Press releases

May 06, 2019

Sun Life helps employers auto-enroll employees in disability insurance

SLPC 29578 05/2019

WELLESLEY, Mass. – (May 6, 2019) – Sun Life U.S. is helping clients automatically enroll employees in disability coverage, increasing population coverage and income protection for workers. Auto-enrollment increases the likelihood of employees having disability coverage when they need it. According to the Social Security Administration, more than one in four people currently entering the workforce can expect a disabling condition to put them out of work for at least 12 months before they reach retirement age.

“Most people in America are underinsured. Disability coverage provides an extra layer of income protection that helps people maintain financial security when they have to go on leave from work,” said David Healy, senior vice president of Group Benefits at Sun Life Financial U.S. “Implementing an auto-enrollment option for disability insurance will increase coverage among workforce populations and help alleviate financial burdens for people dealing with a major health event.”

According to research from the Federal Reserve, about half of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover three months of expenses in the event of income loss, and could not cover an unexpected expense of just $400.

A recent survey by Sun Life showed that employers and employees value the safety net that automatic enrollment provides, especially since some employees may wish they had chosen it during enrollment season when they had the opportunity. Of the 35 percent of employee respondents who do not currently have disability coverage, 76 percent say they believe the benefit has value.

With Sun Life, employers can enroll their workers in short- or long-term disability coverage, with the option for employees to buy higher levels coverage if they choose. Sun Life’s program recommends a multi-touchpoint communication plan that educates employees on the value of disability and auto-enrollment, and outlines the process for opting out.

During a recent webinar on auto-enrollment, Sun Life and the Disability Management Employers Coalition (DMEC) polled more than 400 employers on whether they currently auto-enroll employees in a 401k or other income savings plan.  About half of the employer respondents said no, indicating a large opportunity to help cover more people and automate some HR tasks.

While health insurance covers certain medical expenses, taking leave from work may add a financial burden when a person is recovering from illness or injury. Along with having income replacement that helps close the insurance coverage gap, Sun Life disability members receive support from case managers and vocational rehabilitation counselors who can help with workplace accommodations or job retraining, providing a path to return to work.

For more information on Sun Life’s auto-enroll capability visit www.sunlife.com/us.

About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individuals and corporate Clients. Sun Life Financial 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 December 31, 2018, Sun Life Financial had total assets under management of C$951 billion. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com.

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

In the United States, Sun Life Financial is one of the largest group benefits providers, serving more than 60,000 employers in small, medium and large workplaces across the country. Sun Life’s broad portfolio of insurance products and services in the U.S. includes disability, absence management, life, dental, vision, voluntary and medical stop-loss. Sun Life employs approximately 6,000 people in its U.S insurance and asset management businesses. Group insurance policies are issued by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Wellesley Hills, Mass.), except in New York, where policies are issued by Sun Life and Health Insurance Company (U.S.) (Lansing, Mich.). For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com/us.

Media contacts:

Devon Fernald
Sun Life Financial
781-416-7151
Devon.Portney.Fernald@sunlife.com