The September edition of the Mortuary Management ran an excerpt from a Funeral Monitor article about the California Master Trust suffering a deficit

If the story is accurate about the master trust’s shortage, the author’s speculation about the reasons for the deficit omits a possible factor that has existed for years: the 4% administration fee. 

As explained by the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau’s audit guide, California law allows for an annual 4% administration fee.  If the CMT takes the full administration fee allowed by law, no wonder the trust is running a bit short.