2021 Annual report

2021 Annual Report

Learn more about our growth, our progress, and how we kept our focus on our Clients in 2021.  

Download report

2021 Annual Report

Learn more about our growth, our progress, and how we kept our focus on our Clients in 2021.  

Download report

Financial highlights

We delivered for our shareholders in 2021, achieving strong performance against our five-year medium-term financial objectives: 

  • Growth in underlying earnings per share (EPS), 
  • Underlying return on equity (ROE), 
  • Underlying dividend payout ratio.

Full year 2021 results (vs. 2020)1

  • $3.9B (+64%)

    Reported net income

  • $3.5B (+10%)

    Underlying net income2

  • $1.3B (+17%)

    Value of new business2,3

  • $3.7B (+5%)

    Insurance sales2

  • $228B (+3%) 

    Wealth sales2

  • $1.4T (+15%)

    Assets under management2

5-year progress on our medium-term financial objectives4,5

  • 14.2%

    Underlying ROE2

    (Target of 16%+ per annum)

  • 40%

    Underlying dividend payout ratio2,6

    (Target range of 40-50% per annum)

  • 10%

    Underlying EPS growth2

    (Target range of 8-10% per annum)

Moments that matter – Micah’s story

When Micah received a probable diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS), he turned to PinnacleCare, a Sun Life company in the U.S., for a second opinion.

Micah’s PinnacleCare team connected Micah with a top neurological expert who confirmed Micah had received a misdiagnosis. 

Thanks to the work of his PinnacleCare team, Micah is now able to refocus his medical care journey. 

Kevin Strain's headshot

Message from President & CEO,
Kevin Strain

“The Sun Life team rose to meet every challenge over the past year. We rallied together, helped each other and showed great care in serving our Clients as they faced some of their greatest challenges.”

William D. Anderson's headshot

Message from the Chair of the Board, William D. Anderson

“In 2021, Sun Life delivered strong financial performance and long-term value for our shareholders. Equally important, we were there for our Clients when they needed us most.”

Sun Life at a glance



Offices in
27 markets*



Sustainability and our Client Impact Strategy

As a purpose-driven company, we’re here for our Clients through life’s most important moments. Embedding sustainability as a key component of our strategy supports how we deliver meaningful outcomes. We want to help create a brighter future for our Clients, employees, advisors, investors and communities.

  • Sustainable investing – committed to $20 billion in new sustainable investments over the next five years.
  • DE&I commitments – our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategy 2025 outlines our focus areas, our goals, the progress we’re making and our promise to keep pushing for action.
  • Net zero by 2050 – committed to the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for our investments and operations.
  • Carbon neutral operations – our global business operations are carbon neutral and we continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

 Visit sunlife.com/sustainability to learn more about our sustainability efforts.

Annual Report materials

Shareholders and policyholders can access theNotice of Annual Meeting and Management Information Circular and additional information under Annual Meetings.

Consider the environment

You can help us lighten our environmental footprint and cut down printed material by downloading the full Annual Report.

Request a print copy

Do you want a print version of Sun Life’s 2021 Consolidated Financial Statements? Send us an email to request a free copy.

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All figures in Canadian dollars unless otherwise stated.

1 The full year 2021 results values have been rounded. For values to the nearest million, see section C - Financial Summary in our 2021 Annual Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”).

2 Represents a non-IFRS financial measure. For additional information, see section L – Non-IFRS Financial Measures in our 2021 Annual MD&A.

3 Value of new business represents the present value of our best estimate of future distributable earnings, net of the cost of capital, from new business contracts written in a particular time period, except new business in our Asset management pillar. Value of new business was restated back to 2018, reflecting a change in the timing of recognition of U.S. group policies sold or renewed with an effective date of January 1, which will recognize Value of new business for these policies in the prior year rather than the first quarter, to align with the timing of U.S. renewals and reported insurance sales.

4 Although considered reasonable, we may not be able to achieve our medium-term financial objectives as our assumptions may prove to be inaccurate. Accordingly, our actual results could differ materially from our medium-term financial objectives as described on the slide. Our medium-term financial objectives do not constitute guidance. Our medium-term financial objectives are forward-looking non-IFRS financial measures and additional information is provided in section O - Forward-looking Statements - Medium-Term Financial Objectives in our 2021 Annual MD&A.

5 Underlying EPS growth is calculated using a compound annual growth rate. Underlying ROE and underlying dividend payout ratio are calculated using an average.

6 Underlying dividend payout ratio represents the ratio of common shareholders' dividends to diluted underlying EPS. See section I - Capital and Liquidity Management - 3 - Shareholder Dividends in our 2021 Annual MD&A for further information regarding dividends.

*At the end of 2021. Rounded to the nearest hundred. Represents full-time equivalent employees, temporary employees and employees in Asia joint ventures.