News releases

November 21, 2019

Sun Life announces $293 million annuity buy-out deal with Rayonier Advanced Materials

Transaction highlights growing de-risking trend in Canada

Sun Life Financial Inc. (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Inc.)

TORONTO, Nov. 21, 2019 /CNW/ - Today, Sun Life announced a $293 million annuity buy-out transaction with Rayonier Advanced Materials ("RYAM") to transfer a portion of its Canadian defined benefit (DB) pension obligations.

"We are delighted to be working with RYAM and their consultant Mercer, to help right-size RYAM's pension plans and meet their business objectives, while protecting their pensioners' benefits," said Brent Simmons, Senior Managing Director & Head, Defined Benefit Solutions, Sun Life. "Transactions of this size are complex and require all parties to be organized and nimble. Both RYAM and Mercer were prepared and took a planful approach to help execute this deal."  

As part of the transaction, Sun Life will take over the responsibility for pension benefits owed to nearly 1,500 Ontario and Quebec pensioners and beneficiaries. Sun Life will begin administering pension benefits for these plan members early in 2020. Members' pension benefits will remain unchanged.

"With this transaction, we are proud to ensure the financial security of many former Tembec employees, while strengthening the balance sheet and solidifying RYAM's ability to help support current and future retirees in their retirement," said Jay Posze, Senior Vice-President, Human Resources, Rayonier Advanced Materials.

This transaction highlights a growing trend in Canada. Organizations with DB pension plans are seeking better risk management solutions so they can focus on their core business while ensuring members' benefit security. Sun Life provides a full range of innovative, cost-effective solutions to help DB plan sponsors at any stage of their pension de-risking journey. Backed by solid financial ratings, capital strength and strong risk management practices, Sun Life has been the leading provider of Canadian group annuities since 2008.

An annuity buy-out is a group annuity policy that transfers all the risks for a group of members from an employer's balance sheet to an insurer's balance sheet in exchange for a premium. The insurer assumes responsibility for making pension payments to the employer's plan members, with no change to the payment frequency or amounts.

About Defined Benefit Solutions
Sun Life's Defined Benefit Solutions is a team of experienced pension and investment professionals, whose mandate is to help Canadian companies manage the risks of their defined benefit pension plans. The team works closely with plan sponsors, consultants and other industry experts to deliver innovative, customized solutions, including annuity buy-outs, annuity buy-ins, longevity insurance and liability driven investments. For more information please visit

Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements in this news release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of certain securities laws, including the "safe harbour" provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities legislation. Information about risk factors relating to Sun Life can be found in the annual information form of Sun Life Financial Inc. for the year ended December 31, 2018 under the heading "Risk Factors" and other regulatory filings filed with or furnished to Canadian and U.S. securities regulators available at and

Annuity buyout policy issued by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada.

About Sun Life 
Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of September 30, 2019, Sun Life had total assets under management of $1,063 billion. For more information please visit

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF. 

About Rayonier Advanced Materials
Rayonier Advanced Materials is a global leader of cellulose-based technologies, including high purity cellulose specialties, a natural polymer commonly found in cell phones, computer screens, filters and pharmaceuticals. Rayonier Advanced Materials also manufactures products for lumber, paper and packaging markets. With manufacturing operations in the U.S., Canada and France, Rayonier Advanced Materials employs approximately 4,200 people and had revenues of US$2.1 billion in 2018. More information is available at

Note to Editors: All figures in Canadian dollars except as otherwise noted. 

Media Relations Contact:
Kim Armstrong 
Manager, Corporate Communications
T. 416-979-6207 

SOURCE Sun Life Financial Inc.