.

Source: NFDA Bulletin, January 2, 2019

Apply for 2019 NFDA Pursuit of Excellence

NFDA's Pursuit of Excellence Award is given to funeral homes that demonstrate a commitment to excellence in service to families, adherence to ethics, community outreach and professional accomplishments.

If your funeral home has what it takes to earn the Pursuit of Excellence Award, register before February 15, 2019, to take advantage of a special early-bird registration price of $280 - a $25 savings.

Download the application and materials here: http://www.nfda.org/Portals/0/Pursuit%20of%20Excellence/Guidelines/2019/2019POEGuidelines-English.pdf

Source: NFDA Bulletin, December 24, 2018


2019 Burial Limits

The Pennsylvania 2019 Average Burial Limits by County have been updated. PFDA members can find the updated information on the website at: http://www.pfda.org/burial-reserve-limits/.

EDRS Tip of the Month

Understanding the relationship between Resident Address and Place of Death This only applies if the decedent died at their residence). If the decedent died at their residence and they lived in a township, the Resident Address and Place of Death pages should match. Therefore, the township should be used in both places within the case. The decedent's mailing address should not be recorded.

If you find you have a yellow dot beside Resident Address, this dot indicates the Resident Address and Place of Death pages do not match. Follow one of these options to make the correction:

• If the case has not been dropped to paper by the funeral home, a correction to the Place of Death can be made.
• If the case has already been dropped to paper and is registered, the funeral home should fax or email the correction for the Place of Death to the Department of Health at 724-656-3272 or ra-dhdeathreg@pa.gov.
• If the case is fully electronic and not registered, you should contact the medical certifier to correct the Place of Death. They will have to un-certify the case, make the necessary correction and re-certify.
• If the case is fully electronic and registered, you should contact the medical certifier and have them create an amendment to correct the Place of Death.

Source: State Registrar Notice, January 18, 2019

Pennsylvania State Board of Funeral Directors Board Meeting

The next State Board of Funeral Directors meeting will be March 13, 2019. All meetings are held at the Pa Department of State, 2601 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110. The public session meeting starts at 10:30am. Agendas for each meeting can be found at https://www.dos.pa.gov/ProfessionalLicensing/BoardsCommissions/FuneralDirectors/Pages/General-Board-Information.aspx.


What's New in Funeral Home and Preneed Marketing?

In a word, Facebook! In this article Jeff Stewart shares some of the latest successes he and his team have had with preneed lead generation on Facebook. Some campaigns have produced up to 70 and 80+ leads for funeral homes! Jeff shares some of the lessons learned over the last two years of helping funeral homes grow their preneed programs through Facebook. Read more at http://bit.ly/preneedmarketing.

By Jeff Stewart, EVP/Chief Marketing Officer, Funeral Directors Life


Member Survey to be Released

Over the next few weeks a survey will be distributed to members of the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association, Massachusetts Funeral Directors Association, New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association, New York State Funeral Directors Association and Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association as part of their collaboration in the Northeast Funeral Service Partnership. A link will be emailed to the primary contact on record.

The survey results will yield key data on a variety of topics impacting funeral
service in the Northeast, including:

• The state of the funeral profession
• Staffing and salary information
• Prearranging/prefunding
• Cremation
• Pricing
• Technology and new trends
• And much more!

The survey should take approximately 30-minutes to complete, and by participating, you can be entered to win one of five $100 Amazon gift cards. The findings will be published in future issues of the Reporter and posted on our website.

Your feedback will remain completely anonymous. We're hoping to get as many responses as possible, to help you better position your business. The survey link will be open February 4, 2019 – February 22, 2019.

Passare® Named as Preferred Partner for the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association

Passare is pleased to announce that the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association (PFDA) has welcomed Passare as a Preferred Partner. "We're thrilled to be working with the PFDA," said Josh McQueen, Director of Sales for Passare. "Through this partnership, we hope to continue to help funeral home owners streamline their operations, gain efficiencies, and enhance internal and external communication through built-in collaboration tools." Passare offers a robust funeral home administration solution that allows funeral homes to manage cases, teams, and locations through a cloud-based platform, as well as invite families to collaborate online. To learn more, visit Passare online at www.passare.com.

Funeral Directors Life Appoints New Vice Presidents of Operations, Finance, Accounting, and Security Operations

Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company (FDLIC) is proud to announce the recent promotion of Amy Biggs as Vice President of Operations, Jason Gazaille as Vice President of Finance, Melissa Magers as Vice President of Accounting, and Zack Shahan as Vice President of Security Operations.

Source: Funeral Directors Life News Release, December 17, 2018

Data Breeches Impact All Sized Businesses

Data breaches at major corporations may capture the big headlines, but small and mid-sized businesses also face significant financial, operational, and reputational risks from cyberattacks. Unfortunately, many business owners believe a data breach won't happen to them, either because they think they have adequate protection in place or because they feel the information isn't worth stealing. Hackers often see these businesses as prime targets. Without the proper safeguards in place, your business could suffer a data breach that exposes sensitive information, disrupts operations and opens the door to an expensive lawsuit.

More of this article and tips to help you avoid a data breech can be found at: https://www.federatedinsurance.com/posts/risk-management-corner/cyber-security.

Source: Federated Insurance, December 2018

Digital Estate Planning

Whether you realize it or not, you probably have amassed a large number of digital assets throughout your lifetime. Digital assets include anything that is created, communicated, sent, received, or stored electronically. Think about all the photos, music, movies, and e-books you have on your computer, smartphone, or in the cloud. Add to that each of the accounts you have created to access online banking, e-mail, shopping, or social media sites. These all make up your digital estate.

If something should happen to you, what happens to your digital accounts and files?

Read more at: https://www.federatedinsurance.com/posts/its-your-life/12-2018digital estate-planning.

Source: Federated Insurance, December 2018


Online Account Passwords

To better protect you from identity theft online be sure to use strong passwords such as long phrases or a line from your favorite song or movie. Also, you should have different passwords for all your online accounts. You should always opt-in to multifactor authentication so that a security code is sent to your mobile phone for verification. ALWAYS change factory-set passwords on routers, printers and any other wireless device.

Source: The Kiplinger Tax Letter, December 14, 2018

Tips on Improving Your Preneed Sale

Preneed is something that is frequently talked about among funeral professionals. Funeral professionals know the importance of pre-planning a funeral, but how many consumers understand preneed and how important it is?

In a funeralOne blog recently, Rochelle Rietow has outlined some tips to help Funeral Directors improve their preneed sales. Here are the tips: 1. Get on Facebook; 2. Don't promote... instead, educate; 3. Focus on relationships; and 4. Post a healthy variety of content.

Read the entire blog here: http://blog.funeralone.com/industry-trends/pre-need-social-strategy/.

Source: funeralOne Blog, January 8, 2019


PFDA Office Closed

The PFDA office will be closed on Monday, February 18 in observance of President's Day and reopen on Tuesday, February 19.


2019 Mid-Winter Conference

The 2019 Mid-Winter Conference will be held February 12-14, 2019 at Nemacolin Woodlands Resorts in Farmington, PA. There will be 7 Continuing Education Credits offered. More information can be found on the enclosed flyer or on the website at http://www.pfda.org/index.php?pID=655.

PFDA Annual Convention and Expo Save The Date!!!!

The 2019 PFDA Annual Convention and Expo will be held June 2-5, 2019 at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, Pocono Manor, PA. More details to follow. Hotel rooms can be booked now. To book online go to: https://staypa.kalahariresorts.com/pennsylvania#groupSignIn and use the Group Booking ID – 2698 when you are prompted and follow the on-screen instructions or call 1-877-KALAHARI (525-2427).

2019 District Meetings – Save the Date

PFDA's Annual District Meetings will be held during the weeks of September 9-12 and September 16-19, 2019.


Helen Hoyman Snyder, 77, of Ligonier, died on December 22, 2018. She was the owner and operator of Snyder Funeral Home, Inc in Ligonier and L. Boyd Snyder Funeral Home in Donegal, along with her family. She was the previous owner and operator of Laurel Highlands Crematory and Pet Cremation Service of Westmoreland.

She is survived by her daughter, Elizabeth Bloom, a licensed funeral director, working in the family business.

Bernard P. Snyder, 70, of Reynoldsville, died on January 11, 2019. He was the previous owner and operator of Bernard P. Snyder Funeral Home, Inc. Reynoldsville. He is survived by his wife, Joyce, who also works in the family business.

© Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association. All rights reserved. PRIVACY POLICY | SITE MAP | MOBILE SITE