August 28, 2014

Sun Life Financial Leverages Big Data to Help Brokers and Employers Design More Effective Employee Benefits Solutions

Sun Life’s Benefit Profile provides demographic benefits analysis customized to each workplace

WELLESLEY, Mass. (August 28, 2014) — The U.S. business group of Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE: SLF, TSX: SLF) has launched the Benefit Profile, a powerful data analytics decision-support tool that helps brokers and employers design and deliver competitive, appealing employee benefits plans customized to meet the diverse needs of the American workforce.

The Benefit Profile uses employer-specific demographics and robust industry benchmark data to develop insights enabling brokers to design and recommend optimal benefits plans and enrollment strategies to employers.

“Rising health care costs are forcing employers to find new ways to maintain an attractive benefits package without breaking the bank," said Tom Gilligan, vice president of Sun Life U.S. Distribution Operations. “The Benefit Profile provides brokers a new level of analytical sophistication to help employers adopt the best benefits plan design given the various demographic profiles within their workforce."

How it works

The Benefit Profile’s big data technology synthesizes an employer's own census data and a broad range of industry benchmarks to provide a straightforward graphic analysis that compares gender, age, and income to benchmarks based on buying patterns reflected in Sun Life policy records, and complemented by well-known industry resources such as Group MarketShare, LLC.

Key Features of the Sun Life Benefit Profile:

  • Analyzes the demographic composition of a workplace by gender, age, and income.
  • Correlates such demographics to incidence rates for medical issues.
  • Displays typical demographic buying patterns of relevant insurance solutions; for example, the average life insurance coverage men or women each choose to buy.
  • Illustrates typical benefits offerings of competing employers in the same industry and region to help employers gauge how a plan design could support cost containment or recruitment and retention.

“The Benefit Profile turns a wealth of data into actionable insight that is presented in a dashboard format, empowering brokers to deliver a highly customized, versatile benefits plan designed for each employer," said Sun Life’s Bilal Kazmi, AVP, Analytics and Innovations Marketing. "It’s a way for employers to assess demographic risks and provide employees with a customized range of protection options. This innovation helps employers fine tune what’s working, adapt to changes in their industry and region, protect their employees, and stay competitive year after year,” added Kazmi.

Hypothetical insights

  • The Benefit Profile confirms that a fictional metal employer in a Midwestern state offers long term disability benefits plan with a higher salary replacement percentage than the industry and regional average. This insight allows the employer to either promote that detail to current and prospective employees or adjust the plan to create a more affordable option for employees that remains in line with industry peers.
  • A broker may know that 30% of an employer’s overall workforce is enrolled in optional life insurance. However, the broker may not know whether a particular demographic of that workforce remains underserved. Segmenting employee participation by age, gender, and income, the Benefit Profile helps identify such a potential group, for example workers earning less than $30,000 annually. This insight could lead to a more focused enrollment and communications strategy targeting certain segments of the employee population.
  • A hospital in the Southeast is considering adding new benefits to its benefits program, but is unsure which product to add next. The demographic analysis in the Benefit Profile determines that the workforce contains a high proportion of women and employees over age 40. After reviewing incidence data for a variety of voluntary products within the Benefit Profile, the employer decides that critical illness coverage would be a good fit for its employee population.

As one of the leading stop-loss providers in the U.S., Sun Life is also developing a stop-loss analytical tool to help brokers support self-funded employers, and employers that are considering becoming self-funded.

To learn more about the Benefit Profile, visit for a brief video describing five ways a Benefit Profile can help brokers and employers build more competitive benefits packages.

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. 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, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Bermuda. Sun Life Financial Inc., the holding company for the Sun Life Financial group of companies, is a public company. It is not an insurance company and does not offer insurance products for sale in the United States or elsewhere, and does not guarantee the obligations of its insurance company subsidiaries. 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 and elsewhere, insurance products are offered by members of the Sun Life Financial group that are insurance companies. In the United States, Sun Life Financial provides a range of products and services to employers and their employees, including Group and Voluntary Life, Disability, Dental, Critical Illness, Accident, and Stop-Loss insurance products. Product offerings may not be available in all states and may vary depending on state laws and regulations. For more information, please visit

Media contacts
Tim Stone
Sun Life Financial

SLPC 26098 08/14 (exp. 08/19)