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June 27, 2011

Sun Life Financial Launches New Combination Whole Life Insurance and Long-Term Care Product; Poll Says Americans Prefer Care at-Home Over Living Longer in a Nursing Home

Wellesley, MA. — June 27, 2011 — As a growing number of Americans express concern about future long-term care, the U.S. business group of Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE:SLF, TSX:SLF) announced the introduction of Sun Care Whole Life (WL), a single premium whole life insurance policy with a linked benefit that owners can apply to long-term care costs, including for in-home care, assisted living, and nursing home facilities.

“According to the US Department of Health and Human Services[1], an estimated 70% of people over 65 will eventually need long-term care, often for daily activities, such as eating, bathing, or getting dressed,” said Janet Whitehouse Senior Vice President and General Manager of Sun Life’s Individual Life Insurance Division. “We want to help people prepare, so if they ever need long-term care – they have more freedom to pick the level of care that suits their needs, and the costs don’t have to erode their retirement savings or estate assets.”

Currently available in 39 states, Sun Care WL may provide a long-term care benefit equivalent to as much as three to seven times the value of the policy owner’s single premium, depending on factors such as the riders selected, age, gender, and smoking status. Alternatively, if the insured passes away without exercising the long-term care benefits, a death benefit goes to the beneficiaries, income tax-free. The policy also provides, for an additional fee, an optional return-of-premium feature, which if elected, allows policy holders to recoup the value of their original premium.

“Once the policy owner pays the single premium, the policy is guaranteed to provide a benefit, either to the individual or the beneficiaries,” said Bob Klein, Vice President of Strategic Planning for the Sun Life’s Individual Life Insurance Division. “This offers several possible advantages over traditional long-term care insurance, which only provides a benefit if the client makes a long-term care claim, requires ongoing premiums to fund the policy, and provides no death benefit if a policy owner never needs long-term care.”

A recent Sun Life Financial survey[2] of Americans aged 50 and older details the challenge of long-term care planning today. “Our survey results suggest that most people aged fifty and older worry about funding their long-term care, don’t feel financially prepared, and would strongly prefer to receive long-term care at home rather than in a nursing home,” added Klein. According to the survey:

  • Over half of Americans aged 50 and older (nearly 60%) worry about long-term care costs, and don’t feel confident that they’ll be able to meet those costs: Only 16% feel financially prepared to finance their long-term care.
  • Despite such concerns, most people don’t grasp the scale of rising costs. Median respondents do not realize that based on conservative historical inflation rates, the cost of nursing home care could rise in 2030 by more than double what they expect.[3]
  • Most Americans aged fifty and older (87%) would prefer to receive long-term care at home and be taken care of by their family, if the burden on loved ones were minimal.
  • The depth of desire to receive long-term care at home is striking: Most Americans aged 50 and older (83%) would prefer to live in their home to receive long-term care – even if that meant surviving only 5 more years --  rather than live in a long term care facility and survive 10 more years.

“People should plan, not panic,” said Klein. “Since being a family caregiver can exact a huge toll, and given average annual nursing home rates projected to rise to $190,000 by 2030[4], you raise your odds of getting excellent long-term care by planning for it.”

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 March 31, 2011, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of U.S. $484 billion.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF. For more information, see the Life Insurance section of www.sunlife.com/us

Sun Care Whole Life policies are issued by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Wellesley Hills, MA). All guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuing company.

 

Media contact:

Tim Stone
Sun Life Financial
781- 416-2185
tim.stone@sunlife.com

SLPC 23455, appvd: 6/11, exp: 6/16

 


[1] National Clearing House for Long Term Care Information, September, 2008.

[2] Sun Life Financial survey of over 1,000 Americans aged 50 and older, conducted May/June of 2011 by Kelton Research.

[3] Given a hypothetical annual nursing home rate of $80,000, the median respondent projected a rise of 56%, to $125,000 in 2030, versus a rise of 123%, to $178,000, assuming the 4.3% historical inflation rate of the CPI’s nursing home component.

[4] The following estimates of average current and projected long-term care rates are based on the American Association for Long Term Care Sourcebook and long-term care components of the Consumer Price Index: Current nursing home rate for a private room: $85,000. Projected rate by 2030: $190,000. Current 24/7 in-home care rate: $184,000 a year. Projected rate by 2030: $272,000. Current 40 hr/wk in-home care rate: $44,000. Projected rate by 2030: $65,000.