Sun Life Financial Enhances Masters® Variable Annuities to Help
Sun Life Financial addresses the need for lifetime income security while prudently managing market risk and volatility in investments
Wellesley, MA (February 18, 2010) —The U.S. division of Sun Life Financial Inc. (TSX/NYSE:SLF) recently announced enhancements to Sun Income Riser.SM an optional living benefit available with the Masters variable annuities.1 Sun Income Riser helps protect and grow retirement income and addresses the need for lifetime income.
According to a recent Sun Life survey, the UnretirementSM Index, the economy has had an impact on retirement planning. A record 55% of Americans now plan to work past age 67, and the number who plan to work full-time at that age is also at a new high (about 28%). With economic and market-driven events forcing more people to defer retirement, coupled with fewer traditional income sources such as defined benefit pension plans, people in or close to retirement are seeking alternative solutions.
“Americans need help rebuilding their savings for a more secure retirement, and annuities, with their guaranteed lifetime income, can help,” said Terry Mullen, president, Sun Life Financial Distributors, Inc. “The White House’s task force on the middle class, chaired by Vice President Joe Biden, recently recognized that ‘promoting the availability of annuities’ can help reduce the risk that retirees will outlive their savings. This is a great opportunity for individuals concerned about protecting retirement savings and the advisors who are helping them create a plan for retirement income.”
Clients purchasing Sun Income Riser with a Masters variable annuity can diversify assets with a new investment category called Core Retirement Strategies.SM This strategy is made up of four asset allocation funds—a portfolio from MFS Investment Management® and PIMCO, and two portfolios from Ibbotson. These funds use dynamic market-risk optimization strategies that regularly reallocate in response to changing market conditions to help protect assets during volatile markets.
In addition, clients can increase the benefit base available with Sun Income Riser by 7% annually for each year they do not take a withdrawal.2 The benefit base is used to calculate annual lifetime income. This feature is available for the first 10 contract years, and recently increased from 6%. The growth of the benefit base can help maximize the amount of income the client can receive in the future.
“In today’s market, it’s more important than ever to seek forward-thinking investments that monitor and dynamically adjust to ongoing shifts in market conditions,” explained Steve Deschenes, senior vice president and general manager of the Annuities Division. “Our priority is meeting the needs and goals of our financial advisors and customers. We think our enhancements are very timely given the renewed focus on the benefits of annuities.”
About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Chartered in 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, and Bermuda. As of December 31, 2009, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $411.2 billion. Please visit www.sunlife.com for more information.
In September 2009, Sun Life Financial U.S. launched its third Unretirement Index, a first-of-its-kind national study on American attitudes toward retirement. Approximately 1,500 workers between the ages of 18 and 66 were surveyed. To view more information on the Unretirement Index and to learn about the results, please visit www.unretirementindex.com.
Alexi A. Maravel
1. The cost for this optional feature is 1.10% annually of the Withdrawal Benefit Base (1.30% for joint life coverage, not available in NY). The cost of this feature may increase upon step-up based on market conditions at that time. However, if the cost increases, the client will be sent notification prior to a step-up and must consent to the new cost.
This benefit has conditions, limitations, and investment restrictions. Please note that the timing and amount of withdrawals under Sun Income Riser may significantly affect rider guarantees, and in some instances could severely reduce benefits under the rider.
2. The 7% is calculated as simple interest and is not compounded. The rate is applied to adjusted first year premiums and is available during each of the first 10 contract years if no withdrawals are taken in a given year. Please see the prospectus for details.
Annuities are long-term financial vehicles designed for retirement purposes. Variable annuities provide tax deferral, a lifetime income stream, and a death benefit. All withdrawals of taxable amounts, including earnings, are taxable as ordinary income and, if taken prior to age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty. Withdrawals also may be subject to possible withdrawal charges. The prospectus contains information about investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information, and may be obtained from your financial professional, or by visiting www.sunlife.com/us. Please read all prospectuses carefully before investing or sending money.
Sun Life Financial annuities are issued by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (U.S.) (Wellesley Hills, MA) in all states except New York. In New York, the annuities are issued by Sun Life Insurance and Annuity Company of New York (New York, NY). Variable annuities are distributed through Sun Life Financial Distributors, Inc. All three companies are members of the Sun Life Financial group of companies.
SLPC 21510 (02/10)